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Posts Tagged ‘WSCR’

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……

Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Kerry Wood Injured In A Hot Tub Incident? You Gotta Be Kidding Me….

Posted by sportsmaven on February 15, 2007

My wife Barb called me this afternoon to tell me that she heard a breaking news story on WSCR Sports Radio 670. The story was regarding Chicago Cubs P Kerry Wood slipping while getting out of his hot tub and most likely missing the first week of spring training. I honestly thought that Barb was kidding, seeing as that would be just too unreal enough to not be believable, but about 20 minutes later, there was the story on the Chicago Tribune website. It didn’t take long until the story broke on a national level and for Tribune columnists such as Rick Morrissey to begin taking a poke at this latest Cubs setback.

Cubs Pitcher Kerry Wood

I am just dumbfounded on a number of levels on this one. Today is the first day of spring training for pitchers and catchers and the one pitcher that is eternally on the DL gets hurt yet again and he hasn’t even thrown a pitch or stepped on a ballfield. This is evil. What’s next, Mark Prior tripping over his dog while carrying groceries and tearing his rotator cuff? Ted Lilly bending over to tie his shoe and getting a herniated disk? Carlos Zambrano tripping over a large bag of Tribune money walking into training camp and hyperextending his knee? This is Armageddon. Do you think Sweet Lou Piniella is looking at Kerry Wood and finally understanding that curse that has plagued every manager that has tried to take this team anywhere but to last place? This can’t be a good start to a championship season for the Chicago Cubs.

Cubs Manager Lou Piniella at Spring Training
(AP Photo/Paul Connors)

Lou Piniella, welcome to Chicago and aura of Chicago Cubdom…..now lets have some fun!

Posted in Chicago Cubs | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Chicago Bears Get To Work Today

Posted by sportsmaven on February 1, 2007

With all the expanded media coverage the last two weeks, it was easy to forget that there was a football game to prepare for today. The Chicago Bears began their serious preparation for Super Bowl XLI. The Bears were in pads, helmets and shorts today and reports said that practice went very well. Ron Turner, the Bears offensive coordinator stated that the Bears offense worked on their first and second down play packages today, which is the Bears routine for Wednesday throughout the season. Briggs - Urlacher in SB Practice

According to Rich Eisen from the NFL Network, reports have it that the Bears looked relaxed, yet ready to go, ready to play this game. I agree, as the Bears seem to be using the “Play Angry” motto plus the underdog role to forge an us against the world bond. I feel good that this plays into the Bears hands perfectly. I am excited to see the Bears come out and prove to the world not only do they belong in the Super Bowl, but they can compete and are more than capable of winning this game.

Bears Playoff Mantra

The more time I spend breaking down the analysis, the picks by the experts, the comments, the more the keys to this game become simpler and simpler. Right now, Super Bowl XLI comes down the Peyton Manning vs. The Bears. It will obviously be more than that, but from the media perspective and slant, it is all about the X-Factor and aura of Peyton Manning vs. the underdog, bonding closer and tighter as every day goes by Chicago Bears football team. The Bears have no Peyton Mannings on their roster. Brian Urlacher is as close as it gets and he’s a middle linebacker.

As each day goes by, the Bears sit and stew, are asked the same questions about being second fiddle to the Colts, listen to how it’s finally Peyton Manning’s year, how it is his time and that he is the chosen one. Peyton Manning, the friendly, likable guy in the boy next door commercials, it’s his coronation, his time to rise and beat the demons that have held him back. All about how the Bears are the better team defensively, special teams and are quite competent offensively, but yet have no chance to win because of the ‘Peyton Manning effect”. I think the pressure is squarely on the broad shoulders of Peyton Manning and the Bears will enter Dolphin Stadium on Sunday night loose, but quietly motivated, letting all the perceived disrespect stew into their performance on the field of play. Many a statement has been made that the QB position is where half the Super Bowl MVP’s come from and that this is Peyton Manning’s right to claim, his coronation. Lets see what the experts say on Monday morning….

Back to the “expert” picks. Clearly in the experts eyes, the Bears are underdogs in every way possible for this game. The most hardened and experienced of analysts just can’t bring themselves to pick the Bears. You name it, you will be hard pressed to find an analyst worth his salt picking the Bears to beat the Colts. This is what I’ve seen so far this week:

Gil Brandt – NFL.com Analyst – Colts 27, Bears 17.
Dr. Z – CNNSI.com – Colts 34, Bears 24
Experts at CBS Sportsline – 4 of 6 pick the Colts to win the Super Bowl
Vinnie Iyer – SportingNews.com – Colts 34, Bears 24
ESPN Scouts Inc. Pick – Colts 28, Bears 24
ESPN Analyst Mark Schlereth’s pick – Colts (no score)
ESPN Analyst Chris Mortensen’s pick – Colts by 4 points
ESPN Around the Horn’s Woody Paige – Colts (“here’s no way in hell or Miami that Chicago can beat Indianapolis.”)

NFL Network Picks from today:
– Rich Eisen – shocking that the Bears are as big an underdog, Bears looked relaxed and appear to be a team ready to play this game, no pick.
– Terrell Davis – everybody is picking the Colts, so the pressure is on the Colts, Bears getting extra motivation from being underdog, no pick.
– Trent Dilfer – Bears look ready to work, no pick.
– Steve Mariucci – Bears have the best team, but picking the Colts because of one player, Peyton Manning
– Drew Brees, NO – Colts
– Carson Palmer, CIN – Colts
– Sean Payton, coach, NO – Colts
– Hines Ward, PIT – Bears
– Matt Hasselbeck, SEA – no pick
– Holly Robinson Peete – Colts
– Zach Thomas, MIA – Bears
– Roy Williams, DAL – Bears
– Brian Baldinger, analyst – Bears
– Donovan McNabb, PHI – Bears (and he’s a Cubs fan too!)

Other expert picks:
– Jimmy Johnson, Fox NFL Analyst on WSCR Chicago Sports Radio – Colts
– Boomer Esiason, NFL.com Analyst on WSCR Chicago Sports Radio – Colts
– Emmitt Smith on WSCR Chicago Sports Radio – Colts
– Al Harris, Packer’s CB on WSCR Chicago Sports Radio – Colts
– Chad Johnson, CIN WR on WSCR Chicago Sports Radio – Colts

Bears can’t even get a break in video games. The Madden ’07 forecast from ESPN – Colts 38, Bears 27

ESPN Cold Pizza’s Skip Bayless’ Pick – Bears

Ogunleye SB Press Conference

No wonder Adawale Ogunleye looks like he is over the media sessions, interviews and all the Super Bowl fluff. If you were listening for two straight weeks about how much the Colts were better than you, i’m sure you would have the same expression on your face…..

Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Mike Ditka, Mike Ditka, Where Art Thou, Mike Ditka?

Posted by sportsmaven on January 18, 2007

OK, so Shakepeare couldn’t have written a better vignette than Da Coach did this morning on Mike North’s radio show on WSCR 670 Chicago.  Mike Ditka can’t pick between the Chicago Bears and New Orleans Saints?  C’mon, I don’t buy it.  Da Coach loves Chicago, he lives in Chicago, called Chicago the best city in the world, but yet he can’t pick between the Bears and Saints?  The guy bleeds orange and blue.  He wants to say the Bears, he needs to say the Bears, but he held back, used the guise of being a member of the national media now and stressed impartiality. Have you heard even ONE national sports media figure fail to give his or her opinion on who will win this game?

The Coach dislikes Mike McCaskey with a passion and is still miffed at how his firing as Bears coach was handled and that’s why he can’t pick the Bears.  Unfortunately, McCaskey somehow worked his way back into the Bears hierarchy, although smartly staying out of the limelight and the day to day operation of the Chicago Bears.  Coach — you are the Chicago Bears, as much as Babe Ruth was the New York Yankees.  Coach, who are you rooting for?  Cut the man open, he’s bleeding orange and blue.

Posted in Chicago Bears | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »