The Chicago Bears plan for Justin Fields, NFL energy rankings, Jalen Hurts competing for the Eagles beginning job and the newest Aaron Rodgers rumors and information from across the NFL.
*This week, the esteemed Patrick Schmidt is on the controls. Verderame returns May 31*
It’s been practically one month for the reason that Chicago Bears drafted Justin Fields and I nonetheless get up each morning needing to pinch myself to ensure I’m not dreaming.
The pleasure on draft evening when the Bears traded as much as the No. 11 choose to take the previous Ohio State quarterback is one thing I want I may bottle and faucet into after I want a pick-me-up. It was the best feeling I’ve skilled as a Bears fan throughout a draft.
Fields is the best draft choose of my lifetime. He hasn’t performed a sport but however his presence is a franchise-changing one for a staff that has lacked a participant of his potential for generations.
General supervisor Ryan Pace is on the street to redemption after fumbling the quarterback place time and once more. Signing Mike Glennon solely to commerce as much as draft Mitchell Trubisky then giving Chase Daniel mega-millions to carry a clipboard solely to commerce a fourth-round choose for Nick Foles and his wage to then signal Andy Dalton for $10 million isn’t nice.
But buying and selling up for Fields is making me rapidly overlook about all of his previous failures.
Pace did his job, however now it’s as much as head coach Matt Nagy to do his.
Nagy and Trubisky have been by no means capable of jive. It’s not that there was animosity between the 2 however there was a transparent perception from Nagy that he couldn’t get something out of Trubisky. Nagy acknowledged Trubisky couldn’t do what he needed him to do and the offense needed to be truncated to mirror his shortcomings.
Of course, Nagy wasn’t round when Pace drafted Trubisky to the shock of then-head coach John Fox. He wasn’t his man and it was readily obvious. One of them needed to go and it was Trubisky who signed a one-year deal to function Josh Allen’s backup with the Buffalo Bills.
Now with Nagy and Pace surviving the new seat speak final season, they’ve to maximise the immense potential of Fields and make sure that he doesn’t go the way in which so many different Bears quarterbacks have.
But this isn’t a Trubisky or Cade McNown state of affairs. This is totally different.
The plan, for now, is to slowly convey alongside Fields whereas Dalton is penciled in because the starter.
This is topic to alter, after all.
Publicly naming Andy Dalton because the starter is the fitting factor to do. He’s a veteran with years of expertise. Although the current outcomes aren’t nice, this takes the stress off Fields and makes him compete for the job.
Fields regarded like somebody kicked his canine on draft evening when the Bears took him. It wasn’t as a result of he was going to Chicago the place quarterbacks go to die. It was as a result of he is aware of he’s an elite participant and 10 groups handed on him.
The chip on his shoulder is larger than The Bean in Millenium Park.
Fields is hungry to get to work and compete for the job. Knowing Dalton is the starter and the individual to beat provides gas to the fireplace and invigorates the aggressive urge for food that’s already incapable of being satiated with Fields.
Nagy can say the plan is for Fields to observe the one the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes had, when Mahomes sat the primary 15 video games earlier than beginning Week 17 with the playoffs secured and Alex Smith getting per week off.
It’s one factor to say that in May, however issues change rapidly within the NFL. But why this isn’t an incredible comparability is as a result of this model of Dalton is nowhere close to that model of Smith.
Smith was enjoying at Pro Bowl stage in 2017 when Mahomes was on the bench. Smith was in his fifth season with the Chiefs who banked the goodwill of three 11-win seasons and a number of playoff appearances. The playoff success wasn’t there, however Smith had his greatest season as a professional in that 2017 season when he led the NFL with a 104.1 quarterback score and made his third Pro Bowl.
Dalton, conversely, has regressed every of the final 5 years. His tenure with the Cincinnati Bengals ended after main them to the worst file within the NFL. At least his parting present was Joe Burrow.
Last 12 months, Dalton went 4-5 in 9 begins with the Dallas Cowboys whereas enjoying for the injured Dak Prescott. He wasn’t dangerous. He was the best backup quarterback in truth, throwing 14 touchdowns to eight interceptions, together with a pair of fourth-quarter comebacks and orchestrating three game-winning drives. He accomplished 64.9 % of his passes, the most effective mark he’s posted since 2015.
Maybe there’s a little bit fuel left within the tank for Dalton. The Bears will give him an opportunity to see how lengthy he can go earlier than he’s on empty and give Fields the mandatory time he may have to regulate to the NFL velocity and all that goes into working an NFL offense and commanding a locker room.
When will Fields make his first begin for the Bears? The reply gained’t be restricted to what Dalton does on the sphere, however slightly what Fields reveals in observe and the movie room. When Nagy is aware of it’s time, he’ll make the transfer. It’s not one thing that must be rushed, though Bears followers are hoping it’ll be Week 1 when the Bears play the Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday Night Football.
My prediction? Fields begins by Week 4 in opposition to the Detroit Lions on Oct. 3. Write it in pencil.
Best likelihood at getting the No. 1 choose in 2022 NFL Draft
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- New York Jets
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Carolina Panthers
- New York Giants
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Washington Football Team
- New Orleans Saints
“For me, I know rent is due every day. It’s always been that way for me. I’ve always been in a ‘get better’ mentality every day. I want to grow every day, be a better leader every day and be a better quarterback every day. When that rent is due, I don’t plan on missing any payments, so let’s work.”
– Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts on how he’s approaching the upcoming season
Larry Fitzgerald has more tackles than drops in his career. The Arizona Cardinals’ future Hall of Fame wide receiver has started 261 games and notched 28 drops alongside 41 tackles. Mind-blowing.
And here’s a bonus random stat involving Fitzgerald: with 17,492 career receiving yards, Fitzgerald could have five straight 1,100-yard receiving seasons and still be shy of Jerry Rice’s all-time record of 22,895 yards.
Info learned this week
1. The Falcons looking to move on from Julio Jones
With a $23 million cap hit this year and less than $1 million in available cap space, the Falcons likely needs trade Julio Jones. But to who and for what return?
A future first-rounder and a third-rounder could be the general ballpark for a deal and I’d expect the Ravens and 49ers to be the most active. They have both the draft assets and cap space to make a deal. While the Patriots, Colts and Titans make sense, Indianapolis is short on picks after the Carson Wentz deal and Bill Belichick isn’t known for making huge acquisitions in the trade market. Tennessee could make the swap, but it has ample defensive needs.
Maybe the Chargers make a big move to pair Jones with Keenan Allen and give Justin Herbert another weapon with which to work? They could be a sleeper for Jones.
Look for trade talk to intensify this summer when the cap savings increase after June 1. The Falcons can save a little more than $15 million with their dead cap hit if Jones is traded after the magic date.
Carrying a $7.75 dead cap isn’t ideal, but it’s the best situation the Falcons can find themselves in. Compensation is still going to be heavy with Jones potentially bringing a first-round pick in return.
2. Frank Reich believes in his healing powers with Carson Wentz
You don’t stick your neck out to trade for a fallen star like Wentz if you’re not confident you can fix him. That’s what the Colts head coach reiterated this week when rebuffing the notion that his new quarterback is ‘broken.’
“I just cringe when I hear stuff like that, not that a player shouldn’t be accountable for poor play on the field,” Reich said Monday. “Carson has to answer to that, and he has answered to it. And until you get out there and prove otherwise, that’s what you live with. But I just know that playing the position of quarterback, there are so many factors that go into it. We talked about why the poor play last year, I’m just very confident that he has a team around him. It’s just I think the culture fit.”
In 2016, throughout Reich’s final 12 months as offensive coordinator with the Eagles, Wentz had an MVP-caliber marketing campaign earlier than tearing his ACL in opposition to the Rams in December. The former No. 2 total choose threw for 3,296 yards and 33 touchdowns in opposition to seven interceptions in 13 video games.
If Wentz returns to that stage, the Colts are a professional contender.
3. Cowboys want to purchase insurance coverage for Dak Prescott
We all noticed how poorly the Dallas Cowboys performed with out Dak Prescott final season.
Re-signing their franchise quarterback within the offseason was an enormous testomony to the religion they’ve in him returning to full well being and his Pro Bowl play.
Still, the Cowboys aren’t assured within the depth chart behind him. There is not any Dalton-like veteran presence behind Prescott. Should he must miss time with an damage in 2021, it may sink their playoff hopes, even in a weak NFC East. That’s what occurs when Cooper Rush, Garrett Gilbert and Ben DiNucci are on the roster. It’s why former Ohio State standout, J.T. Barrett and Brady Davis have been introduced in on a tryout throughout rookie minicamp, and why the staff is contemplating Brett Hundley who has expertise with Mike McCarthy.
If Prescott does get harm this season, possibly they’ll make a commerce for Dalton who’s destined to lose his job after the Bears drafted Fields?
4. Saints, Steelers are groups to look at for QBs of the long run
The Saints misplaced Drew Brees to retirement and the Steelers are anticipated to lose Ben Roethlisberger to retirement after the 2021-22 season. Both franchises could possibly be jockeying to get one of many prime quarterbacks within the 2022 NFL Draft.
Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill shouldn’t be considered as the long run and the Steelers undoubtedly don’t think about Mason Rudolph or Dwayne Haskins as something more than clipboard holders. However, neither staff will seemingly be dangerous sufficient to get forward of the Lions and Texans who could possibly be taking a quarterback relying on what occurs with Jared Goff and Deshaun Watson.
Spencer Rattler of Oklahoma and Sam Howell of North Carolina are the highest two prospects however neither is in the identical class as current No. 1 picks Trevor Lawrence, Joe Burrow and Kyler Murray.
Howell has been in comparison with Baker Mayfield whereas Rattler has a stay arm with a propensity to make some mind-numbing selections that noticed him benched for a stretch final season. Behind them are Malik Willis, Kedon Slovis, JT Daniels, Desmond Ridder and Carson Strong.
The 2021 class was top-of-the-line in a very long time however the ’22 class could possibly be one of many weakest. For that motive, look for the Saints and Steelers to make their eventual strikes for both Rattler or Howell, who’re the most effective lottery tickets within the class.
5. Do the Buccaneers consider they discovered Tom Brady’s successor?
While Tom Brady and the Buccaneers joke in regards to the GOAT enjoying till he’s 50, the staff is planning for life after the seven-time Super Bowl champion. The Buccaneers drafted Florida quarterback Kyle Trask within the second spherical of the NFL Draft and have been impressed together with his first minicamp.
“He did great,” Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians said. “I thought he was fantastic. Just the way he processes information. To take it from the first time ever hearing it — he was throwing it to the right guy. There were some really good, disguised coverages that he saw the first day of his career, so I was really impressed with how he processes information, and he was very accurate.”
Trask could have to carry a clipboard for some time, which is one thing he’s no stranger to. Trask backed up D’Eriq King in highschool earlier than ready three-plus years at Florida earlier than he received his likelihood after Feleipe Franks suffered a season-ending damage. He put up Heisman-caliber numbers for the Gators in his closing 12 months and could have gained if not for Alabama’s DeVonta Smith placing up video-game numbers and Florida dropping some video games they shouldn’t have late within the 12 months.
Teams don’t spend second-round picks to be backups however Trask will profit from backing up Brady and sitting and watching the most effective go about his enterprise.
If Brady ever retires, Trask could have a bonus when he’s referred to as upon and the Buccaneers shall be higher for it as they’ve positioned themselves for a seamless transition.
Call me loopy however one of many video games on the NFL schedule I’m trying ahead to probably the most is the Thursday evening showdown between the Cincinnati Bengals and Jacksonville Jaguars.
I may very well be loopy, however I’m additionally a university soccer fan who is worked up to see Burrow and Lawrence collectively once more on the identical subject for the primary time for the reason that nationwide championship sport that noticed Burrow’s LSU Tigers beat Lawrence’s Clemson Tigers two seasons in the past.
The final two No. 1 picks signify the way forward for the NFL and whereas wins could also be powerful to return by in 2021, their expertise is simple and the thrill they carry to their franchises and followers is palpable.
Save the date for Sept. 30 as a result of followers will get a glimpse of the way forward for the league that evening within the Queen City.
Inside the league
If the Packers commerce Aaron Rodgers, they may desire a younger quarterback coming again in return. The drawback is groups with nice younger quarterbacks don’t commerce them.
Let’s preface by saying, any Rodgers deal shall be sophisticated due to his age (38), his want for a brand new contract that may seemingly make him the highest-paid participant within the NFL, and the compensation that may then go to the Packers.
The Packers’ want for a younger quarterback in return for a Rodgers commerce means they aren’t enamored with Justin Love, whom they traded as much as get within the 2020 NFL Draft. Of course, it was this which started the divorce proceedings between the Packers and Rodgers. It doesn’t imply they’re giving up on Love, nevertheless it means in the event that they commerce Rodgers, they need to double down on ensuring they don’t have a black gap at crucial place in sports activities.
Okay, so let’s have a look at the sport’s younger quarterbacks: Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Trevor Lawrence and the remainder of the 2021 class. None of those guys are getting traded. The Raiders have been rumored as a possible Rodgers vacation spot however Derek Carr isn’t younger and lacks upside. He could be a bridge to offer Love more time to marinate on the bench till he’s prepared.
How about Deshaun Watson, he’s younger? He’s younger and desires out of Houston however his future is muddied together with his off-field bother and seemingly gained’t be traded till that’s cleared up.
What in regards to the Denver Broncos?
I’ll simply cease this proper now. Teddy Bridgewater gained’t be the younger quarterback the Packers covet. He’s more of a journeyman at this level. But may they be eager about former second-round choose Drew Lock?
The No. 42 choose within the 2019 draft has had some tough moments in his 18 profession begins, together with an NFL-high 15 interceptions final 12 months. He spent 10 video games on injured reserve as a rookie, missed a pair of video games final 12 months because of damage and frolicked on the COVID checklist. He had a four-interception sport vs. the Raiders and a four-touchdown sport vs. the Panthers. This is the kind of roller-coaster play you see from younger, considerably uncooked quarterbacks.
Lock has an excellent arm and dimension at 6-foot-4 and 228 kilos. He had nice manufacturing in school at Missouri that had him projected to be a possible first-round choose. He completed the 12 months with some momentum, finishing 61.7 % of his passes for 1,015 yards and seven touchdowns to 2 interceptions. Numbers that gained’t be mistaken for Rodgers however numbers you possibly can construct on coming into his third season, a season that could possibly be a giant breakthrough one.
So let’s begin the Broncos-Packers commerce state of affairs with Lock being part of the package deal for Rodgers. What else does Denver want so as to add to make the Packers concede to Rodgers and commerce the participant they don’t have any intention of buying and selling?
Lock and Denver’s first-round picks the subsequent two years.
It’ll take one or two younger members of Denver’s core, which incorporates Bradley Chubb, Noah Fant, Jerry Jeudy and Patrick Surtain II. If Denver says to choose two of this group to go together with Lock and the first-round picks the subsequent two years, that might seal the deal.
Low-balling Green Bay with a package deal that features some mixture of Dalton Risner, Dre-Mont Jones, Lloyd Cushenberry and/or KJ Hamler could have the Packers hanging up the cellphone and hoping Rodgers doesn’t retire.
For Denver, its quarterback state of affairs is an issue, for the Broncos and Packers.
Some NFL followers don’t have any respect for the historical past of the sport. And I’m not speaking about distant historical past, both.
On Wednesday, Twitter was buzzing when a PFF writer stated Tyreek Hill may be the NFL’s best-ever deep threat. The recency bias is powerful.
Hill is a good deep risk and top-of-the-line total receivers within the sport. He’s a weapon for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are fortunate to have him. But did Randy Moss not exist?
It’s extremely short-sighted to miss top-of-the-line receivers ever and a deep risk who terrorized defensive backs after coming into the league with the Minnesota Vikings in 1998.
Moss set the NFL file for touchdowns in a season with the Patriots after resurrecting his profession that derailed following the commerce from the Vikings to the Raiders and averaged 15.5 yards per reception for his profession to 14.6 for Hill.
Moss additionally had not less than one 50-yard landing in his first 12 seasons. Incredible. And extremely disrespectful to Moss to slight him as the most effective deep risk the sport has ever seen.
I can’t faux to care in regards to the Jaguars signing Tim Tebow.
Tebow has been out of the league for the reason that 2015 preseason, he’s turning 34 in August and has been galavanting within the New York Mets farm system whereas working as a part-time analyst for the SEC Network. I’m not going to rise up in arms about him working as a decent finish for his school coach.
This is just Urban Meyer bringing in a participant he has nice respect and admiration for each his on-and-off-field accomplishments that he’s giving him an opportunity to exit on his personal phrases. I don’t anticipate him to make the ultimate roster. I’m not upset a couple of coach giving a man he has a previous with a possibility. This occurs in each sport. This will not be distinctive to Meyer and Tebow.
So go forward and spit scorching fireplace on Twitter about how that is ridiculous, however I’m going to go on about my day with out regarding myself a couple of participant who’s going to be lower after the primary preseason sport.