Category Archives: Fire Free Agency

Free Agency and Draft Open Thread

For all of the hype, both of these events in and of themselves are pretty stupid, but here is an open thread so our tens of readers can talk about all of the great things the Bears did this free agency and draft seasons.

Bears Have A Window Of Four Years

One of our favorite sites is “Over the Cap” which reviews the economics of football. An added bonus is that the head of the site is a Jets fan, so he gets to watch his favorite team essentially do everything wrong with football finances (so far, at least).

There is a great number there – Trubisky at 3.72% of our cap space, with our divisional competitors ranging up to 14.95% for Stafford and Rogers at 11.6% (before his next contract, where he is sure to break the bank). Who knows what Minnesota will do but I hope they break the bank going for Cousins and then they get a mid range QB for what will probably be the largest contract in the history of the NFL.

I’m up in the Pacific Northwest now and watching the Seahawks dismantle their team and start over. Their 3 awesome years coincided with getting a top five QB on the cheap (Wilson) but now that he is getting paid they can’t re sign their stars and are going to let a lot of them go.

Every single Bears fan is like “duh” to this whole thread… we know that bad QB’s kill the team since we’ve lived through generations of them. We also lived through terrible offensive coordinators, such as the immortal Ron Turner, who spurred the original intent of this site (Fireronturner.net will ALWAYS point here). Even today I heard a podcast talking about how terrible Norv Turner was with his 7 step drop like some sort of idiotic time capsule of how the NFL used to work (along with Jeff Fisher a horrendous coach / coordinator). The analysts seriously have to start putting an asterix next to these seasons because they are outliers.

In any case, there is a lot of cause for optimism if we can 1) keep Trubisky from getting killed 2) install a modern offense that actually leverages his talents 3) get an O line that isn’t a fricking turnstyle 4) maybe not have literally the worst receiving corps in the NFL. I know Chicago loves defense but this game is 90% offense… just look at the Super Bowl and most of last years’ playoff games (the ones that mattered, not the horrendous ones like the Bills ha ha).

The NFL is changing FAST. History means… not much. And the NFL is now super stacked in favor of drafting effectively since those positions give you top flight talent on the cheap. And damn have a coach and coordinators into what’s happening right now not based on some idiotic history (I love Gruden talking about bringing back the fullback for the Raiders ha ha).

Bears Free Agent Signings

The Bears have been busy in free agency.

I think everyone reading here will be happy with the signing of Danny Trevathan from the Broncos. This year, the Broncos conclusively proved (like the Ravens back in the day) that you can win a Super Bowl with a hard thumping insane defense with no offense, and the addition of Trevathan now gives the Bears a fearsome duo of linebackers alongside Pernell.

We also signed a solid right tackle in Bobby Massie away from the Cardinals. This is more important than people think, as now Long can move back to his more natural spot at right guard.

Porter got re-upped for three years. He looked solid in the backfield for the Bears. Not a superstar by any means, but solid.

I was surprised to see Jaquizz Rodgers get re-upped for a year to back up Langford.

I will keep adding to this post as more signings come. I think that the Bears may be done in free agency, but we will see. I am very happy with these pickups.

UPDATE 3-14-16 – Wow Halas Hall is a busy place. The Bears have re-upped Mitch Unrein (2 year deal), Marc Mariani (1 year deal) and Sherrick “the Irishman” McManis (2 year deal). We have also picked up Akiem Hicks and Jerrell Freeman, further bolstering the defense.

UPDATE 3-15-16 – Zach Miller re-upped for a two year deal.

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.

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.

Podcast

Here is a new podcast for you. Topics are the coaching/GM search, Bruce Arians and the Bears free agent class.  The majority of the podcast is about the free agents however.  Please forgive me, there are a few technical glitches in there but it truly isn’t worth it for me to fix.  One take for me.

You can listen to the podcast here.

Terrible Contracts

First off I want to say that Dan has forgotten more about contracts than I’ll ever know.  He’s been reading and corresponding with the guys from “Over the Cap” (see our blogroll) who are awesome and learning a lot about the real economics of football.

Over at Deadspin (another favorite) they were ridiculing the TERRIBLE contract that the left tackle for the Dallas Cowboys just signed – Tyron Smith.    Here is the hilarious Deadspin article:

Yesterday, Cowboys left tackle Tyron Smith signed an enormous eight-year extension, valued at $110 million over 10 years. Today, Dallas is telling everyone that it guarantees Smith will be a “Cowboy for life.” As we know by now, the numbers in NFL contracts are b*llshit. But this is outrageous enough b*llshit that it bears walking through.

After last season, Smith, who is 23, was already considered one of the best left tackles in the NFL; on paper, this new deal pays him the most remaining guaranteed money of any tackle in the league. That’s great—kind of. In reality, that vanity sticker price of $110 million over 10 years, which in no way actually reflects what he will actually be paid or how long he will be with the team, restricts Smith’s choices in the prime his career and will give the Cowboys a massive amount of control over Smith in just a few years.

ESPN’s Todd Archer reported the year-by-year details of Smith’s contract, which contains $40 million guaranteed including a $10 million signing bonus. (He’ll make just over a million dollars this year because he is technically still on his rookie deal, but he’ll pocket that $10 million now.) While that’s a good chunk of guaranteed money, here’s the important part: the seasons with guaranteed salary end after 2017. This means that after just three seasons, Smith will effectively be playing on seven consecutive one-year contracts, with no negative for the Cowboys if they decide to cut him apart from dealing with some salary cap housecleaning, depending on how they structure the signing bonus. “Cowboy for life,” indeed. And as Archer points out, DeMarcus Ware, Terence Newman, and other players were supposed to be Cowboys for life, right up until they weren’t.

In the comments someone said his agent tried to talk him out of the deal (that sounds reasonable) – so why would he sign it?  Simple.  Because “he will pocket that $10 million now”.  This guys’ time horizon for money is likely around 365 days and he needs money to pay for child support, girlfriends, cars, gambling and all the other “essentials” of most NFL players.  That was just my theory, with zero facts to base it on, but I spent 5 seconds on the ol’ intertubes and of course it was all true, with girlfriends, baby mommas, and even his derelict family lining up for cash.  I’m not going to link to it because why bother.

But what was FUNNY was this site for the “baller lifestyle” called… “Baller Alert“. It is for women that chase NBA players, hip hop starts, NFL stars, whatever.  And then they have a store full of awesome t-shirts here

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Great titles include “future baller baby momma”  and my favorite “ballers favorite girlfriend” with the emphasis on FAVORITE because of course there is many, many more than one.