More Roster Moves

The Bears are quickly jettisoning guys who Pace/Fox don’t want, and signing the guys who they do want.

The Bears re-signed our favorite Irishman, Sherrick McManis to a one year deal. He does a really good job on special teams so I am good with that. We also picked up Jaquizz Rodgers, a signing intended to give Forte a rest now and then or to give a different look. I haven’t seen the deal yet but I am hoping we got him on a vet minimum and receive the discount for that on the cap. We also signed linebacker Sam Acho from the Cardinals. We have a LOT of lb’s under contract now and camp will be great to sort out the wheat from the chaff.

Gone are safety Anthony Walters and Roberto Garza. Garz was a great advocate for the Bears – he was active in the community and gave us a lot of years of good service. To replace him we picked up former Broncos center Will Montgomery.

It is interesting to note that a lot of our pick ups have been from NFC South teams or Denver – the NFC South is likely the division Pace knows the most about being from New Orleans. The Denver pickups were an easy one – Fox obviously knows his old players.

All Defense

Well, the Bears didn’t exactly make a huge splash in free agency, but I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I am happy with what has been done so far.

The contract given Suh by the Dolphins is likely going to go down as the worst contract for a team in the history of the NFL. It will literally cripple the Dolphins for the next half decade at a minimum – all to sign a guy who isn’t even the best DT in the league. It has to be all marketing because I (and a bunch of guys smarter than me) can’t figure out any other way this deal makes sense for Miami. Thank god our current GM is a bit smarter than that. Just watch – the Dolphins will have to restructure that deal. Every. Single. Year. And it will kill them on the cap.

But you know what? F!ck the Dolphins. Let’s talk about the Bears.

So far we got what most are considering a pretty good deal for Pernell McPhee. This is an obvious play to try to get the Bears defense back into shape and will give us a much needed pass rusher for the new 3-4 we will be installing. Lets hope we see a lot of this next year.

McPhee describes himself as “violent” and lets be real – we definitely didn’t see enough violence out of the Bears horrible D last year.

We also took a flyer on Ray McDonald. Ray has some baggage – a domestic violence charge that was dropped and a sexual assault charge that is ongoing. He is actually suing the woman who made the sexual assault charge so we will see how this all ends up. We only signed him to a one year deal so I am good with it. Supposedly Pace had to clear all of this with George McCaskey and Ma before the signing.

McPhee and McDonald both come from fierce, successful defenses. I expect McPhee to make an instant impact. McDonald is older, but having him in the locker room will certainly help with the new maniacs from the SEC and PAC 12 that we will soon be drafting for that side of the ball. Both of these guys on the team will hopefully start to instill a “kill” mentality.

The Bears also gave Zach Miller and Dante Rosario deals. As I predicted (for once) the Bears are being smart and will bring both into camp to compete for the backup spot behind the Black Unicorn at TE.

We also signed Antrel Rolle. Again, an older player, but one that is a good enough upgrade in the secondary and will bring much needed experience. Thank God Chris Conte is gone. As an interesting aside, Lovie is putting the band back together in Tampa, signing Conte, Major Wright and Henry Melton. Have fun with that, Tampa fans.

Jarvis Jenkins was brought over from the Redskins on a one year “prove it” deal. More shoring up of the D. I like the move – we got him on the minimum, surprisingly. He will compete for a starting spot on the line for sure.

I am sure he was brought in to make up for the departure of Paea. I was surprised that the Bears didn’t make a harder move for Paea, but at this point we can’t really criticize much Pace and Fox are doing compared to previous regimes. Then again, the bar is set pretty low.

There really wasn’t much to report on the offensive side of the ball (besides the Miller and Rosario deals) during free agency – yet, anyways.

I think Pace is doing a fine job so far, targeting players who he thinks may be undervalued (Jenkins) and taking a chance on McDonald. Time will tell.

Our Friend Fro Dog and the Bulls

Our friend Fro Dog runs a site “Fire Tom Thibodeau” and one of his major themes is how Thibs beats the hell out of the players during the long and mostly useless regular season so that they are all decimated during the playoffs and they lose in the first or maybe the second round if all goes well.

I thought of it recently as I looked at my phone on the score and saw the Bulls as “pick em” vs a bad Charlotte team. The Bulls ended up losing that game as they collapsed at the end. Why? Well just pull up the ol’ injury report and you can see that Rose, Butler, Gibson and Noah are all out with injuries. That’s basically the whole starting line up of a pretty good NBA franchise right there.

Since we are in the East what is the damn home court worth anyways. I know you can’t predict the future but obviously some bad teams in this division are going to make the playoffs (meanwhile teams in the West are getting screwed but that’s not my problem damn I am from Chicago we always end up getting screwed).

So in hindsight of course a way better plan would have been to set up a balanced rotation and not kill guys like Butler and they could have used much more from Mirotic, McDermott, Brooks, Snell, etc… because they all turned out to be pretty good. Hell even E’Twaun Moore whom I’d never heard of killed it when they gave him a big chance.

When I look at the Bulls roster I see a great mix of bigs and smalls and guards and shooting and defense. The roster used to have a few good guys and then it fell off pretty quickly, but these guys aren’t bad end to end. And yet we have a pretty crappy team out there now, and we aren’t even playing good defense, which is the saddest part.

So I know squat about basketball but whatever we are doing here isn’t really working. I hope the Bulls get their act together and make a deep run in the playoffs because I am a fan but not exactly taking it to the bank when they can’t even beat Charlotte.

I sent the note about Pick ’em and Charlotte and Dan said that Fro Dog would be laughing as Thib’s plans reach their sad ending but I figured he’d probably be crying but either way he’s right.

Your Bears Free Agency Open Thread

Well, lots has already happened and there is lots more to come. For the Bears, the deconstruction has begun.

Brandon Marshall was traded to the Jests for what appears to be a fifth rounder (it won’t be announced until the official start of free agency on Tuesday). I just looked at Marshall’s contract and we signed him to an extension last year, at a $7.5mm salary with a $7.5mm signing bonus. Essentially we paid him $15mm for one year, which is harsh. He will carry a $5.625mm dead money charge next year, but the Bears save around $4mm on the cap. I think this is a sign for a lot of Bear players that Pace and Fox are getting ready to blow the whole thing up and start over.

Lance Briggs is also no longer with the Bears. He had a good career, but his best days were far in the rear view mirror, and it was apparent even before his injury that he wasn’t going to be returning. I think he could hook on with another team at a league minimum if he wanted to.

So, Cutler. We re-signed Clausen for one year and it is hard to tell what that means. Will the Bears trade Cutler and draft a qb and let Clausen get killed for a bit while we train up the new guy? Lots of drama coming to Halas Hall in the next week.

Any way you slice it, the roster will see a dramatic makeover. And good on ’em. Marshall and Briggs were old and losing productivity. We needed to move on from them and from some others. Much more to come next week.

The Bears Aren’t Cheap

Dan (who is an expert in NFL finance based as far as I’m concerned) passed on this article to me from the Chicago Tribune about the Bears.

While the results weren’t what the team intended, the Bears ponied up when it came to constructing the roster during the Marc Trestman era, spending $271,469,560 on players in the 2013 and 2014 seasons combined, according to figures supplied by the NFL Players Association.

The Bears spent $131,522,517 in cash on player payroll in 2014, a tick below the $133 million salary cap.

Cash spending and the salary-cap figures are calculated differently. The Bears spent $139,947,043 in cash on player payroll in 2013. For the last two years, the Bears have spent 106.04 percent of the salary cap, putting them well above the mandated 89 percent minimum for cash spending, which must be achieved over a four-year period.

While we rail here at Fire Everybody about how poorly the Bears have performed on the field and also how poorly player development (especially on offense) has gone over the last 20 or so years, you can’t fault the McCaskey’s for spending dollars. They spend. They threw big contracts at the free agents that were supposed to produce for us, guys like Peppers, Cutty and Marshall, and they paid a lot for coaches and leaders that were supposed to lead us to victory. While we see the player costs here, we aren’t including the $20M or so that the Bears ate on a bunch of coaching contracts when they cleaned house and got rid of everyone after this years’ debacle.

Soldier Field is a dump although an upgrade over the complete mess it was prior to the rebuilding. They don’t have cheerleaders. They want to give up the beloved South Lot, the paradise of binge drinking, for a museum. And we lose, lose and don’t make the playoffs.

But they do spend money every day trying to fix it, and eat money when it isn’t working. We need to give them that.

Mariota to Bears?

Who knows how accurate the pundits are but in this mock draft the Bears pick up Mariota in the #7 draft pick.

I am astonished that Mariota would fall this far but what the hell do I know. This assumes that Gino Smith is the guy that the Jets build around and / or they don’t want to try to fix the problem through the draft, and that a bunch of other pretty broken teams are happy with their QB. From time to time I say stuff like I think Smith has talent but is poorly used / coached and I get little love with those comments ha ha but I guess if that happened it would be a bit of vindication.

Sure to add fuel to the Cutty fire…

It Sucks About Rose

Damn Derrick Rose is out for the season again with another injury. It stinks because Dan and I had tickets almost courtside for the Bulls at the Bucks coming up soon and I wanted to see that guy fly across the court.

I am not an NBA expert but the Bulls seem to me to be a team that would be worth a lot more broken up in parts than their worth playing together for Chicago. I see a lot of guys like Butler and Gibson that could be key parts of a Championship team elsewhere in important roles – but here in Chicago it isn’t coming together. Our friend Fro Dog has been on the Bulls forever to get rid of Thibs for using up his players during the endless regular season but for now I think everyone is kind of in mourning because the Rose story is pretty much over now in Chicago. We can’t wait forever for him to get back on the court and when he is on the court he won’t be a game changer anyways.

You never know… the Bulls could pull together now and get their game on and make a deep run in the playoffs, at least until they run into a hotter, better team built for the championship. Unfortunately there are a bunch of those teams and I don’t see the Bulls getting through them.

This Bulls era looks like it is destined to end far short of a championship.

Added a new “Fire” category – “Fire Derrick Rose”. We can’t wait around for him to come back any longer. The Bulls need to find their identity without him because he isn’t going to save the day.