There has been no shortage of speculation this offseason so far about what the Bears should do about this, that and the other. If new general manager Phil Emery reads this forum as often as his predecessor Jerry Angelo did, then he is aware that fans want to see him draft a receiver, sign another, find replacements for some of our aging defensive stars and maybe even swing some trades. I, on the other hand, have a more radical approach for our new GM; since there is no way to replenish the talent and set this team up for the next six to eight years in one offseason, why not just swing as many trades as possible, mortgage the future and make 2012 an all-or-nothing championship campaign?
Everyone knows that Brian Urlacher, Charles Tillman, Julius Peppers and Lance Briggs are all on the wrong side of thirty and that there are no signs of their replacements on the roster. Most would agree that the Bears are a couple game-breaking wide receivers and an offensive lineman away from being back in the playoffs with a possible deep run, so why not go balls to the wall and try to win it all?
It wouldn't even take much, except for the 2013 draft. Take out '12 pick and our '13 first rounders and throw in our fourth round pick or one of our thirds and trade up into the top 5 for Justin Blackmon. He is far and away the best receiver in this class and would be an instant upgrade at the position.
Then we could sign a free agent receiver to compliment him as well, since rookie receivers aren't always able to adjust right away. Then Emery could go out and sign Carl Nicks to a deal and Marcus McNeil. That would certainly shore up any loose ends on the line.
Oh but what about the pass rush? As the Sun-Times' Sean Jensen pointed out last month, a Lance Briggs-for-Osi Umenyiora makes perfect sense for both sides, their contracts are very similar and so is their age, meaning that this deal could work for both parties.
You'd have to think that a Bears team with McNeil, Nicks, Garza, Louis, Carimi line, with Cutler under center, Blackmon out left, Colston or some other free agent out right and Bennett in the slot would be a scary group. Plus Forte in the backfield under the franchise tender. Then a defense with Urlacher, Peppers, Umenyiora and Tillman?
If the Bears didn't get deep into the playoffs or God forbid, miss them entirely, Emery could fire Smith and start fresh with his guy.
This isn't as crazy as it seems.
Another scenario is that the Bears, instead of trading up for Blackmon, go ahead and sign a guy who has been tagged. Last year Vincent Jackson played under the non-exclusive tender, so it isn't out of the question that Dwayne Bowe or DeSean Jackson gets that designation, in which the case the Bears could offer a big deal, force the other team to take the two first round picks and the Bears still get a playmaker and have picks for the 2nd-7th rounds.
People automatically equate giving up multiple first round picks as "mortgaging the future" and it can be, but if Emery hits on his other picks, it wouldn't be that bad. The Bears could built a championship team for this year, that will be competitive down the road and only give up a couple of first round picks.
I say, let's do it.