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?

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Thoughts on the 2017 Bears Draft Class

| April 30th, 2017

I don’t have much to say that’s not already out there. So here are a few quick hits.

  • Whole draft will be about Trubisky. The rest of this class can turn into All-Pros and nobody will care if Mitch Trubisky stinks. That’s the nature of making a splashy move for a quarterback in the first round.
  • Said it on Twitter and I’ll say it here. People who booed Trubisky at the United Center should be ashamed of themselves. All the kid did was excel at a sport and get drafted to play it professionally. If you don’t like the selection, drive your worthless ass to Lake Forest and roll down the window. Classless bullshit that belongs in Philadelphia, not Chicago.
  • Adam Shaheen and Tarik Cohen are the kinds of picks I like. Extraordinary talents with high upside. If Ryan Pace hits on those two guys the Bears offense just became far more dynamic.
  • Eddie Jackson. Didn’t know he was in this draft. Seriously. Just didn’t know. But he was my favorite player on that Bama defense that featured three first-round picks. Hopefully his injury problems are behind him. But if he’s healthy in Bourbonnais it will be hard to keep him off the field.
  • The Bears coached guard Jordan Morgan at the Senior Bowl and fell in love with him. Depth this year. Sitton’s heir apparent would be the hope.
  • Rarely do I say this but because their last pick was in the fifth round and they only made five total, the Bears will be disappointed if 3-4 of these picks don’t become serious players. Usually you want 3-4 out of 7. Bears want 3-4 out of 5. Not easy. But doable.
  • But it’s all about Trubisky.

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