Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

It's time for the weekly staple of Windy City Gridiron. My NFL Thoughts! Enjoy...

1) Thirty eight year old Peyton Manning wants to play football for three more years, which is how long his current contract lasts with the Denver Broncos. If anyone can quarterback his team at a high level at 40 years old, I think it'll be a cerebral guy like Manning.

For the record, Manning will be a 41 year old free agent when his deal expires, so who knows what will happen in 2017.

Do you think he could keep playing?

2) Josh Gordon, who is facing a possible year long suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy, was in trouble with the law again over the weekend. With a suspension looming because of smoking pot, Gordon was ticketed for speeding. The good news, he wasn't busted with any marijuana; the bad news, the passenger in the car was.

Stupid must be contagious.

3) Stephen Ross, owner of the Miami Dolphins, predicts the NFL will have a team back in Los Angeles within the next five years. Arthur Blank, owner of the Atlanta Falcons, predicts the league will place a franchise in London, England, sooner than we'd think.

I think if you follow the money, it tells us that a team in London is more likely at this point. The NFL in L.A. has already failed a few times, whereas London sells out games as fast as they can put tickets on sale.

4) Last week we discussed the domestic abuse from the Baltimore Ravens' Ray Rice, and for one week at least, there appears to be a message being sent. At their OTAs, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh elected to give free agent running back Justin Forsett, who is on his 5th team in eight years, the majority of reps with the first team.

5) The Kansas City Chiefs' Alex Smith is asking for top tier QB money. Whether or not he deserves to be paid like a franchise quarterback isn't really the issue, because if the Chiefs believe Smith is their guy, they they'll have to pay him like he's their guy. And that means a $100 million plus contract.

6) When the Detroit Lions passed on the 5th year option for Nick Fairley, many assumed that meant they were unhappy with their 4th year defensive tackle. Whatever the reason, it seemed to motivate Fairley.

He's now close to his collegiate playing weight (290) and appears ready to be a more consistent player. Having a motivated Failrey playing along side the dominant Ndamukong Suh is bad news for the rest of the NFC North.

7) It's being reported that the Dallas Cowboys have interest in FOX Sport 1 NFL analyst Brian Urlacher to play middle linebacker after losing starter Sean Lee to a knee injury.

When Lee was first hurt, media and fan speculation connected the former Chicago Bears Pro Bowler to the Cowboys, but it was nothing more than baseless guesswork. At least now there's a credible source behind the story, but I don't see any way old #54 comes out of retirement.

8) When the Houston Texans drafted Jadeveon Clowney #1 overall, some critics claimed he wasn't a good scheme fit for their 3-4 defense. Now it looks like defensive coordinator Romeo Crennel plans to mimic his old boss and have a more flexible defensive front.

With plans to move All Pro defensive lineman J.J. Watt all over his defense, he can find creative ways to get his rookie on the field too.

A good coach will always find a way to get good players on the field.

9) Safety Will Hill was released by the New York Giants after a third suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy and some Bears fans are already clamoring for his services.

No. Just no.

And here are a few preemptive safety no's just in case.

No to Ed Reed.
No to Adrian Wilson.
No to Michael Huff.
No to Quintin Mikell.
No to Yeremiah Bell.
No to Jim Leonhard.

The Bears' improved front seven will have a drastic effect on whomever ends up starting at strong and free safety. My very early prediction is that Ryan Mundy and Chris Conte will be the week one starters for the Bears, but if Conte's rehab is taking too long, I think that rookie Brock Vereen takes his place.

10) A lot was made last week when the Bears moved starting corner Tim Jennings inside to nickelback during OTAs, so they could get rookie corner Kyle Fuller on the field. It wasn't a demotion for Jennings, but rather a strategic move to match the shifty and experienced 5'8" Tim Jennings up with the traditional shorter slot receivers in the NFL.

Fuller may play some lined up against slot receivers and/or tight ends, but for now it makes since for the longer (6') and faster Fuller to play outside where he won't have to defend against as many routes.

What are your thoughts on my thoughts this week?

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