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Chicago Bears Trade Thomas Jones…Is Lance Briggs Next?

Posted by sportsmaven on March 5, 2007

The Chicago Bears continue their offseason overhaul by trading top RB Thomas Jones and their second round pick (#63 in the draft) to the New York Jets for the Jets 2nd round pick (#37). My buddy Stu in New York is estatic, actually called me on the phone tonight to let me know how happy he was. The Jets got a great deal, they picked up a starting quality RB and only gave up a few spots of draft order in the 2nd round of this year’s draft. Not sure if the Bears received good value on this trade, as I believe we could have also gotten a mid to late round pick as well if you just asked. In my opinion, this is a trade mainly for two reasons: first, to get a potential problem out of the locker room, and second, to serve as an example of making the hard decision not to overpay for talent that is available in other outlets.

Thomas Jones Traded to the Jets
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

John Clayton from ESPN provides another tke on evaluating the Bears trade of  Jones:

Bears moving up: If you are trying to figure out the Thomas Jones trade, it’s pretty simple. The Bears moved up 26 spots in the second round, getting a Jets pick at No. 37. That’s a prime position to get a borderline rookie starter or a quality prospect. Why would the Bears have to give up a second-round pick and Jones to get a second-round pick? The answer is simple. The market for veteran running backs is at best a third-round pick. The Bears wanted to get a second-round pick alone but they couldn’t. If you look at the draft value charts, the Bears gave up 280 points. That’s the equivalent of one of the final choices of the second round or a top choice in the third round. In other words, they got the best value possible for a 28-year-old running back.

My feeling on this trade or any other proposed trade is at this point, it really only benefits the Bears, especially in the situation with Jones. Thomas Jones is a good back. Is he great? Not at all, but very good, solid. The days of the single dominant RB’s are dwindling as more teams are starting to share the load with 2 solid RB’s. Worked very well for the Bears last season. Also worked well for the Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots, New Orleans Saints, and Dallas Cowboys. By the way, all these teams were also playoff teams. So renegotiating Thomas Jones contract and meeting his needs were clearly out of the picture. Jones’ agent Drew Rosenhaus (who also happens to be Lance Briggs’ agent) is notorious for trying to get teams to renegotiate and it has worked well for him in the past. Sometimes not for his players, in terms of moving to teams that are far away from Super Bowl contention, but he does get his players paid.

Speaking of Lance Briggs, I know he is unhappy with the franchise tag, but that is the NFL. He blames the Bears and he states that he doesn’t want to play for this team anymore since they will not give him a long term deal (which hasn’t been fully played out yet). He is a victim of the Collective Bargaining Agreement signed by both the owners and Players Association. If you want to be mad, direct your anger to Gene Upshaw. The Bears are playing within the rules of the CBA. Lance Briggs was on ESPN Radio 1000 and WSCR 60 Chicago today making his case that it’s not about the money, but rather the respect. I think Lance Briggs just negotiated himself out of anything good happening in his favor out of this situation with his public radio comments.

Lance Briggs Gets Franchised by Bears
(AP Photo)

The Bears have a unique chance as one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl again next season. Lance is headed towards Todd Bell and Al Harris territory with this stance. If you are not about the money, but winning the Super Bowl, take the guaranteed $7.2M and play to win. This Chicago Bears team becomes a bit more uncertain after next season. Lance, we are not naive….we know it’s about nothing about the money. If you don’t want to be here in Chicago to win, fine. I think the Bears should trade you. You take your risks on that one. Maybe the Bears trade you to the Oakland Raiders, what do you think about that? You gonna sign that deal with that team? Maybe the Bears don’t trade you and you decide to sit out a season, then what? Do you do it all again next season with another potential franchise tag? Do you think the Bears are gonna trade you to the Colts, Patriots, Cowboys, or any other team that may contend for the Super Bowl? Unless they are bowled over with an offer, probably not.

This one might get even more ugly than it is now, and Lance, I’m afraid you are not negotiating from a position of strength. If I were the Bears, I would do exactly nothing in this situation. No trade, no release. Play for the $7.2M this season. Hold out of all OTA’s, hold out of all training camp if you like. Hold out the season. Who is the big loser in this scenario? Lance Briggs, that’s who. No play, no pay. Hold out a season, kiss a $12-14M signing bonus goodbye. Kiss $50M contract goodbye. And guess what, Lance? The Bears can franchise you again next season and we can do it all over again…..and for Drew Rosenhaus? He will be working on a new contract for Bears DT Tommie Harris, so he is not likely to get into any kind of long term pissing match with the Bears and risk losing a payday for another client who may be potentially even better than Lance Briggs. It appears it looks like a long two years for Mr. Briggs……

5 Responses to “Chicago Bears Trade Thomas Jones…Is Lance Briggs Next?”

  1. […] paying job in the world for 9-months.Note to self: Have baby with professional athlete. Photo: Sportsmaven  Posted Oct 03 2007, 07:34 PM Filed under: football, U of A, Arizona, Wildcats, bullshit, […]

  2. blast said

    sportsmaven, what the hell are you talking about? Jones is a small slow running back? Compared to who the biggest running back in the league and the fastest running back in the league. That’s the only way that statement makes any kind of sense. So Jones was so slow that he broke a 50 yard run in the Super Bowl. He barely got caught from behind and I don’t think it was a defensive lineman that caught him either.

  3. This was a nice pickup for the Jets, but not at all a bad deal for the Bears. The Jets are getting a RB better than anyone they currently have and combining with Leon Washington, it might work, but Thomas Jones is a bit on the small side and definitely needs holes to be a quality runner. He also lacks elite speed for a RB, which was noticable in the Super Bowl when he got caught from behind by about half the Colts defense on that long run.

    The Bears essentially received a high second round pick in exchange for Jones, when the norm for someone of Jones’ caliber to receive a third round pick, so the Bears received value. In addition, they shed another $2.25M that they can use to sign their own free agents/draft picks. Most people don’t understand the talent portion of the business of the NFL, must less the economics that surround the game. Emotionally, this was a difficult trade. Business and talent-wise, a good trade for both teams.

  4. Chuck B said

    Yeah but unless the Jets are going to trade for the Bears Offensive Line as well, Thomas Jones is not going to be as effective in NY as he was in Chicago. Their line just isn’t that good.

  5. stu said

    For the Jet’s it was a huge addition. Going from a situation of running back by committee, to gaining a smashmouth back who rushed for 100 yards in the super bowl, is a huge upgrade and addresses the J-E-T-S number 1 weakness, heading into the 07 season.

    This should open up the field for us, and allow us to let Leon Washington loose. Chad ball will never be filled with highlight roles, but at least we stand a better shot against the Colts, Pats, Chargers, Ravens going into the fall.

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