NFL free agency started
by Beer30Light (2013-03-12 16:46:21)
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Moves thus far:

- Tony Gonzalez to return to Falcons
- Houston released WR Kevin Walter.
- Steelers and LB Larry Foote agree to multi-year deal.
- Minnesota released CB Antoine Winfield, re-sign OT Phil Loadholt to multi-year contract
- Philadelphia released CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
- Seattle released RB Leon Washington.
- Cincinnati re-signed DE Robert Geathers.
- St. Louis re-signs DE William Hayes.
- Giants reportedly sign CB Aaron Ross to one-year deal.
- Titans released S Jordan Babineaux and OL Mitch Petrus.
- Bears signed TE Martellus Bennett.
- Bills released QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, OG Levitre.
- Titans signed OL Andy Levitre, 5-year, $39 million deal.
- Lions re-sign DB Amari Spievey
- Dolphins sign Mike Wallace 5 years/65M
- Chiefs signed TE Anthony Fasano to 4-year deal.
- Browns signed DE Paul Kruger on 5-year deal.

Enjoy refreshing Schefter's Twitter the rest of the afternoon.



Bears sign LT Bushrod
by Jvan  (2013-03-12 23:30:59)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Great FA pickup for them in an area of need.


I'm starting to really like our new GM
by Otis  (2013-03-13 04:36:27)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

He's doing the obvious things that have been ignored for too long.

Settling LT and TE opens up a world of possibilities for the draft, although Eifert is probably not an option now.


Seems like he's spending his way to mediocrity.
by Beer30Light  (2013-03-13 10:50:02)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

Where's the money going to come from? Is the plan to restructure Peppers or does he not intend to re-sign Cutler?

Bushrod and Bennett are good players at positions of dire need, but as I recall they were about $3M under the cap heading into free agency after franchising Melton.

I assume they've backloaded both of yesterday's deals (Bushrod averaging $7M/year and Bennett averaging $5M/year), but here's their list of starters that are free agents in 2014:

Jay Cutler
Henry Melton
Charles Tillman
Tim Jennings
Robbie Gould (including a kicker here because he'll average $3-4M/year in FA)
Roberto Garza
Devin Hester
Corey Wootton
J'Marcus Webb
Major Wright

This isn't a team full of young depth and all of this ignores Urlacher.

So I'm not sure what the "plan" is beyond hope they make a good run this year and pray they aren't godawful in the years to come.


They desperately needed to upgrade those positions though
by irishaddict  (2013-03-13 12:34:45)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

It seems like they got decent value (for free agency) for those guys too. I certainly like the contracts better than what the Colts or Rams paid similar guys.


I'm no cap scientist
by fmd  (2013-03-13 11:29:54)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

But I read somewhere that Bushrod's cap # this year is 3M. Only 2M of Bennett's contract is guaranteed, so if he's a bust it doesn't seem like there's much preventing them from cutting that contract short.

The pending FA issue is certainly the question for now. Of that list I'd say Cutler, Melton, Tillman, and Jennings are necessary re-signs (although if Jennings has another big year he'll probably price himself out). If Webb has a good year at RT, I'd put him in the Wotton column of a nice to have re-sign. Depending on the draft and any other low level signings, Garza probably expendable and Gould an unfortunate victim of cap math even though he's a quality kicker.

Imagine they let Hester and Wright walk without much thought about it.

I believe Marshall due an extension soon, too.

All in all, you're right in questioning what the plan is here but there's so many moving parts that it's hard to see the forest through the trees at this point. As Bears fans, we just have to give Emery the benefit of the doubt until he proves otherwise. In a vacuum, Bushrod and Bennett are solid upgrades at positions of need and if it turns out the Bears can still keep other key players it's clearly understandble why they would do such a thing on the first day of FA (even though it's the day where the most egregious contracts are handed out).


I wouldn't be surprised if we are mortgaging the future
by Otis  (2013-03-14 00:09:52)     cannot delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

a bit. the defense is old and there isn't a lot of quality youth in the pipeline. Maybe we're going all-in and will deal with the ramifications in a year or two. In today's NFL, I'm not so sure that's a bad idea, as long as we're not talking long-term contracts, which we're not (yet).


I'd tend to agree
by fmd  (2013-03-14 10:48:39)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

The defense will need a complete overhaul soon as you state. Might as well try and go for it now when you can still get something out of the older guys. The relative youth on offense though is encouraging - Bushrod, Bennett, Forte, Jeffrey, and heck Marshall/Cutler only 28 & 29 respectively.

Emery banking on Trestman extracting the value out of these guys as he knows that's where most of his younger talent currently lies. A huge if though.


Will Schefter be making things up and couching them
by cujays96  (2013-03-12 21:00:32)     Delete  |  Edit  |  Return to Board  |  Ignore Poster   |   Highlight Poster  |   Reply to Post

so that they could be construed as either going to happen or unlikely so he can claim to be correct later?


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