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NFL Thoughts: Chicago Bears and Beyond

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NFL free agency officially kicks off tomorrow afternoon, but there's been a lot of buzz the last week. A huge trade, the Peyton Manning saga, the Colts house cleaning, the college pro days, and a ton of rumors and speculation. And make sure you scroll the front page of Windy City Gridiron as some news as been breaking all day. It's a fun time to be a football fan.

But an even funner time will be had by reading my Thoughts! Oh Joy...

1) The Peyton Manning sweepstakes will come to an end in the next day or so, and the Broncos are now the leader in the clubhouse. I don't think anybody saw that one coming.

2) If Denver executive v.p. of football operations John Elway pulls off he coup and signs Manning, will the QB dominoes take Tim Tebow to Florida? I think sitting and watching a player like Manning for a couple years would be good for Tebow, but there's no way they could keep him around to run a "Manning" offense, unless he's the #3 QB.

3) I don't think the Redskins paid too much to move up in the draft.

4) I do think the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will overpay for Vincent Jackson. And as a Bears fan, I'm ok with that. His career high is 69 receptions, and in the 5 seasons (out of 7) he's appeared in at least 15 games he's averaged 51 catches a year. Does that scream #1 WR to you?

5) Marques Colston will probably be the 2nd most coveted wide out, but he has legitimate concerns about his numerous surgeries, about playing away from the dome, and about playing out of the Saints system. He was my #1 FA choice at the beginning of free agency, but now I don't think he'd be a wise choice.

6) Some of these are funny; De-Motivational Posters

7) I wonder if Drew Brees suing the NFL about a year ago has anything to do with his getting slapped with the franchise tag? I heard someone float the idea on sports radio over the weekend and it kind of makes sense...

8) The Bears should hold firm with what ever contract offer they end up giving Matt Forte. I'm a big Forte fan, but this is a different NFL, you can't give out giant contracts to running backs unless that back is elite. Matt Forte is a good back, but he's not irreplaceable.

9) Any team that trades for DE Dwight Freeney must really, really, really want his services. There's no way Freeney will be in Indianapolis next season, his cap number to the Colts will be $19 million.

10) Two of the five CBSsports mock drafts have the Bears going with an offensive lineman, Stanford's Jonathan Martin and Georgia's Cordy Glenn. Interesting...