213 Comments

ATM: Letting Sitton Go Creates An Unnecessarily Big Hole at Guard

| February 21st, 2018

Ryan Pace’s decision to decline the option on Josh Sitton needlessly creates a big hole in the middle of the Bears offense.

There’s no doubting that Sitton isn’t the player he once was, but he was still better than most other guards in 2017. He was stout against the run, held his own as a pass-blocker and — despite his age and, well, shape — his ability to get to the second level was still top of the league. Sitton is a big reason why the Bears have been among the best rushing attacks in the league the last two years.

Sitton wasn’t cheap. But he wasn’t expensive either. His salary cap hit of $8 million would’ve put him 13th among guards. If the Bears try to upgrade in free agency, they’ll almost certainly have to pay more. Sitton’s ex-teammate T.J. Lang, one of the top guards in the 2017 free agent class, signed for $28.5 million over three years; $7.5 million more than Sitton received from the Bears. Lang’s cap hit in 2017 was $10.9 million and jumps up to $11.7 million in 2019.

The Bears could look to the draft to replace Sitton. Quenton Nelson is a popular name, but using the eighth pick on him seems rich.

[Editor’s Note: It’s not!!!]

But Nelson would immediately be slated to make more than Sitton did and about as much as Long earned in his last contract. And there are other questions about Nelson’s athleticism that need answering going forward.

This draft figures to be rich at guard, and the Bears could nab a starter in the second round, but why not keep Sitton and draft a position of need there?

It seems the Bears are flirting with disaster.

While Sitton missed six games due to injury the last two years, he was still more reliable than any other guard on the roster. Kyle Long is understandably a fan favorite but he’s never on the field. Eric Kush was solid in spot duty two years ago but he’s coming off of a major injury. This could be a sign that the team intends to move Cody Whitehair to guard, but if that means Horrendous Grasu is the center, it’s a stupid plan.

The X-factor in the long-term plans is Jordan Morgan. Although raw, the Bears seemed to like him last year, essentially handing him the red shit. Perhaps they see an ascending player ready to take over. Time will tell.

For now, however, the Bears are looking at a big hole at a place they really shouldn’t be. Replacing Sitton won’t be cheap or easy.

Tagged: , , ,

  • Carlos Pendleton

    Grasu, can’t even play center, watch for the center from kC or even a college center, Grasu, is too weak and a bust, can only play one position!!!

    • CanadaBear

      And doesn’t play that position very well.

      • ButtonShoes

        Think Grasu gets cut this year? I think he might.

  • Jon Vander Woude

    “But Nelson would immediately be slated to make more than Sitton did”

    You can make the argument that Sitton shouldn’t have been cut, but let’s not put blatant lies in there. Basic fact checking is important.

    Christian McCaffrey was the 8th pick last year. His contract will pay him $17M over 4 years, with his cap hit per year starting at $3M and never even getting up to $6M (http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/carolina-panthers/christian-mccaffery-21749/). Jack Conklin, the 8th pick in 2016, has a similar deal, just slightly smaller (http://www.spotrac.com/nfl/carolina-panthers/christian-mccaffery-21749/).

    The 8th pick will probably get an average of about $5M per year over the first 4 years and have an initial cap hit that was less than half of Sitton’s projected 2018 number. Let’s not just lie and say they’re going to make more than Sitton right away.

    • Big Mike

      Damn, I posted the same thing, without scrolling down. Good work.

    • Andrew Dannehy

      The 8th pick will be somewhere around $17.5 guaranteed, Sitton had $10M guaranteed from the Bears.

      • That’s nice. The Bears paid Sitton as much for 2 years of service as Nelson would make for 4.

        You didn’t claim he would immediately have more guaranteed $$. You claimed he would instantly be paid more, which is not true. The cap hit (which is what matters) is much lower.

        Besides the fact that Nelson is 11 years younger than Sitton.

        • Andrew Dannehy

          Didn’t think I needed to specify guaranteed money when saying what they paid vs. would be paying. It isn’t just the money, they have to use a premium asset on Nelson.

          • CanadaBear

            Andrew don’t assume anything when you’re talking about contracts. There are a few of us on here that are very literal.

          • Agreed about the premium asset. I’m just saying Nelson would be cheaper than Sitton in terms of money.

            I think Nelson will be off the Bears’ board by the time the draft rolls around. Sign a FA to starter money and there’s no room for another interior OL.

            Now OT on the other hand…

    • catfish44

      besides, there is no guarantee, of course, that nelson would be available at pick 8.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Good point. If he’s the next John Hannah, then he goes by 4.

  • SC Dave

    I don’t think too many of us like this decision. But it’s made, and we have to assume HH had some say in the matter. They have had a few weeks to watch film, and that is what he should have been doing.

    • Big Mike

      It’s a good move. Bears have plenty of money to get younger, better guys.

      • BearDown100393

        So when does all that happen?

  • BearDown100393

    Slauson
    Sitton
    Slauson

    Pace

    • That Guy

      Yeah, Pace doesn’t have a history of making the right choices with aging Guards.

      Though maybe he’s counting on picking up a cap casualty from another team again, like he did with Sitton in the first place.

  • SC Dave

    So, what’s the opinion on Willie Young? Given how thin we are at OLB, should the family pay him his $1M roster bonus to bring him to camp as see what happens?

    • Big Mike

      He’s a tough call. The question is replacement cost. Do they have a line on someone? I think he goes. $4.5 million cap hit. $1 million to keep him in camp.. very tough call. I wouldn’t be surprised if he stayed.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Tremaine Edmunds had better be the line. Nelson goes at 7, we take Edmunds at 8.

        • Big Mike

          Edmunds is he the LB from VIrginia Tech? He’s a stud if he’s the guy I’m thinking of. Can’t go wrong with either guy

    • CanadaBear

      I think he’s coming back. The coaches/teammates really like him and he has the most sacks of any Bear since he’s been here. All depends on his recovery.

      • ButtonShoes

        He’s not healthy. I mean, if you could guarantee that he’d come back at 100%, it would be a no-brainer. But I think he’s done.

  • Big Mike

    First off, agree with Jeff. Nelson at 8 is not too rich. This whole idea of which position you can draft in which slot is BS. If Nelson is there and the Bears pass, (unless they can trade down and get a couple of first rounders), I would be shocked. My trust in Pace which is very high would be damaged. Second, I’m not sure how a rookie drafted 8th would cost more than Sitton. Last year’s 8th round pick 4 year contract value was around $4 million with a cap hit of $3 million.

    For all the Bill Belichik love, this is exactly what he would do.

    Data did an analysis a couple weeks ago, that showed the Bears cutting Glennon, Wheaton, Sims, Sitton, Freeman, Young, McPhee, Cooper and Demps, getting to $85.1 million in available cap. He then did some math and some projecting to protect Meredith, Callahan, Bellamy and Timu (right to match offer, with no cap hit if cut) and resigned all of their other free agents (Fuller $12m, kickers $2million each, Compton, Mcmanis, Sanchez, Unrein, Jones, Wright and Akumura), money set aside for 2018 draft picks ($7.6million) and still had almost $50 million of cap space.

    We can go get more players.

    • BearDown100393

      Andrew.

      Jeff is too busy torching Biggs & Haugh on Twitter

  • Ryno’s Gold Glove

    A “red shit”? That sounds painful!

    • KentuckyBearsFan

      or too many carbs

    • That Guy

      Time to go see Dr. Jellyfinger.

  • That Guy

    Can (not “is it possible?” but instead “is it likely?”) the Bears sign Sitton to a new, lower-cost contract? By declining his option, they could still re-sign him, ostensibly at a lower price, banking that other teams are more scared off by his age and number of games missed. How likely is that?

  • That Guy

    While I’m not going to argue against Nelson in round 1, I think this is another self-inflicted wound. Sitton might be overpaid for 2018, but keeping him means not having to fill that hole. Unless you have the inside track on a FA who will either be a marked upgrade and/or significantly cheaper, you’re using up a draft pick to patch this hole (or, I guess, hoping someone on the roster now can step in). And right now LB/Edge is a big need… and until Fuller is locked down, CB is a HUGE need–and even after Fuller gets re-signed, it’s still a big need. Then you have a need to upgrade at RT and whichever interior position doesn’t have Whitehair.

    Not to mention WR.

    Pace, you seem like a smart guy and we’re trusting you. But JTFC, can you not keep making holes on the O line? I’d like it if Trubisky makes it past mid-season not pissing blood.

    • BearDown100393

      A smart GM tends to value the line that is supposed to protect the franchise QB especially one that was drafted by said GM.

  • CanadaBear

    I’m gonna let Pace and the coaches decide the roster. I’m guessing they know more about it than me!

    • ButtonShoes

      Based on the past 3 years, not so much.

      • The Bears have one offensive coach back from last year: the QB coach.

        • ButtonShoes

          Well at least there’s that.

    • BearDown100393

      How has that been working out for you so far?

  • CanadaBear

    Saw where the Fish tagged Landry. Are they going to pay the piper or is this a sign and trade strategy?

    • You’re gonna have a hard time getting a team to give up anything of value for a slot WR who they’re then going to have to pay $15M a year or more to keep around, IMO.

      Certainly won’t beat the 3rd round comp. pick he would have fetched.

      • willbest

        You lose comp picks when you start signing FAs. And there will be 3 parties in the sign and trade negotiations. So whoever gets him knows what long term deal he will be on

    • 505Bears

      Wasn’t he trying to get traded before last year? I think he’ll diva his way out of town because of that tag.

  • Here’s my thinking on Sitton:

    Yes, it creates another hole for right now, but we have to wait to see how he plugs that hole before passing judgment. My guess is he signs, a younger, cheaper, healthier guy in FA, which saves a bit of money this year. It might also mean a slight downgrade on the interior this year (maybe not, Sitton is in decline), but it also sets them up better for long term.

    Here’s the reality of the situation and why I think this move got made. Right now the Bears have two aging guards who are both expensive and injury-prone. That’s just about the worst combination you can have. You can’t sink that much money into a position and not have a single starter you can count on from the group.

    They had to get rid of either Long or Sitton, and it made a lot more sense both financially and for the future for it to be Sitton. Cutting Sitton saves $8M this year (with less than $1M in dead money), while cutting Long would have saved only about $4M (with $4.5M in dead money). Factor in that Sitton is 4 years older, and it was a no-brainer.

    If Long can’t get healthy and stay healthy, I’m guessing we see him get cut next year. But for now they’re going to go into camp with an interior of Long, Whitehair, FA/draft pick, Kush, and Morgan as the likely 5 who stick on the roster.

    • For instance, I think they’re going to sign Zach Fulton, the C from KC. He turns 27 in September, so he’s 6 years younger than Sitton, and he has missed a total of 1 game in his 4 year career (week 17 this year, when they held him out due to having playoff position clinched. He started the playoff game the following week).

      Is Fulton better than Sitton? He’s certainly not better than peak Sitton, but peak Fulton (which he should be in 2018 at 27 years old) should be close to 33 year old Sitton. Plus he’ll be cheaper (most contract projections put him between $4-6M a year) and available past 2018.

      But here’s the most important part: you can rely on him to be there for 16 games. You can’t for Sitton. With Long a huge question mark and Kush (the top backup) coming off a serious injury, you need more than just Whitehair who’s reliable.

      In a vacuum, I might rather have Sitton than Fulton for 2018. But in context, I’d much rather have Long + Fulton + Whitehair + Kush + Morgan than Long + Sitton + Whitehair + Kush + Morgan, especially for $3-4M less money (that can be used to get, say, an extra WR like Kendall Wright for added depth). If you keep Sitton, then 3 of your top 4 interior OL are injury questions. That’s a recipe for disaster, which we saw play out in 2017.

      • Andrew Dannehy

        Ultimately, what this all boils down to is that you’re underrating exactly how good Sitton still is. Fulton isn’t close to him and there’s no real reason to think he will be. The only way they actually upgrade in 2018 (and probably 2019) is by paying huge money or investing a really high pick, which is far from a guarantee. There’s also a very good chance that Fulton ends up making more than Sitton. So then you’re stuck with younger and worse, but not cheaper.

        Why not bring in competition for Sitton — or trust that you made a good pick in Morgan — and let the cards land where they may? Then they could focus on issues they actually have instead of issues they think they maybe might have. 13 games of Sitton and 3 of an average backup guard is better than 16 games of an average starting guard.

        Reliability is great. But talent is king.

        • CanadaBear

          You know the answer to that Andrew. They would have to guarantee his contract for the year.

        • Irish Sweetness

          If we have so much freakin cap space why can’t we sign Sitton AND draft Nelson?

      • Andrew Dannehy

        Also, 2 of the games he missed last year came when they were well out of contention. Wasn’t a serious thing, just something to get right before the offseason so he’d be good to go for offseason program.

      • Bernita

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    • BearDown100393

      If Long cannot get healthy, then Pace fills yet another hole on the o-line.

      Run Mitch Run.

      • You have to figure one of Long or Kush will be able to get them through 2018 at that spot, with Whitehair and somebody not yet on the roster locking down the other 2 interior spots.

        If Long and Kush can’t stay healthy, then it’s Morgan (or whatever vet like Compton beats him out for that spot).

  • 505Bears

    Not quite sure about this one, but gotta believe in picante sauce and what he’s trying to build.

  • ButtonShoes

    “It seems the Bears are flirting with disaster.”

    Now there’s a familiar feeling.

    • 505Bears

      Sounds like they are big Molly Hatchet fans

  • ButtonShoes

    Billy Graham’s dead. Hope he likes how warm it’s going to be where he’s going.

    • BearDown100393

      Until my comment, I like how this sat for 5 hours.

  • leftcoastdave

    I love the hate on the board for Grassu. Granted, he looked too often to be playing on roller skates when bull rushed. This year he has his old coach at OC and HH to do his magic. He came out of a spread system and then blew out that knee. Have to wonder how much his coaching/player development and offensive scheme went into his poor play last year.
    Da Bears save $800k by cutting him which is not much for a warm body but it would be a quick answer to all of the questions about what future the coaches see as a future for him.

    • CanadaBear

      I know you’re the most optimistic poster on the board and have a woody for HH but Grasu has shown absolutely nothing in his time with the Bears. I wouldn’t be shocked to see a S bull rush him.

      • willbest

        Isn’t jwebb a starting guard in Seattle?

        • Bear Instincts

          On March 15, 2016, the Seattle Seahawks
          signed Webb to a two-year, $5.75 million free agent contract that
          includes $2.45 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $1.20 million.[7][11] Webb was slated to be the starting right tackle but suffered a knee injury and was replaced by Garry Gilliam. He was released by the Seahawks on November 22, 2016.[12]

          • AlbertInTucson

            Russell Okung to J’Marcus Webb.

            That is just a BIT of a falloff.

        • CanadaBear

          I looked on their roster but there was no J-Webb Nation!

        • AlbertInTucson

          I think you just assumed that Seattle’s O-Line was so bad, Webb HAD to be in there, somewhere.

          • CanadaBear

            That made me laugh really hard. Laugh to keep from crying about JWebb.

        • BearDown100393

          No, the Super Sonics left town.

      • leftcoastdave

        Wait a minute, I resemble that remark!
        But to the point, there are interesting parallels to what da Bears faced last year with what ND faced. Wimbush was an inconsistent QB for ND with a mainly running attack which was met by a loaded box. Josh Allen still managed some 1300 yards and 7.3/carry which says much about HH’s O line coaching.
        As for Grasu, we also have Braverman and Gentry as great hopefuls, so why not Grasu?

        • CanadaBear

          You probably haven’t noticed but I’ve never once beat the drum for Braverman or Gentry! I hope you’re correct about HH (I think it’s a good hire) and Grasu.

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            you never beat the drum for BRAVERMAN, but in your heart you were pulling for him.

          • CanadaBear

            Always. Gotta love the underdogs.

          • BearDown100393

            And where would he be on the current depth chart now?

          • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

            Fox did not appreciate his greatness and convinced Pace to cut him.

          • BearDown100393

            lol yeah that must be it!

      • AlbertInTucson

        “Horrendous Grasu”.

        Pretty much says it all for me.

        I fail to see the Bears’ apparent fascination with this guy.

    • He’ll be in camp with a shot to earn a roster spot. There’s no point to cutting him off the 90 man.

      But from what I’ve seen, I don’t think he makes the roster.

    • BearDown100393

      He was bull rushed at Family Fest evidently.

    • He sucks. Didn’t like his college tape. Hated where he was drafted. When he hasn’t gone backwards he’s been on IR.

      I seriously think he only got drafted cuz of Long vouching for him.

      • BearDown100393

        Probably.

  • No Collusion!

    It turns out that Stormy Daniels isn’t even a real person, she is a crisis actor! No SSN!

    • leftcoastdave

      Don’t know if you read the news, but there certainly was collusion with the Russians. As a fact, Hillary paid Fusion GPS through a masked law firm to hire Steele (a foreign operative) to get the dirt from the Ruskies on her opponent in the election. Steele also got dirt from Sid (the bag man) Blumenthal to throw in and package it all up nice and neatly to sell to the FBI to use to get a FISA warrant.
      Now the only question is, what did Barry O know and when did he know it?
      Notice how this story is not being told much in the press anymore?

      • So Meuller, a life long rep, and the rest of the tree hugging FBI, are Clinton puppets – is that your reality?

        • John F

          Read up on how Mueller and his assistant attorneys acted when he was a prosecutor. Very underhanded guy who played dirty. One of his deputy prosecutors was reprimanded by a judge for withholding evidence favorable to a defendant.

          Mueller is a bad guy who bends the rules to accomplish what he thinks is his duty. Apparently there were (are) some senior people in the FBI who have the same morals.

        • BearDown100393

          LCD is on LSD.

        • leftcoastdave

          The reality is coming out as fact and it is as I wrote, and worse. What fact are you disputing?
          That Hillary paid Fusion GPS through a law firm to mask the source of the money?
          That Steele is a foreign agent who got “intel” from the Ruskies?
          That the FBI used this fake dossier to get a FISA warrant without disclosing its source to the Judge?
          That Sid Blumenthal was feeding into the dossier to Steele?
          That the FBI was paying Steele and had to fire him after leaking the dossier to the media?
          That the FBI did not disclose to the Judge they fired Steele?

          What part of my reality is not based upon facts?

          • John F

            Trump talked about grabbing a girl’s privates, so you are supposed to ignore all that stuff you mentioned.

          • leftcoastdave

            Russian privates? Or an intern in the White House working for you? Like the one Hillary called a narcissistic loony toon while Bill committed perjury? You mean those privates, or those of a consenting adult?

          • John F

            Did you miss my sarcasm?

          • leftcoastdave

            Yup.

    • CaponeBot 1.0

      oh, my wenis can attest to the fact that she exists.
      #momHot
      #pronMom

    • She was a Comey honey-trap all along. He was still mad about that golf snubb.

  • willbest

    If he wasn’t willing to take a 3m pay cut there isn’t a lot we could have done from a business standpoint

  • Bear Instincts
    • willbest

      bah, I need to refresh. My bad.

    • willbest

      got it in training camp, so he played through it the whole season.

    • SC Dave

      That’s fake news, of course.

      After all, the smartest ones here all said Alshon is a pussy. Certainly, they couldn’t be wrong!

    • BearDown100393

      So he contributed to a SB winning team despite an injury.

      Tell me again Bears “fans” how Alshon wasn’t dependable?

  • CanadaBear

    Not that anyone really gives a crap but Deiondre Hall got probation in that tussle in Iowa. If I had to guess he was probably hammered and a pain in the ass and the cops got tired of dealing with him. Although it was in Iowa so ya never know.

    • BearDown100393

      Hall in Iowa was all that was needed for “the cops got tired of dealing with him”

      • leftcoastdave

        That is actually a very stupid comment if you know anything at all about Cedar Falls Iowa. The cops there are as mellow as they come and they treated Hall with kid gloves.
        Read about what happened before going all BLM on the cops.

        • BearDown100393

          Whatever Chump.

          • leftcoastdave

            Oh, ouch, that hurt sooo bad.

  • willbest

    “Kyle Fuller is a better corner than Jarvis Landry is a WR.” – Jeff

    I will stipulate to this.

    • BearDown100393

      So if Pace believed the same, why isn’t Fuller already tagged?

      • willbest

        Because if Fuller really did believe in himself he would play on the tag next year for $15 million and then sign a long term deal.

        • BearDown100393

          Be prepared for another roster hole.

  • willbest

    Biggs tweeted this

    “5 co-captains before start of last season. Club parted ways with Josh
    Sitton & Jerrell Freeman yesterday. Sherrick McManis is an
    unrestricted free agent. Remaining two are Mike Glennon & Quintin
    Demps. Team in transition.”

    Which really makes you wonder if we are in perpetual rebuild or if we are building towards something.

    • Bear Instincts

      building towards something. pace has his coach and his qb. new leaderships structure has to be established. you want some of your leaders to the young guys on the team

    • John F

      Perpetual, it’s how these guys in the front office keep their jobs

    • BerwynBomber

      All about Bisky. He develops acceptably then Pace and Nagy have a decent chance of sticking around. He doesn’t? Reset button.

      P.S. I would add that we had some stability during the Lovie Era but GB had Favre and Rodgers and we never developed enough of an O. A deficiency due to management, coaching and personnel.

      • BearDown100393

        It should be. But reality right now it isn’t on paper. A Swiss cheese o-line and no receivers other than Meridith is hardly loaded the cannon for Mitch.

    • Notice all those guys (save McManis on ST) are veteran FA who Pace signed to stopgap deals because there was nothing in-house when he showed up. Now it’s time for guys who he drafted and who are starting to grow up to assume the leadership mantle.

      I think next year will likely have Trubisky and Whitehair as the O captains (maybe Long instead of Whitehair). On D it has to be Hicks and… Trevathan?

      Regardless, all guys who could hold the role for a few years.

      • BearDown100393

        The line needs more than Whitehair.

        • Absolutely, I’m just saying in terms of leadership.

          As of right now they need 1 starter on the interior and a swing OT (or potentially beat Massie out at RT and turn Massie into the top backup).

          I think they get the former in FA and the latter in the draft.

          • BearDown100393

            And receivers? And a tight end? And a probable replacement for Fuller? JFC the dam was already leaking before cutting Sitton. I do not mean to fence with you but JFC Pace has enough to replace without creating more deficits.

          • I was just talking about OL.

            They need 2 WRs in FA + 1 in the draft.

            They need a TE2, but can get all the $$ for that from cutting Sims.

            Fuller is at worst playing 2018 for CHI on the tag. They need a CB opposite him, either Prince or somebody else in FA.

            I understand your concern about creating another hole, but the reality is probably that $8M is used for a cheaper (younger, healthier, but not quite as good) LG and another player.

            I’m guessing when the dust settles you’ll see that $8M was about enough to get Zach Fulton and Kendall Wright. Which means they’re still solid on the interior but now have actual depth at WR instead of Josh Bellamy being the next man up when somebody gets hurt.

          • Irish Sweetness

            BS on needing two WRs in FA. We draft a big guy and we’re good.

    • Pace is decent in the draft. Bad in FA.
      That’s almost the definition of mediocrity.
      Fair or unfair, we needed a GM who excels at both to recover from Emery-Angelo in order to truly compete.

      I’ll give Pace some slack this yr because of of the new coaches, but i think he’s gonna end up being a bridge GM .

      • BearDown100393

        Pace seems intelligent enough to compute a yearly variable as an alibi for one more season.

        • That’s the trick to mediocrity. “If only…fill in blank”

          If only Lovie had a QB…if only Angelo could draft in the first…if only Cutler could stop turning the damn ball over…if only Pace could kill FA…

          Let’s hope it doesn’t turn out the same.

          • BearDown100393

            It already seems to be the case.

            Here’s to Pace proving that wrong.

      • willbest

        Didn’t he just get extended? Its going to be a 6 year bridge. Figure him and Nagy get flushed at the end of 2020 if they don’t have a division title or a couple of playoff appearances.

        • BearDown100393

          Yes he did. By hiring Hobo before Pace, McCaskeys needed to extend Pace to “show stability” to bring aboard Nagy.

          That is circle jerk Halas Hall mentality. I wouldn’t care if the Bears were playoff caliber but it has been 7 years of nonsense.

        • I’m guessing the same. All be gone by 2020, rinse wash repeat.

          I’ll still have hope but Pace will have to grandslam this off season as opposed to his usual doubles.

          Cutting Sitton already puts him down in the count in my book

          • BearDown100393

            Pace is becoming predictable.

          • I don’t see how Pace could have handled the offseason up until this point any better, personally.

            Dump the shitty offensive coaches without losing the good defensive ones? Check
            Get your 1st choice offensive coach who is well respected and brings in an all-star roster of offensive position coaches? check
            Dump the shitty strength and conditioning staff and bring in a well-respected one? Check
            Dump bad money? Check (more to come)

            Now comes the hard part: spending that money well in FA to upgrade the talent on the roster and continuing to draft well.

          • John F

            “Now comes the hard part: spending that money well in FA to upgrade the talent on the roster and continuing to draft well.”

            When has he ever done this? Don’t give me “well, he drafted guys who play a lot”, that isn’t drafting “well”. He drafted a decent running back and a few guys who don’t suck. Most everyone else can’t play a full season.

          • BearDown100393

            I find it very weird that Pace is purposefully weakening the very line that is supposed to protect his premium asset in Trubisky.

          • His 2016 FA class was quite good (Hicks, Danny T, Massie all have lived up to or exceeded their contracts). 2017 decidedly was not.

            2018 needs to mirror 2016.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Massie is a bum.

          • leftcoastdave

            No, you miss out on the part where Pace should have been able to sign players in FA who wanted to come to a rebuild instead of a contender. And he should have been able to do it at a discount price to give them the pleasure of being overtaxed in the state of Illinois. Why would they do that? To get a head start on the off-season and discount air fares out of the frozen tundra to sunny beaches.

          • SC Dave

            The contention is, I believe, about the last point. We’ll have to see what happens at guard, but the Sitton thing has the potential to end up like the Slauson thing… a less than stellar idea.

            Maybe Pace is trying to be like Belichick and dump guys a year too early rather than a year too late.

          • BearDown100393

            We cut Slauson. We got Sitton. Now we cut Sitton. And we got?

          • Irish Sweetness

            Jack?

          • That works when a team has Bill.
            The rest actually try to keep talent

      • John F

        “Pace is decent in the draft. Bad in FA.”

        I really wish this wasn’t true, but it is ……….. 8*(

      • BearDown100393

        I do not understand why GMs (in general) are willing to overpay for a free agent but lowball their own veterans.

        • leftcoastdave

          Examine your premise in the first instance which presumes you know more than they do.

          • BearDown100393

            That is an assumption and not surprising considering the source.

          • leftcoastdave

            No, you stated your own presumption without factual basis, stating you “do not understand why GMs are willing to overpay FAs but lowball their own veterans.” That was an assertion of fact and your statement that you do not understand why that is.
            I merely pointed out that your premise lacked foundation and was presumptuous.
            Your failure to understand may not need explanation.

  • Anthony Shifflett

    We’ll see what happens. Hopefully we won’t blow it.

    • CaponeBot 1.0

      That’s the spirit!

      • SC Dave

        He’s right at home here!

    • BearDown100393

      – George McCaskey’s memo to 2018 season ticket holders

  • BearDown100393

    The bottom line.

    Sitton is better than Grasu but loses his job.
    Grasu is still a Bear.
    Kyle Long is still in the MASH unit.

    7 years, no playoffs and counting.

  • CanadaBear

    Had to laugh at the article on NFL.com about most desirable locations for FA’s. Fudgeland is one of them. REALLY? Other than Erin I’m at a loss why anyone would want to sign in GB (other than the highest bidder). I’ve been there and like the area but I’m not in my 20’s and chasing women/NFL titles.

    • BearDown100393

      Once Erin is obliterated for good, Green Bay reverts to pre-Lombardi futility.

      • KentuckyBearsFan

        Yeah, Brett Favre and Reggie White were a long, long time ago.

        Players won’t prefer to play for Green Bay compared to anywhere else.
        (New England took that mojo and kept it.)

    • willbest

      Its probably hard to get yourself into too much trouble up there. If only football players would realize their weaknesses and seek to avoid temptations.

      • BearDown100393

        Uh they are human beings, young and rich. If you are perfect, go ahead and cast stones.

        • willbest

          I suppose it depends on what your definition of perfect is. I mean I am not like Tebow running around saving orphans from car fires and getting cats out of trees or whatever he is up to these days.

          • BearDown100393

            I do not define perfection as Tebow because of his outwardly faith projection. People make mistakes. They screw up. They pay a price. And they move forward hopefully for learning for the better. I’ve screwed up. I’ve made mistakes. And I try to move forward. I used to do the same – point a finger at a player for messing up and getting all judgmental. I do not anymore. My choice.

          • leftcoastdave

            Unless of course you chose to virtue signal and bash cops in a small town in Iowa without knowing squat about the incident.

          • BearDown100393

            Another idiot.

          • willbest

            So Tebow is wanting because his Christianity annoys you. How judgmental.

            Incidentally, if you clearly recognize something in your life as a mistake, and you aren’t warning others around you off that path, then you are kind of an asshole. 20-something might not listen to warnings, but they don’t have a chance at hearing a warning that isn’t given.

          • BearDown100393

            You are being an idiot.

          • Irish Sweetness

            Good for you. I also believe in fifth or sixth chances.

      • SC Dave

        Oh I dunno…. what else is there to do other than drink?

        • CanadaBear

          Chubby Chasin’!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • willbest

          Sure, but who you going to get in a fight with. The bar is going to be full of guys that worship the packers. So its really just your own teammates.

        • Irish Sweetness

          Quit!!!

          :o)

  • Lol of course Pacebot cuts Sitton . He’s averse to paying for talent unless it’s Glennon, Cooper, Wheaton, Sims.
    And naturally Grasu is still on the roster.
    Let the Pace FA shenanigans commence!
    Next up. Fuller, Prince and Callahan released!

    • CanadaBear

      I can see a case both ways for Sitton. They cut him early out of respect so he can get a jump on his next gig.

      • We can’t go into the draft needing an OG esp when Pace manufactured that need.

        Got too many holes just to let talent walk.

        Sitton is proven. Whomever replaces him is pure speculation and cross ur finger guy.

        We crossed our fingers last yr w Glennon, Demps, Wheaton, Wright, Cooper, Sims…didn’t turn out so well

        • CanadaBear

          JW makes a great point about not going into the season with both OG’s old and injured. You don’t need to list every FA fail by Pace in every post to me. I’m old but I can still remember last season.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            And if Pace kept him and he gets injured in September, then he’s an idiot for paying the guy and not cutting him when he could.

            There’s no win here for Pace if you log on ready to push your narrative regardless of circumstance.

            Bottom line. It’s a business decision. If he finds a solid player to fill the role for a third of the money, he’s a genius. If he doesn’t, and his guard tandem sucks, he blew it.

            Or, what if he signs the Center from KC and drafts Nelson? What if he trades back three spots, picks up and extra draft pick, and still gets Nelson? Nobody’s bitching then, right?

            This place is becoming similar to a political discussion. Zero middle ground.

            Edit: Clicked in the wrong comment. Butch, this was meant for yours. Not yours C Bear.

          • CanadaBear

            Not to pile on Butch but I think he also stated Pace got no credit for signing Sitton because he fell into his lap. Then bitching when he’s cut. Trying to have it both ways.

          • Pace cut Slausen for reasons no one knows. We all agreed it was stupid .
            Then the puke inexpicably cut Sitton.
            AP players at positions of need dont hit the market like that often.

            Signing him was a no brainer for me. Keeping him is a no brainer to me.

            I’ll give Pace credit for the good players like Hicks , but more often than not he’s missed . He likes to take chances on players like McPhee or Cooper and we’ve seen the results (to say nothing of his Fox debacle)

          • Irish Sweetness

            He might be drafting that Center and moving CW back to guard. That’s possible.

        • BearDown100393

          This must be another example of Pace creating a “smokescreen” by cutting Sitton.

    • That being said, i like Kush. Morgan intrigues. Some solid OGs in FA.

      But seems like an unnecessary gambit like Andy wrote.

      • BearDown100393

        I like Kush when healthy.

      • SC Dave

        I like Kush too, and hope he will at least be a solid #3 guard.

    • Sitton would have had an $8M salary fully guaranteed if not cut, is 33, and has a history of injuries.

      Grasu is making literally 1/10 of that, not guaranteed, and is on the 90 man roster but has to earn a spot on the 53 man.

      You’re better than that, Butch. Stop pretending that’s an apples to apples comparison.

      • BearDown100393

        Grasu isn’t even 1/10 the talent.

        At some point, somebody has to be overpaid to play on a thin roster.

        • My point is that Grasu still being on the roster has nothing to do with Sitton.

          The Sitton decision has to be made now. The Grasu decision can be made in September after watching him through camp and the preseason. $$ dictated that they didn’t have that option with Sitton.

          You can complain about the Sitton decision, but don’t act like Grasu has anything to do with it. Every person on here is a smarter fan than that.

          • BearDown100393

            Grasu should have been gone before last season’s camp.

          • You don’t cut a cheap young player before camp. There is literally zero benefit to that.

            He likely would have been cut if not for Kush’s injury last year. That opened up one last roster spot, which he clung to for dear life.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            The Pats have built a dynasty via sound roster management among other things. Moving on from vets just prior to their expiration date is a major component of that philo. Hopefully, what we’re seeing is Pace beginning to do the same thing.

          • The Pats have the luxury of that because of tge best HC-qb combo, and even then teams need a baseline of talent. Bears are waaaay below that baseline and totally unknown HC.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            And the only way they’ll ever get to that level of talent is by not relying on beat up elder statesmen of the league. At some point, they have to stop paying those guys. Now is seems like a fine time to me. Let’s get on with it.

          • I will be ok w it IF Pace signs a quality younger OG in FA. But history says that is not likely. More likely is he signs some day 3 FA and counts on Kush or Morgan to step up. (Or worse-drafts an OG at #8 which I am totally against). Now, we have had success in developing OGs under Pace, but that was w a diff coaching staff.

          • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

            The current staff should theoretically be better at developing linemen.

            I’m not saying this move is absolutely right. But I can see the reasoning that went into it. We just can’t keep paying hurt old players.

      • Is Pace gonna use that $8m to replace Sitton or use it for quality FAs?
        It’s not as if Bears are against the cap. Sitton is proven. I like Kush but just because he is younger and cheaper doesnt make him better. Morgan MIGHT be good, or he could be another Compton, inferior to Sitton.
        Grasu is a joke. Hes only on the roster because Pace doesnt like admitting he picked a bust. Being young and cheap didnt save Braverman, and he is arguable a better WR than Grasu is an OG.
        I totally agree w Andrew. This is an iffy offseason move in a long line of them for Pace.

        • willbest

          Nah we are going to sign Braverman to a WR#1 deal as a headfake and then trade up 3 spots to draft a WR that Nagy and him had a stealth dinner with.

    • Irish Sweetness

      Is Glennon still a Bear?

      If so, Why?

      • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

        Punishment. Virginia was pissed that he took so much money, that he had one last job to do before cutting him. cleaning cobwebs out of a “delicate” place.

  • Favorite Drink O’Douls

  • BearDown100393

    “Jahns goes nowhere. I will start a GoFundMe if things get desperate.”

    Get a life.

  • leftcoastdave
  • leftcoastdave
  • BuddhaJoe

    Fucking dumb. Why does Pace do this? They’ve got monumental needs elsewhere and he creates another hole. I get that Sittons getting up there but as of now they’ve got nothing to replace him so why? Not the first time he’s done this shit either.

    • It’s ok Buddha, Pace always signs studs FAs to replace outgoing talent!

      • BuddhaJoe

        I get his FA approach. The first two years he was trying to plug as many holes as they could with contracts they could walk away from if they didn’t work out. Last year by all accounts he threw a bunch of money at Bouye, Gilmore and Jeffery, but they didn’t want to come. It didn’t work obviously but I get it.

        My beef is that multiple times he’s dumped a guy that was productive with no plan to replace him.

    • willbest

      Look if we cut Sitton now, people will think we might draft a guard at #8. If we kept him, people would know we were going to grab a WR. So its all about misdirection.

    • Irish Sweetness

      That’s a fair point. He creates holes first.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      The line was beat to shit inside last year. If he rolls into the season with the same group, he should be fired. So he cuts the old, expensive guy and we flip out?

      How about instead, we get through Free Agency, and the draft, and see what the starting five looks like? If it sucks, he fucked up. If it’s better than a year ago, he did a good job. How can we bitch about removing a piece of the puzzle, when we don’t know what the replacement is? They have what is supposed to be a really, really good position coach here. Let’s see what they do.

  • catfish44

    CUT GRASU. A BUST.

  • Irish Sweetness

    So Sitton is this year’s Slauson, and we will be in trouble again soon. It points potentially to a Nelson draft and therefore no Tremaine. I hope that’s not the case.

    The skinny on first round guards.

    https://blackandteal.com/2013/02/28/nfl-draft-1st-round-guard-picks-a-history/

    • willbest

      pffft. Pro-bowl guards regularly become available during the preseason every year.

      • Irish Sweetness

        Then no need to draft this guy (although I’d like to draft this guy).

        Killer LB … or OG ….in round 1 …. that is the question.

        I just feel like a kick in the balls is coming.

  • BuddhaJoe

    OK so if they nab Norwell, Fulton or Pugh I’ll be fine with the move. Credit to leftcoastdave for the link.

    • Dis Guy Trublinsky (Johnnywad)

      Maybe. Isn’t Pugh hurt more than Sitton?

  • BerwynBomber

    Didn’t Sitton grade out as the 8th best G in the entire league this past season per PFF? Thought I read that somewhere on the internets.

    Yes, we would have been overpaying him. But overpaying a productive player for one year is hardly much of a sin/detrimental to a team’s overall financial health. Hell, we just survived paying a 6’6″ journeyman QB 18M for a year in which he made our 3rd string coach-in-training QB look like a former All-Pro.

    In terms of Sitton’s durability, he missed what three games last year? I would assume that is, at worst, average durability for a lineman of his age.

    In the end cutting Josh Sitton will not cast a long shadow over this team’s future, but as BJ notes below it does seem to create a hole where one did not previously exist.

    It also smells of extended rebuild. Contending in ’18 might not be the utmost priority to Pace. Bisky and Nagy bought him another couple of years.

  • SC Dave

    Not a Rosenthal fan, but this statement is *definitely* on the money, and germane to this thread. Really, who cares about the $8M for Sitton? Emphasis mine.

    “With so few difference-makers available in free agency, there’s an argument that teams have been too fiscally responsible in recent years. Salary-cap space is overrated if nearly every team has enough of it.”

    • BerwynBomber

      Agreed. To a point. I get the fiscal responsibility when it comes to multiple year veteran contracts. But a one year option like Sitton is another story.

      • SC Dave

        My take on that quote is that being overly concerned with cap space at the expense of keeping talent is not a good strategy. Fundamentally, we agree that the $8M, with respect to worrying about cap space, is just not as important as many seem to think.

        We saw last season that the extra money couldn’t buy who we wanted, as our targets took less to play for other teams.

        This season, I don’t see it being different – there is a new and entirely unproven coaching staff on a team that has been a loser more than half a decade now.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    Glad they got rid of the old bastard, he would have probably broken a hip this year.

    • leftcoastdave

      No, they were planning to have a walker for him on the sideline.

  • leftcoastdave

    Jeff: Napa valley had nothing over your blog today!

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  • David Adams

    Wait. What did the Bears hand Jordan Morgan? 😉 In all seriousness. Love the OLine discussion. It’s a strength for the Bears and should be protected as such. Dropping Sitton with all that cap room seems risky considering Long’s health. Don’t see the downside to keeping him around.
    But the new staff knows what it’s looking for and has a lot better knowledge of him than anyone else.
    Better keep that strength a strength though or progress isn’t going to happen.

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