Before you get too deep in the Jimmy Garoppolo rumor mill, just know he isn’t the only quarterback who projects to be available on the market this offseason.
Chris Emma of CBS Chicago offers the Bears some advice on where else they can find their quarterback of the future. The draft is full of names – Mitch Trubisky, Deshaun Watson, DeShone Kizer, and Patrick Mahomes are a fairly clear top four – but each player is full of questions that don’t have direct answers. Further, none of the quarterbacks offers a clear cut path to immediate success, which might mean a lot to John Fox – who is 9-23 in two seasons as head coach.
Between his local ties to Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois University plus his experience as a Tom Brady understudy, Garoppolo is a popular quarterback option. Just not the only one.
- Whoever joins the Bears as their next quarterback will have a quality running back to hand the ball off to in 2017 – ideally, on a higher per-game basis. Jordan Howard was an obvious choice for team MVP after a Pro Bowl season in which he finished second behind Ezekiel Elliott in rushing yards. Teaming Howard with a quarterback who is a threat to make big plays in the passing game could truly open up Dowell Loggains’ offensive options.
- Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary describes his relationship with the Bears as awkward, but still wishes them well. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes that while Singletary wants to become a head coach again (remember, he interviewed for the job that eventually went to Marc Trestman in 2013) but is currently employed by the Los Angeles Rams. As for his thoughts on the Bears? “I think they have some good players,” he told Finley. “I think it’s just a matter of, everything comes down to a mindset and identity. Who are we?” After back-to-back seasons with double-digit losses and major needs across the board, the Bears’ lack of (positive) identity right now is obvious.
- Eric Berry wants no part of the franchise tag in 2017. The standout Chiefs safety told the Kansas City Star he is willing to sit out the 2017 season if he is slapped with the franchise tag again. Berry said he wants to return to Kansas City, but will spend 2017 hanging out with his family if the team tags him for a second straight offseason.
- The Brandon Marshall-Matt Forte reunion wasn’t supposed to end with the New York Jets suffering through a 5-11 season. But that’s exactly what happened as Forte saw decreases in yards per carry and attempts per game in 2016, which also marked the second straight season in which he ran for fewer than 1,000-yards. Forte had just two 100-yard games in 2016, needing 30 carries to get there each time. Marshall struggled mightily, posting two 100-yard games in the season’s first five contests – but averaged four catches and 42 receiving yards in the final 10 games of the year. The Marshall/Forte Jets dream was a nightmare.
- An observant Wade Phillips notes the Los Angeles Rams have a very unique coaching staff:
Rams have the only staff with DC on Medicare and HC in Daycare
— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) February 2, 2017
- Stopping Julio Jones is among the tallest tasks in football. Perhaps there is a formula a team can cook up to help contain the game-changing wide receiver? Two NFC rivals teamed up as Cowboys receiver Brice Butler and Eagles cornerback Rodney Jones simulate the Super Bowl’s top matchup between Jones and Patriots cornerback Malcolm Butler.
- Matt Ryan struggled in his first year under offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan, but finds himself one win away from a Super Bowl championship a year later. The Falcons have done their fair share of work to put the right pieces around Ryan in the second year of head coach Dan Quinn’s regime. After watching Ryan transform into a NFL MVP candidate with the Falcons pushing all the right buttons, are there any teams in similar situations to help their own signal callers? Ryan said he thinks highly of Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. But can the Lions re-create what Atlanta did so well to help Stafford reach the next level? If so, it represents another challenge the Bears will take on during their rebuild.
- Only 23 of 53 players on the Patriots were on the team that won the Super Bowl two years ago. Hub Arkush of Pro Football Weekly writes how New England has thrived despite significant roster turnover to reach another Super Bowl. The buy-in from new players and rookies alike is on another level. The Patriots mix the right group of players who are established vets, title-hungry players (both young and old) and a slew of role players all pulling from the same side of the rope. Having the best coach-quarterback combination in Bill Belichick and Tom Brady doesn’t hurt, either.