Changes are coming to the NFL:
Rules that the NFL adopted today. pic.twitter.com/JyWiO05wvV
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 28, 2017
The NFL’s Competition Committee’s annual challenge to freshen up the rule book is unenviable. The group tries to legislate rules that are supposed to help with player safety, but don’t address all of biggest concerns. Tweaking the replay system is an intriguing development that will hopefully result in more accurate calls on close plays and cut down on review times. And yet, despite eight rules changes, it still feels as if something is missing.
- Other than the times when Peyton Manning was putting up scoring numbers in bunches, John Fox’s teams haven’t necessarily been known for their offensive prowess. But even Fox was able to admit that losing Alshon Jeffery to free agency was a blow to the Bears’ offensive upside. Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that Fox called replacing Jeffery “a leap of faith.” Jeffery is the fourth Pro Bowl offensive player to leave the Bears since Fox and GM Ryan Pace took over. Jeffery joins fellow receiver Brandon Marshall (traded to the Jets), Martellus Bennett (traded to the Patriots), and Matt Forte (free agency) to depart Halas Hall. Chicago was able to replace Forte admirably when it drafted Jordan Howard in 2016, but the void left by Jeffery remains vacant.
- The Bears could find Jeffery’s replacement internally, if Kevin White can A) get on the field and B) prove to be the caliber of player who worth the seventh overall pick in 2015. Pro Football Weekly rounded up a list of former first-round picks who will have an increased role this season because of free agent losses. Enter White, who has missed 28 games in his first two seasons and takes on a challenging situation with a new quarterback, new position coach, and a head coach who is in win-now mode. In order for White to produce at the NFL level, he’ll need to develop quickly, because he’ll likely be a focal point for defenses to stop in the passing game.
- An update on a quarterback the Bears could see return to the NFC North in 2017:
— Andrew Krammer (@Andrew_Krammer) March 28, 2017
- With less than a month until draft day is upon us, don’t expect the Browns to shake things up by trading the No. 1 overall pick for a quarterback.
- Add former NFL executive Charley Casserly to the list of recent mocks projecting the Bears to target defense with their first-round pick. Casserly, like many, projects Alabama’s Jonathan Allen going to the Bears with the third overall selection, instantly adding a new element to the team’s defensive front seven. And don’t forget to catch up on the most recent mock drafts here.
- The Bears probably won’t draft a wide receiver with that No. 3 pick, which makes a player like Kenny Golladay (WR – Northern Illinois) an intriguing prospect for the later rounds of the draft. Matt Eurich of Chicago’s 24/7 Sports makes the case for drafting the NIU star, who’s 6-foot-4, 218-pound frame could allow Golladay to grow into a red zone playmaker – something the team will be on the hunt for after losing Jeffery.
- Relocation is tough for almost everyone from fans to players … but certainly not as much for the owners who’ve collected serious coin for the recent moves of the Rams, Chargers, and Raiders. Money talks when teams walk out on their old cities in the NFL:
NFL to gain $1.65B in relocation fees for 3 franchise moves. 29 remaining teams get $53 million each. No money goes to players #sportsbiz
— Windy Dees (@getDeestweets) March 28, 2017