1) Speaking of the NFL legal tampering period, the NFL is pissed that contract details are leaking out, even though NFL.com is all over the reports and the NFL Network has constant coverage of the early signings.
And when I say they were pissed, I mean they sent a sternly written email to teams.
Clubs were advised of the rules for the three-day negotiating period in PP-23-15 (attached). These rules include limitations such as that a club cannot make an "offer;" or enter into a written or oral agreement of any kind, express or implied, or make promises or representations of any type concerning the terms or conditions of employment to be offered to any Unrestricted Free Agent for inclusion in a Player Contract after the start of the new League Year; or provide assurances of intent as to the future execution of an NFL Player Contract. Clubs were further advised that "Any attempt to undermine the purpose of this negotiating period may be considered conduct detrimental to the League." At this time, the League office is beginning investigations into a number of reported agreements with clubs. Violations will be dealt with accordingly.
What did the NFL expect to happen when giving teams a 3 day window to negotiate with players?
2) I'm not about to list winners and losers from the early negotiating period, because the leaks are coming so fast, but I will say I thought the Packers and Patriots did well in retaining Randall Cobb and Devin McCourty accordingly. Both stuck around even though they probably could have received more on the open market.
3) Patrick Willis and Justin Smith of the San Francisco 49ers are going to retire.
But I can't shake the feeling that they both just want out of San Francisco due the recent odd goings on surrounding that franchise.
4) At first I was surprised that the Philadelphia Eagles were signing Frank Gore to replace the recently traded LeSean McCoy, but it actually makes sense. Gore is a see hole/hit hole type runner while McCoy was known to dance a little at the point of attack. For as crazy and hectic as the Philly offense appears, they still want to run the ball with their inside/outside zone scheme.
The 31 year old Gore can be paired with the 31 year old Darren Sproles to give opposing defenses different looks.
EDIT: Gore got cold feet about Philly and now looks to be heading to Indy. I like that move too.
5) And speaking of the Eagles, this is one of the dumbest things I've seen in a long time.
ESPN's Stephen A. Smith suggests racism in Chip Kelly's roster moves http://t.co/hUukJI1H57— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 9, 2015
6) Tom House, who is famously know as Tom Brady's personal QB coach, has been working with Tim Tebow the last couple of years for one last shot at the NFL. Tebow passed up a chance to attend the first veteran free agent combine, but rumors are circulating that he could attend the next one.
I've always enjoyed watching Tebow's unconventional style of quarterbacking and would like to see him latch on to a team.
7) From a Bears' fan perspective, I like the deal that Ndamukong Suh is set to get from the Miami Dolphins. He is the most disruptive defensive tackle in the league, so getting in away from the Detroit Lions is great.
Suh is about to sign the richest contract in the history of the NFL for a defensive player, but the best part of the deal is the Lions' denial that he's about to leave their franchise.
From SB Nation - Lions hoping Ndamukong Suh 'comes to his senses' and re-signs
8) Remember former Chicago Bears 6th round draft pick J.T. Thomas? He was a member of Jerry Angelo's final draft class with the Bears and he's been in Jacksonville the last 2 years. I was only reminded of him as I was pouring over the list of free agent inside linebacker possibilities and I was surprised to see what a solid 2014 he had.
He played in all 16 games, starting 10, and he had 84 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 2 forced fumbles and a fumble recovery that he returned for a TD.
9) Speaking of the 2011 draft class, it looks like the Bears are about to lose 2nd round pick Stephen Paea to the Washington Redskins. I was always a fan of Paea, but I understand the business decision to let him walk away.
I think if he were still under contract with the Bears, head coach John Fox and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio would have made him work with the new scheme, but since he's an unrestricted free agent, it's best to allocate the money elsewhere.
10) The latest SB Nation Mock Draft is out and this time draft guru Dan Kadar is alternating picks with Matthew Fairburn, who is a former SB Nation NFL Draft guru and who is currently on the Buffalo Bills beat.
Here's their pick at #7 for the Bears.
7. Chicago Bears: Vic Beasley, OLB, Clemson
This pick can be complicated. Do the Bears go with a big defensive tackle like Danny Shelton or Eddie Goldman or one of the pass rushers remaining? Fairburn doesn't see Shelton as a huge impact player, but sees Beasley as a splash player. He's versatile off the edge and his stock is up following the combine.
What are your thoughts on the NFL this week?