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Posts Tagged ‘Brad Biggs’

How Some Things Never Change For The Chicago Bears

Posted by sportsmaven on March 22, 2010

My grandmother died on January 5, 2005.  My mom and dad divided, packed, and distributed her various belongs amongst my two brothers and my cousin.  Being the oldest grandchild, with what I felt was the closest relationship with my grandmother, I couldn’t bring myself to go through my box of memories my grandmother left for me…..until this afternoon.  Yes, 5 years, 2 months, 2 weeks, and 3 days later (or 1,901 days later, for those who like large numbers) I decided to unpack those boxes.

AP Photo/Jim Prisching

As I am unpacking the boxes, the very fragile items were wrapped in the January 10, 2005 edition of the Chicago Sun-Times.  As I’m gathering up the piles of newspaper to put in the recycling bin, I noticed an article in the Sports section called “Just Call Him Run Turner”, written by Brad Biggs.  It was an article announcing the Chicago Bears hiring of Ron Turner to be their offensive coordinator.  I sat down in my easy chair in my office to read the article, a quote that Turner made upon being interviewed for the article.  It said:

What we need is pretty well documented – an upgrade on the offensive line and at receiver.  With any offense, you’re always looking to upgrade.

Here we are, March 22, 2010 and after Bears GM Jerry Angelo’s high profile spending spree that netted DE Julius Peppers, RB Chester Taylor and TE Brandon Malumaleuna, if you ask almost anybody with football knowledge what’s left for the Bears to upgrade on offense, you guessed it, it’s upgrading the offensive line and the receiving corps.

Now Jerry Angelo does get credit for signing perhaps the two biggest free agent acquisitions in team history with consecutive season signings of QB Jay Cutler and Peppers.  And if the Bears were two players away from being major Super Bowl contenders, Angelo may have been hailed as the savior of Chicago sports with those signings. 

But as astute as Angelo was in his big signings, he has failed in almost every other free agent signings and has yet to hit it big with any of his own draft picks.  It’s safe to say that Angelo’s poor draft and free agent signings has put the Bears to the point of desperation to be in a position to have to overpay for big name free-agents in an all or bust 2010-2011 football season.

If you ask anyone what the Bears needed to upgrade since their Super Bowl run in 2006, you’d also be a big winner if you said the offensive line and wide receiver.  So 5 years after the Ron Turner hire, we still need the same thing on offense — offensive lineman and wide receivers.  Funny how some things never change.

For the record, my grandmother LOVED the Bears and would have loved Cutler and Peppers.  But even she would have told you that she would have loved to have seen an upgrade to the offensive line and receivers before she died….

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Chicago Bears Devin Hester Signs New Extension

Posted by sportsmaven on July 27, 2008

Thank the higher powers above that Devin Hester’s wobbly hamstring healed just enough for him to sign a 4 year extension for a reported $40 million dollars, with a guaranteed $15 million.  The contract also has another $10 million in incentives if Hester develops into a #1 receiver, for which he has the potential to accomplish.

(Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune)

(Scott Strazzante, Chicago Tribune)

Word on the street is that the Hester deal has all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed:

  • David Haugh from the Chicago Tribune reports that “Hester becomes the 10th Bears starter and fifth Pro Bowl player the Bears have signed to a contract extension this off-season. It is believed this new contract will make Hester the highest-paid return man in NFL history.”
  • David Haugh also reports that Hester is at the top of the list of recent Chicago Bears re-signed by Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo.
  • Brad Biggs of the Chicago Sun-Times reveals that “[Hester’s] extension adds four new years for Hester meaning he is a Bear through 2013. He was under contract through 2009 and he is the first player with a four-year contract for the Bears to get new money after only two seasons.”
  • ESPN reports that “This [contract] was probably the most difficult one we’ve had to do and probably ever will do because we’re not only rewarding a special player,” Bears general manager Jerry Angelo said. “If you look at it as a returner, we blew that [money total] out of the water. It was now looking at him as what he might be or could be as a receiver. That’s where the real difficulties were and a real challenge.”

Any way you look at it, it seems that Devin Hester is happy (and potentially $40M richer) and the Bears are happy (a difficult, challenging, but creative and fair contract).  Hester celebrated by catching a 40-yd pass from QB Rex Grossman in Sunday afternoon’s practice.  Seems as though the hammy is healed.

Other Devin Hester commentary:

  • Windy City Gridiron notes that “[Bears] check another off theirs list” with the Hester signing.
  • Matt Loede from Bearsgab.com notes that “We’ll see now with a lot more cash in his pocket if that hamstring suddenly feels better today”
  • AOL Sports Fanhouse reports that “virtually everyone things [Hester signing] is a good move.”

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Chicago Bears Handling Jones and Briggs Situations Perfectly

Posted by sportsmaven on March 7, 2007

I was reading Steve Rosenbloom’s blog this morning about the Thomas Jones trade and the Lance Briggs franchise issue and the more dissentious opinions I read in the media, the better I feel about the Bears approach with both situations. With Thomas Jones situation, the trade was inevitable when Cedric Benson started getting more carries and confidence in the second half of the Bears season. Benson has guaranteed money, is younger, and produced the same output as Jones with the exception of yards (only because he had half the carries.) The right move was to keep a promise to Jones by moving him. The Bears were not going to sign him to a long term deal. The talent levels are similar, in my opinion, with Benson having more upside (mainly because he is younger and bigger). Thomas Jones is a good back, but the NFL is a league full of good backs with more good backs coming from the college ranks.

Thomas Jones Traded to the Jets

I am actually excited to see if Adrian Peterson can step up and be the second back for the Bears. I think he can, he showed he can on the few drives he had this season (4.1 YPC and 2 TD’s) In the meantime, the Bears moved from the bottom of the second round to the top of the second round, where the talent level is much greater and saved $2.25M for next year’s salary cap to use elsewhere (the savings from Thomas Jones’ contract)

With Lance Briggs, the Bears are managing that to the letter of what the Collective Bargaining Agreement allows and managing to the best interest of the team. Briggs was reportedly offered a 6 year, $33M contract with $16M guaranteed before this season, but he declined with the full knowledge that the Bears have a franchise tag that they can use on him. The Bears indicated as such in those negotiations and followed through when the contract remained unsigned. Briggs’ strategy was to then attack Bears management and making statements that he will not play for the Bears next season, with the net effect of killing any trade hopes the Bears may have had from him this season. The phone at Halas Hall is not as much as ringing for a Lance Briggs trade, according to Brad Biggs article in today’s Chicago Sun-Times:

Briggs lambasted the organization Monday and said he has no desire to return under the franchise tag, which would pay him $7.206 million in 2007 — 10 times his salary from last season. Tough, was the general message Angelo sent back in Briggs’ direction. The Bears can’t actively seek to trade him under the terms of the franchise tag, but they can listen to overtures from other clubs. Angelo said no one has called.

I’m not sure which of the two paths that Briggs pursued is the worst. They are both bad, both incredibly stupid. What Briggs has essentially done with those two actions is GUARANTEE that he will be playing for the franchise salary of $7.2M next season unless he decides to complete the idiot troika of decisions and decides to sit out the 2007 season in protest. (This is a pure example of chasing bad decisions with more bad decisions). Finally, Briggs all about killed himself PR wise with his comments that this is not about money, but respect. It’s as if the fans he’s talking to on the radio are complete blithering idiots (which a lot of fans are) and don’t understand that it’s ALL about the money. If I were Lance Briggs, I would take a lesson from my ex-teammate and fellow Drew Rosenhaus client, Thomas Jones and follow his path. Play the year, play it well. The Bears may franchise you again next season, but may decide not to do that. Then you are free to go. Or you may sign a long term deal with the Bears.

Either way, I believe the Bears handled both situations perfectly, and for what they were. They didn’t panic and didn’t give in and just start spending unwise money (unlike the Atlanta Falcons, who are still a mess 8 years after their Super Bowl loss.)

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