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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

The NFL season may be over, but I still have plenty of thoughts. Be sure to drop a few of your own in the comment section.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

1) Richie Incognito, who hasn't played since being accused of bullying in 2013, is back in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. Whether you believe that Incognito bullied a teammate or not, he still crossed the line on numerous occasions in Miami. Besides the numerous racial and sexual taunts from him, there were reports of physical and sexual assault.

Details of his contract have yet to be made known, but I'm sure there will be a character clause in there that protects the Bills from further jackassery.

2) Speaking of jackasses, Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy just had his domestic violence charges dismissed, because the accuser couldn't be found before this morning's appeals case began. The same accuser who already reached a civil suit agreement with Hardy, in the same case that a judge already found Hardy guilty.

Hardy legally had the right to a trial by jury on appeal, and it was fortunate for him that the accused was nowhere to be found.

Hardy will join a free agent crop that includes a guy that was video taped punching his girlfriend, now wife, in the face and a guy that "switched" his kid until he was bloody.

Do you guys want any of these three free agents on your favorite team?

3) Speaking of free agents, the Baltimore Ravens are considering cutting ties with 31 year old, 5 time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Haloti Ngata if he doesn't agree to re-work his deal. For a man of his size (6'4", 335), he's been fairly durable throughout his career. He missed 4 games from a suspension in 2014, but prior to that he only missed 4 games from 2006-2013.

Ngata may end up being a fine consolation prize for whichever team fails to land Ndamukong Suh.

4) A few weeks ago, Hall of Fame receiver Jerry Rice called the New England Patriots cheaters when they were being investigated for deflating some footballs. Just a couple days prior to calling out the Pats, Rice flippantly admitted to using stickum on his gloves during an interview, even though stickum was an illegal substance when Rice played.

So in Rice's mind, his cheating is justifiable because others did it.

OK then.

5) Add New England running back Shane Vereen to the list of people that thought Seattle should have handed the ball off to Marshawn Lynch in the waning seconds of the Super Bowl.

"I think it's a different game, I think it's a different ending," Vereen said. "When I was on the sideline, and I saw where they had the ball in the situation, we were trying to get some plays together for the offense to try and get at least a field goal to tie the thing up. So my focus was mainly more on that, 'cause I definitely thought they were going to hand it to him and he was gonna punch it in."

I don't care what statistical breakdown you come up with, there's no way you go away from the toughest, baddest and angriest running back in the game today with 1 yard to go.

6) Former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre has made it official. He will return to Lambeau Field in 2015 for induction into the Packers' Hall Of Fame and to have his #4 retired by the franchise.

My guess, the Packers will wait until the schedule is announced and they'll do it on a prime time game. Maybe on a Thursday or Monday night affair against a division rival.

7) Michael Sam, who made headlines for being the first openly gay player drafted to the NFL, has applied to participate in the upcoming veteran combine. The vet combine, which will take place on March 22nd, will give players and their agents a chance to network with teams

The combine is expected to have about 100 free agents vying to give NFL scouts a good impression, but it's not known how many applicants in total there are, nor is it known the criteria used to determine which applicants are invited.

If Sam is passed over, at least he has an offer on the table from the CFL's Montreal Alouettes

8) If Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota isn't the top pick in the draft, just how far will he fall?

In a recent mock draft on, he's slipping all the way down to 18 for the Kansas City Chiefs. Many mock drafters have him falling to 6 and the New York Jets. With his former college coach, Chip Kelly, running the show in Philadelphia, I'd imagine the Eagles have a call into every one of the 19 teams drafting in front of them with a trade proposal ready to go.

Kelly runs such a unique offense, that Mariota would be able to step in from day one and find some success. With any other team drafting Mariota, he'd have a steep learning curve before getting on the field.

9) Ed Sabol, who helped revolutionize the way sports are presented with his company NFL Films, has died at the age of 98. He, along with his son Steve, who died in 2012, helped build the NFL into the juggernaut it is today with their unique way of presenting the game as larger than life.

I must have had nearly every VHS tape ever produced by NFL Films back in the day.

10) Will Brinson of graded all seven new head coaching hires giving the Bills' hiring of Rex Ryan his top grade (A-), while giving San Francisco's hiring of Jim Tomsula his lowest mark (D+), and Denver's hiring of Gary Kubiak right in the middle (C+).

He gave new Chicago Bears head coach John Fox a C+, but ranked him right below Kubiak.

It took about 48 hours for Fox to figure out where his next landing spot would be. It's his second-straight quick switch as a head coach. And, realistically, he fits really well here. The Bears have nice offensive pieces and are in desperate need of someone who can turn their defense around. Fox has an impressive history of taking bottom-five defenses and making them top-five units within a year or two (he did it at both his last stops). But the elephant in the room here is Jay Cutler. How is Foxy fixing him? Adam Gase knows what he's doing from an offensive standpoint, but he's only five years older than the mercurial quarterback. Can he wrangle Cutler and maximize his efficiency? Fox's best solution to saving his quarterback could very well be to put reins on the offense and ride Matt Forte in the running game.

So let me get this straight... Rex Ryan and his .479 winning percentage as a head coach gets an A-, while Kubiak and his .488 wining percentage is a spot above Fox and his career winning percentage of .572?

Oh, I get it... Maybe Fox is penalized for having Peyton Manning the last 3 seasons. So if we only factor in Fox's Carolina years, he still has a higher winning percentage than those two at .507 and his lone year in Denver without Manning, he went .500 with Tim Tebow winning a playoff game.

Got it.