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NFL Thoughts: Chicago Bears and Beyond

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The NFL has been so smart with the marketing of their product.  They are constantly in the news all off season, with the Franchise tag deadline, the combine, the pro days, the draft, restricted free agency, total free agency, rookie mini camps, the OTAs...  It's all spaced out over the entire NFL off season just to keep football front and center on all news media outlets.  And it works.  The NFL is far and away the most popular sports brand in America.  Would Roger Goodell jeopardize that?

1)  There is no way the NFL dosen't play in 2011.  There's just way too much money at stake, for all parties involved, including the establishments that depend on the revenue that the NFL brings to their communities.

2)  The rookie wage scale is a must.  Even though the owners were stupid enough to start overpaying for unestablished rookies at superstar levels in the first place, there still needs to be something in place.  The owners will be protected from Jamarcus Russell type bust deals, and that will allow more money to go to the more deserving veteran players.

3)  I personally don't like the idea, but I think an 18 game schedule will happen, which will lead to expanded rosters and more jobs for the players.  I still think a 16 game schedule with an added bye week gives the best of both worlds.  Injured players will have an extra week to heal, which could lead to a better product, and the 18th week of regular season games will be a money maker for the networks and the NFL.

4)  Rex Ryan...  I dig the confidence, but maybe it's time to shut up until you actually win something?  From NFL.com:

Decked out in a Clyde Frazier throwback jersey at the Knicks-Lakers game Friday night, Ryan told MSG Network there's "no way we don't get it done next year," and added "next year, I know we'll win it."

5)  The same article talks about what great shape incarcerated wide out Plaxico Burress is in.  Could he be the big receiver the Bears need?  I can't wait to read a fan post about this one!

6)  In other unhappy wide receiver news, Carolina's Steve Smith wants out.  As a Bears fan, I say pass.

7)  Do you believe Tim Tebow can be a successful NFL QB?  In his very limited action (9 games with 3 starts) his 82.1 QB rating actually was best among all rookies.  His 227 rushing yards was 7th best among all QBs and his 6 rushing TDs was 2nd.

8)  If you can have any prospect from the 2011 draft class added to your favorite team, who would you want?

9)  Albert Haynesworth is a tool. 

10)  With some time to reflect on the Packers Super Bowl championship, I realize I'm OK with them winning.  What better way to pressure the Bears into getting to that level than to have the Champs in the NFC North. 

"To be the man, you've got to beat the man."  ~ Ric Flair