Ryan Pace exited the 2015 NFL Draft process with a really good wide receiver. Does it really matter if that player is an undrafted free agent or the seventh overall pick?
I’m not giving up on Kevin White – it is impossible to reach any conclusion on the first rounder – but Cam Meredith’s play last year has me wondering how much White’s health and development will actually play into the Bears plans and how much flak we should give Pace if he missed on the pick.
Meredith was the Bears leading receiver with 66 catches, 888 yards and four touchdowns, but the numbers are more impressive when you add context.
A day has now been spent digesting the RapSheet report that the Bears will not be dropping the franchise tag on Alshon Jeffery for the second straight year. My thoughts:
Is the Jeffery era over? Sure seems that way.
Alshon Jeffery is a very good football player. A barstool drunk with Bushmills breath and 20/80 vision could tell you Alshon Jeffery is a very good football player. But NFL personnel people are paid duffels of ducats to decide whether a player is bad or okay, okay or good, good or very good, very good or great. They are paid to decipher where to slot a particular talent within the structure of the NFL’s rigid salary cap.
Is Jeffery a great player? That’s the question currently wallpapering the offices in Lake Forest. The more important question may be…does it matter?
From the one and only Adam L. Jahns of the Sun-Times:
“I think Alshon expects more,” Pace said during the Bears’ season-ending news conference Jan. 4. “I think he’s a good player. And that’s a big decision for us.”
But how good is he really?
It’s actually a complex question, considering that the Bears are rebuilding, that the team will have their third receivers coach in three years and that a new quarterback could be coming to town.
The better question might be: Do Jeffery’s talents transcend change?
He had mixed results last season with three quarterbacks. According to Pro Football Reference, Brian Hoyer’s passer rating of 83.3 when throwing to Jeffery was better than Cutler’s (74.3) and Matt Barkley’s (50.9).
On the other side, the argument can be made that the Bears desperately need Jeffery, especially with uncertainty surrounding Kevin White after his second surgery. (White and Jeffery share the same agent.)
Being pragmatic about this decision, there are three options.
The latter two options come with significant risk.
While the nation’s drinking amateurs battle their New Year’s Eve hangovers, many of us with saddle up our favorite barstool to watch the last Chicago Bears game of this depressing, injury-plagued 2016 campaign. But is the experience anything more than a mere formality?
Many will argue no. They will say nothing happening on the field in Minnesota will have any bearing on the future of this football team. And, honestly, it’s a point well-taken. But my job is to find meaning. So I’m doing my job. Here’s three things worth paying attention to when it comes to the finale.
#Barkleytime is coming off his first clunker of 2016 and it would be easy for fans to expect the sailing passes and poor decision making from his effort against Washington to continue. Sunday’s Barkley was the one many us expected and were shocked not to see through his first four starts.
Another dud and the bloom comes entirely off the rose. But a solid, mistake-free start could make it easy for Ryan Pace to keep Barkley in the fold moving forward. He’s shown tremendous rebound within game, often shaking off a poor three quarters to deliver a brilliant fourth. Can he rebound with a week of negativity between starts?
A coach once told me “run defense is all about want to”. If that’s true the Bears haven’t wanted to in a fortnight.
Both Green Bay and Washington out-muscled the the middle of the Bears defense and took advantage of their lack of discipline on the outside. Yes, there are injuries playing a role in these struggles. But injuries don’t excuse McPhee letting Cousins around the edge, Amos taking bad angles or Hicks disappearing after a dominant period mid-season.
Merry Christmas and Happy Chanukah to you all. Thanks for another wonderful year at DBB. I hope I can keep improving this place for years to come.
Bad game yesterday. Very bad. Here are some quick thoughts.
Travel day. Not a lot of time to write. But here are my quick thoughts.
The following is everything I know about Alshon Jeffery’s current status and future with the Chicago Bears. It is based on conversations with individuals in three different organization, none the Bears, and some local confirmations.
What’s important to note is that I believe I’ve been wrong about how the Bears value Jeffery. I’ve argued they don’t see him as a top tier receiver. At least as of early 2016, they did. I think this deal gets done.
Tag him. Jeffery is too talented a player to let walk out the door but too erratic to give big money. Tagging him guarantees the Bears will have one top tier receiver in 2017 and keeps the window open for an extension should Jeffery mesh well with whomever is playing quarterback next season.