Good morning, all …
- After entering free agency with high hopes, Bleacher Report’s Chris Roling grades the Bears on their offseason efforts so far. The grades are surprisingly positive, with no move receiving a letter grade lower than a ‘B’ by Roling’s scale. Moves such as allowing Alshon Jeffery to walk, rebuilding the secondary with new faces, and signing Mike Glennon all receive passing grades. The basis for much of Roling’s grading is a belief that the Bears made a strategic decision to sign players only where they could get short-term deals that did not hamstring the team down the road (as opposed to simply signing the best players they could find to the most significant deals). Of course, things can change as time progresses – and we truly won’t know how to grade free agency until after the draft. But at least one writer thinks the Bears made some moves to put the team in the right direction.
- If Mike Glennon is worth an average salary upward of $14.5 million, what is Aaron Rodgers worth? Neil Greenberg of the Washington Post does the hard work in finding out the value of Rodgers and other elite NFL quarterbacks. Based on Glennon’s production and salary, Greenberg estimates Rodgers was worth $57.5 million in 2016. Even then, Rodgers wouldn’t even be the most valuable by Greenberg’s standards based on performance in 2016. That distinction goes to Matt Ryan, whose MVP season in 2016 would have been worth $61.8 million on the open market. Quarterbacks are going to get paid on the open market, it’s unavoidable. But based on these calculations and estimations, there is a clear distinction between the cream of the crop and the rest of the also-rans. Good luck finding a quarterback that is more of the former and less of the latter.
- It has been a week since the Bears cut ties with quarterback Jay Cutler. As we step back from the Cutler era to observe and reflect on the eight years, we might eventually come to the conclusion that he might have been the best and most disappointing quarterback in franchise history. Over at the Chicago Tribune, Dan Wiederer offers up why eight years of Cutler’s reign was enough. Wiederer’s piece details the highs and lows, and why a breakup took this long to begin with, among other angles.
- Surely former Bears starts Brian Urlacher, Lance Briggs and Peanut Tillman were each due to chime in on the Jay Cutler situation and how they felt about the Bears’ new signal caller, and they did here at the Sun-Times. Tillman would like to see Mike Glennon not try to live up to the hype or try to be better than Cutler. Just be himself. Briggs keeps his eyes on the long-term future, but suggests Glennon will feel the pressure of his contract – and that his expectations for himself should be higher than anyone else’s expectations for him. And Urlacher believes the quarterback embracing the city would be the best way to get any fans on the fence to be on your side. In any case, Urlacher, Briggs, and Tillman will be watching closely how it all shakes out. You can see more from the trio here, including their take on the “roller coaster” that was Cutler’s time with the Bears.
- John Mullin’s latest at CSN Chicago breaks down GM Ryan Pace’s much-needed overhaul of the secondary. It was getting done one way or another, so the Bears decided to follow the path of spending a lot in short-term guarantees on players who they felt were on the cusp rather than go all in on Stephon Gilmore (a Pro Bowl alternate who played on a team that wasn’t statistically great against the pass) or A.J. Bouye (a one-year starter whose best work came in a contract year). Either way, the Bears entered free agency knowing the best way to supplement their roster was through the draft, where they can acquire the high-upside players they missed on in free agency without paying the premium prices.