Otherwise, here are Wednesday’s Bullets for your consumption …
- Do you know a team thirsty for a quarterback, but might not be willing to pay a premium to the Patriots for backup Jimmy Garoppolo? Fear not, because Pro Football Focus has a list of the top targets for quarterback-needy teams this offseason. Oddly enough, two quarterbacks on this list (Cutler, Brian Hoyer) played on the Bears in 2016. And believe it or not, Garoppolo isn’t even the top quarterback on this list – nor is he second. Those spots go to possibly-outgoing Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and now-Cowboys-backup Tony Romo. Teams looking for quarterbacks seem to have options, albeit each has his own share of risks.
- With the Bears still in the hunt for Garoppolo, John Mullin at CSN Chicago wonders if the Bears will find themselves making the same mistake they did when acquiring Jay Cutler, matching wits with Josh McDaniels once again. As a refresher, McDaniels – the incoming head coach for the Denver Broncos in 2009 – aimed to get rid of Cutler upon his arrival. Now, if the Bears trade for Garoppolo, it would mean the team would have acquired two quarterbacks McDaniels was willing to move forward without. While McDaniels knows quality quarterbacks, he did want to replace Cutler with Matt Cassel – who turned out to be a career journeyman – and also drafted Tim Tebow. So, maybe it’s unfair to make McDaniels the be-all, end-all when it comes to quarterback evaluation just because he happens to coach Tom Brady. Though, he deserves some benefit of the doubt because of his championship-coaching pedigree.
- Former Bears linebacker Bryan Cox is out of a job. Alex Marvez reports that Cox (who served as Falcons’ defensive line coach) was dismissed and Richard Smith was removed as defensive coordinator. Which makes it worth asking whether or not those two would still have jobs had offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan simply run the ball three times to set up a field goal while killing valuable clock time in the process.
- In other coaching news with ex-Bears ties, Dave Toub hired Rod Wilson as assistant special teams coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. Wilson was a special teams ace for Toub’s units with the Bears in 2006, 2007 and 2010. Wilson, a seventh-round pick by the Bears out of South Carolina in 2006, is only 35 years old.
- After making waves with his radio interview on Friday, NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith returned to the airwaves in Chicago to clarify and add to his comments. Smith told WSCR 670-AM’s Danny Parkins that he wasn’t singling out the Bears – as there are other NFL teams have to deal with similar bills and laws in different states. CBS Chicago has a well-rounded rundown of Smith’s conversation with Parkins, the bill, the difference between benefits and wage differential, clarification on whether or not his Friday statements were over-the-top, and more.
- Over at Pro Football Weekly, a list of the 10 moves the Patriots need to make in order to repeat as Super Bowl champions. Fulfilling everything on the list is easier said than done, but it still provides a window into what New England’s ideal offseason could look like. Among the decisions that PFW makes for the Patriots is the one where the team decides on Garoppolo’s future. Frankly, it’s not a detailed mention, but it implies brighter days are ahead for both Garoppolo and the Patriots.
- Not listed on PFW’s list is adding former multi-sport athletes. Here is an interesting list of Patriots players who participated in multiple sports in high school:
— USA Football (@usafootball) February 7, 2017
- Tracy Porter struggled through a rough 2016 with the Bears, but it was only seven years ago when he intercepted a Peyton Manning pass and took it 74-yards for a touchdown that helped put the game on ice as the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV:
- Porter reflected on his pick-six over at the Bears official website, while also offering up what it will take for the Bears to get to the promised land. The veteran cornerback said he has faith in GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox to guide the team past the first two seasons of rough waters. He also took a lot of responsibility for his play in the secondary. While he wasn’t alone in struggling, it’s worth a reminder that the Bears were really poor in that regard.
- The Packers backfield is looking awfully thin after James Starks was released by the Packers. Starks was due to make $3 million in 2017 before his release due to a non-football injury. Green Bay could always choose to re-sign him at a lower price, which would make sense considering it looks like he will lose time to new lead back Ty Montgomery and backup Christine Michael.
- Former Bears running back Mike Adamle says is suffering from dementia. During an interview with NBC-5 Chicago, Adamle said tests in January showed he likely has CTE, a brain disease tied to repeated blows to the head. Unfortunately, CTE cannot be confirmed until after death. Adamle played college football at Northwestern before his professional career with the Bears, Jets, and Chiefs. He is also well known for his stint as co-host of “American Gladiators” and role as a sports anchor for NBC-5 in Chicago. We wish Adamle the best of health moving forward.