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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Real live NFL action will be kicking off in just a few days! I'm so excited! And I just can't hide it! I'm about to loose control and I think I like it!

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

1) If I were the New England Patriots I think I'd be extra cautious with tight end Rob Gronkowski. He claims he'll be good to go week one, but with his injury history I'd limit his snaps the first few weeks.

2) There's no way I'd put my All Pro free safety back to return punts, but that's exactly what the Seattle Seahawks are doing with Earl Thomas. Kudos to head coach Pete Carroll for sticking to his word on an open competition, but I never would have allowed Thomas to be in the running in the first place.

3) It was an eventful off season for Kyle Orton. He was able to finagle his way out of his Dallas Cowboys contract, successfully avoid the rigors of an NFL training camp and sign with the Buffalo Bills for about $5 million in 2014

4) Kansas City Chiefs QB Alex Smith didn't get a top of the line $100 million contract, but the $45 million guarantee will no doubt make up for it. That guarantee is bigger than the guarantees given to Drew Brees, Matt Ryan, Matt Stafford, Tom Brady and Eli Manning.

5) Let this sink in for a moment...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>best of the best. 1.1m play HS football; 70k play in college; 1,696 make 53-man <a href="">#NFL</a> roster &amp; 320 on practice squad</p>&mdash; Bria McCarthy (@NFLprguy) <a href="">September 1, 2014</a></blockquote>
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6) No one should be surprised that Michael Sam didn't make the St. Louis Rams' practice squad. That team is stacked on the d-line.

Now if Sam remains unemployed the next couple weeks after picking up 11 tackles and 3 sacks in the preseason, then I tend to agree with Buffalo's Eric Wood and SB Nation's Stephen White.

Wood blames ESPN for creating a distraction where there wasn't one. Reporting on the kids showering habits? Really?

And White let his feelings known via twitter.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>If you haven&#39;t seen it yet, gotta check out former NFLer Stephen White&#39;s (<a href="">@sgw94</a>) timeline talking Michael Sam. <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Dan Moriarty (@moriartysports) <a href="">September 1, 2014</a></blockquote>
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7) A week ago it looked like there wouldn't be any rookie QBs starting week one, but now I don't see how the Oakland Raiders do anything but. Veteran Matt Schaub is coming off a minor elbow injury, plus he's Matt Schaub and rookie Derek Carr finished his preseason with a 108.2 passer rating. In the 4th preseason game against the Seahawks he was 11 of 13 for 143 yards and 3 TDs.

Start the kid.

8) Just a few days after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted he erred in his handling the Ray Rice situation, San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald was arrested on domestic violence charges. This dumbass has a DUI arrest on his record too.

9) Kyle Orton won't be the only former Bear that the Bears will see this Sunday against the Bills. Defensive back and special teamer Corey Graham, who is his first year in Buffalo, was just named one of their team captains.

I always liked Graham's game.

9a) There's another former Bear that was named team captain for the 2014 season. Josh McCown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won over his teammates the first few days he was in Tampa.

I always liked him too. If the Bucs can stabilize their o-line, McCown should have a real good season.

10) I have a feeling my Sackwatch will be less wordy in 2014.

From ESPN:

Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears: During his first four seasons in Chicago, Cutler was sacked on 7.6 percent of his dropbacks, the highest rate among qualifying QBs. In his first season under Marc Trestman in 2013, Cutler was sacked on just 5.0 percent of his dropbacks (sixth-lowest rate in NFL).

Another year in the system equals more familiarity, and more familiarity equals quicker reads by the entire offense. Health is the only thing that could derail the TCO.

That ESPN article has a neat nugget about each of the 32 starting QBs in the NFL.

What are your thoughts on my thoughts?

Be sure to leave your own thoughts in the comment section.