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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Check out my Thoughts on the NFL and be sure to add a few of your own in the comment section.

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Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

1) Hall Of Famer Chuck Bednarik, one of the true legends to ever play the game of football, died on March 21st at 89 years old.

He was one of the last great two-way players in the NFL, excelling both at linebacker and center for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1949-1962. To the casual NFL fan, Bednarik is probably best known for his hit on the Giants' Frank Gifford, as seen here;

The iconic snapshot of him standing over a prone Gifford was used by the Eagles when announcing Bednarik's passing.

Bednarik is arguably one of the toughest men to ever play the game. He played before the era of the multi-million dollar contract and it was his off season job as a cement salesman that gave him his nickname of Concrete Charlie. But it just as well could have been given to him due to the hard hitting nature of his play. Before the NFL, he flew 30 combat missions over Germany in World War II and during his 14 year Iron-man career, he only missed 3 games.

From the USA Today.

He said he missed none with his worst injury, a torn biceps in his right arm: "They just pushed it up and taped it. I continued playing," he said. "You can feel a little dent up above where the attachment was."

For more on Chuck Bednarik check out this quick 5 minute clip from NFL Films.

2) The NFL held their inaugural veteran combine over the weekend, and at first glance it seems unlikely that more than a few hopefuls will receive a shot at an NFL training camp. As of this writing, only one player has inked a deal.

3) Former Chicago Bears and Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush was mortified when he found out he ran a 4.91 40 yard dash at the combine.

'You gotta be ****ing me. 4.91? There you go, there goes my career.'

Well... technically his career was already over, but maybe now he can stick a fork in it.

Bush seems a little salty about his time in Chicago and the lack of playing time, but that could have had something to do with his 3.4 yards per carry in a Bears uniform.

3a) One more running back 40 note, former Chicago training camp/off season/preseason legend Harvey Unga, ran a 4.94.

4) The New Orleans Saints have been making noise this free agency by seemingly putting everyone on the trading block. But earlier today at the annual NFL owners meeting, the team announced at least one guy that isn't on the market.

"Anybody who thinks we're trading Drew Brees, that's just not true,"

New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis nipped the Brees rumor in the bud, and why wouldn't he? Brees has to already be unhappy that they traded away Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham and up and coming wide out Kenny Stills. A public proclamation in support for Brees is just what the franchise needed.

5) If you live in a market that's in fear of the NFL blackout policy, then you can breathe easier. The NFL is suspending the practice of not televising games to the home market if the stadium isn't sold out. They will revisit the rule next year.

I always thought it was a dumb rule.

6) Remember the Dez Bryant catch/no catch from the playoffs? The NFL is changing the language of the rule slightly.

That above quote is from Dean Blandino, the NFL's Vice President of Officiating.

Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun Times, perfectly sums up my thoughts on the rule with this tweet.

7) This one is a little old, but I was surprised at the amount of backlash Jameis Winston has received for announcing he'll skip the NFL Draft and stay home with his family. It's his moment. If he chooses to spend it with his friends and family instead of walking across the stage then no one has a right to question the decision.

For what it's worth, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has no issue with Winston's decision.

8) The NFL is thinking about playing the 2017 Pro Bowl in Brazil. I understand wanting to grow the NFL "brand" internationally, but the Pro Bowl features a terrible brand of football.

9) If no other team volunteers to be on HBO's Hard Knocks, the Cleveland Browns are the front runners to be on the show.

If you weren't sick of Johnny Manziel before, get ready for wall to wall Johnny Football.

But on the bright side, Josh McCown is also on that team!

10) This is an interesting twist. A few weeks ago, I went on record as saying I thought that Lance Briggs would be a good fit as a 3-4 inside linebacker, but odds are high that the Chicago Bears will not bring the 7 time Pro Bowler back for the 2015 season.

Now it seems the San Francisco 49ers are looking at Briggs to play ILB for them after losing 2 linebackers to retirement. Signing with the Niners will get him closer to his hometown of Elk Grove, California and his Double Nickel Smokehouse. That's a win/win for Briggs!

What are some of your thoughts from the last few days of the NFL news-cycle?