I haven’t been around much this off-season, much to my disappointment and chagrin, but I feel the need to weigh in on the Bears briefly before bed. Lots of comings and goings.
First, the Bucs signed Josh McCown to be Lovie’s quarterback. I have mixed feelings. Really going to miss him in Chicago. He was great when called upon and he was by all accounts an asset in Halas Hall. He really clicked with Trestman and seemed in some ways to unlock Cutler a bit.
That said, McCown is making $5M a year and is going to be given a chance to start (assuming Glennon doesn’t go off in camp, not impossible). No way the Bears had any business paying a backup that kind of money and frankly McCown deserved a start. I’ll be pulling for him, we’ll see if Lovie fucks him up like he does to most QBs.
We’ll have to wait and see if the Bears exodus to Tampa continues with Tillman, Hester or others.
Sticking with goings…bye bye Peppers. Cutting him was one year too late, something I said this time last year. He’s not a terrible player and I bet he gets $5-7M to play somewhere this year, but at that price it was an easy decision. I know **Hamlet **will rag on it, but everyone knew when that deal was signed that it was essentially a 4 year deal, those chickens came home to roost. He was a worthwhile asset until he wasn’t.
The Bears replaced him with Lamarr Houston, a guy I hardly ever saw with the Raiders. All I really know is what the scouting reports say, but he sounds like he’s a good fit and a nice, versatile addition who’s young and still improving. That said, he’s overpaid at $7M per year. But that’s what happens on the first day of FA, better to not be left out in the cold I guess. He doesn’t have Peppers-like upside but should stabilize the front 4.
The Bears resigned Jordan Palmer to be the backup QB. A pretty unexciting move, but Palmer was pretty impressive in light preseason duty last year. Granted I said that about Haine too, so big grain off salt. Trestman has at least earned a little trust on this one, with Cutler’s new deal you knew they weren’t paying much for a backup. I bet we draft a QB in the fourth or fifth round which I’m all in favor of.
The Bears missed out on Michael Bennett. I’m okay with that, I felt like Bennett was a little over hyped. He seemed like a bit of a one year wonder and was a little too much of a specialist to justify that $8.5M he was offered. Not sure Houston is better, and the Bennett brothers would have been great theater, but I think Houston has a much higher mean than Bennett at $1.5M cheaper.
The other Bears signings, frankly, elicit a “meh” from me. Basically a bunch of depth guys. If we have Mundy and MD Jennings starting at the Safety spots all next season we’re still gonna suck on the back end. Both guys are probably an upgrade from Wright, and are certainly better than Steltz butt they are just a couple guys. Hoping we get a rookie in here who can be a difference maker. Really would have loved to land Byrd, best guy out there by a mile. I’m sorta hoping that DeCoud could be a guy we get cheap once the rush settles down.
The Bears grabbed Jordan Senn to be the new Special Teams ace. I’m a big fan off stud teamers, but the defense is so bad that adding a guy like this feels like a luxury if he’s making more than the minimum.
The rest of the Bears moves where basically resigning their own guys and I can’t complain too much about the decisions. Cutler was a no-brainer. He’s making way too much, but so is every starting QB on his second or third contract not named Manning or Brady. He’s making what the market dictates, part of me wonders what life would have been like with McCown starting and making $5M a year while we groomed a rookie, but it’s tough to argue that we’d be closer to a title taking that gamble.
They re-upped Tim Jennings. He’s making more than he’s worth too, but as one of the only bright spots on defense it’s a reasonable move. We’ll see what the rest of the CB market looks like but I betting we’re in line on Jennings. I worry about him going against teams #1 if Tillman leaves though.
We kept Ratliff, which is smart and cheap, and Nate Collins. I think both guys if healthy will be good for our DT rotation. We also kept DJ Williams who Emery must like. He makes a lot of sense on paper, but I have far less trust in him staying on the field than those other two.
The 2 big players left to watch are Melton and Tillman. I’d like both guys back at the right price, but I wouldn’t get in a bidding war for either. My hunch is that Tillman is back and Melton is gone, but the Lovie factor looms large in the wake of the Revis departure.
My grade so far, a lukewarm C+, but with tight cap space and a crapload of guys yet to resign that’s probably a solid days work.