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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

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The NFL off season is the best off season in all of sports, because there really isn't an off season. The NFL has their events spaced out beautifully so there's always something going on and something for everyone to talk about.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

1) Forget about all of Tim Tebow's off the field stuff for a moment and think about what a great collegiate player he was. Now remember how exciting the Denver Broncos were during Tebow's playoff run. And by exciting I don't necessarily mean good, because watching Tebow play quarterback on the professional level is occasionally cringe-worthy.

But when he gets in the zone and finds a rhythm, his play can be unbelievable.

He's an under 50% passer, he was charged with 14 fumbles and he threw 6 interceptions in 14 games of the 2011 season, but he also found a way to win games that year. The Broncos were 1-4 before pulling the plug on Kyle Orton and going with Tebow at QB. They went on to win 7 of their next 11 games to sneak into the playoffs at 8-8. In 6 of those 7 wins Tebow engineered the game winning drive. He also threw the ball that Demaryius Thomas took to the house in overtime to win their wildcard playoff game.

The odds are against Tim Tebow ever playing a meaningful snap for the Philadelphia Eagles, but I'm rooting for him. And it has noting to do with his faith or what a good guy he is, it's because I want to watch some helter/skelter football.

1a) I'll just place this right here...

For the record, I prefer yellow mustard with my soft pretzel, but if a cheese sauce is readily available (i.e. free) I'll go that route.

2) Wanting to be entertained is the reason I'm rooting for Johnny Manziel to find success in Cleveland too. His off field stuff is the polar opposite of Tebow's, but between the lines Manziel brings The Excitement.

FYI, both the Eagles and Browns began their off season workout programs today.

3) Speaking of the off season workout programs, Tom Brady was in the news today for being the 1st player through the doors for the New England Patriots. (These things really matter!)

3a) New England second year QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, reportedly looks like a linebacker. This from Garoppolo's personal QB coach Jeff Christiensen.

"I talked to Bill (Belichick) at the combine, and I asked him how Jimmy was doing," Christensen told WEEI.com in a recent phone conversation. "He said '(Jimmy) looks like a linebacker. He works out like a linebacker. He acts like a linebacker. I really like him a lot, coach. You did a great job with him. Thank you.' "

If you remember it was during Tom Brady's 2nd year when he took over at QB when Drew Bledsoe went down with a week 2 injury. Maybe history repeats itself and Garoppolo takes the reigns of the New England franchise at some point during the 2015 season. Or maybe Belichick turns Jimmy Guacamole loose on the defensive side of the ball!

4) The Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who hold the top pick in the NFL Draft, are comfortable enough to make that pick right now.

"Going back all the way to the (NFL Scouting Combine), we said we had a leader in the clubhouse," he (Bucs general manager Jason Licht) said. "We still do. If we had to pick today, we'd feel very comfortable making the pick."

If Florida State QB Jameis Winston was the leader in the clubhouse back at the combine, then we must assume that the lawsuit filed against Winston by Erica Kinsman, the former FSU student that accused him of rape, has no bearing on their decision.

This tells me that the Bucs and the NFL are confident that there will be no further legal trouble on the horizon for Winston from this case.

5) If Winston goes #1 as expected, I think the most logical team to trade up to the 2nd spot for the chance to draft Marcus Mariota will be the San Diego Chargers. San Diego will be able to provide the Tennessee Titans with a franchise QB in Philip Rivers, and Rivers has zero desire to re-sign in San Diego once his contract expires after the 2015 season. Any trade of Rivers will no doubt include a contract extension by his new team.

It's not often the player has leverage in these types of scenarios, but with Rivers about to play the final season of his deal, the only option the Chargers would have is to let him play out the year and then franchise tag him before the 2016 season.

Tagging a 34 year old QB who will be unhappy seems like a no win situation. They may as well get something for him while he has some value.

6) The Minnesota Vikings, upon learning that running back Adrian Peterson has been reinstated by the league after his near year long suspension, issued the following statement, "We look forward to Adrian re-joining the Vikings," knowing full well that Peterson wants out of Minnesota.

Peterson has no interest in remaining a Viking, but he is under contract and the Vikings have to show prospective trade partners that they want him back. Minnesota got a taste of life without Peterson last year, and while missing the centerpiece of their offense wasn't ideal, the Vikings began transitioning the O to quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.

I have a feeling the Vikes will wait until draft day, then move Peterson if someone steps up with a offer they deem worthy.

7) Last season we talked about Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Devon Still, his brave daughter Leah and her battle with cancer. A few weeks ago Devon announced that his daughter's cancer was in remission.

Next month, father and daughter will be honored by Dick Vitale's V Foundation.

Through sales of Devin Still's #75 jersey, the Bengals have raised more than $1.3 million for pediatric cancer research. That's awesome.

8) When does confidence turn into delusion?

Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless had this to say.

"I consider myself the top echelon of tight ends," Quarless said. "That's really where I see myself and that's really where I'm trying to take it. A couple other guys like (Rob Gronkowski) and a couple guys who are up there. I put myself in that bracket. That's definitely where I'm training to be."

Now had he started his quote with something more humble like 'I'm training to be in the top echelon of tight ends,' I probably wouldn't even be pointing this out, but he went right out and put himself in that category.

Last year Quarless started 11 of the 16 games he played in, catching 29 balls for 323 yards with 3 touchdowns. Those 29 receptions ranked him 26th among NFL TEs.

Quarless' career numbers of 85 receptions, 909 yards and 6 TDs can't even best Chicago Bears Pro Bowl TE Martellus Bennett's 2014 season (90/916/6).

9) Former Chicago Bears wide out Brandon Marshall and current Chicago running back Matt Forte were the only two Bears ranked in the NFLPI Top 50 Player Sales Rankings. Marshall was 18th and Forte was 35th.

I wonder if the Bears will have anyone in the top 50 after the 2015 season?

10) In Dan Kadar's latest mock draft on SB Nation, he's taking the consensus approach to his selections. He looked at 20 recent mocks and made his picks according to the "experts". Here's how it's looking for the Bears.

7. Chicago Bears: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia

The number of times White was picked for Chicago was somewhat surprising. It makes sense after the Bears traded Brandon Marshall. I've been hooked on defensive players for the Bears, so this might have me going back to sources and reconsider things for next week's mock.

The picks:
45 percent Kevin White
15 percent Amari Cooper
15 percent Danny Shelton
10 percent Vic Beasley
5 percent Breshad Perriman
5 percent Dante Fowler
5 percent DeVante Parker

First off, I like White as a prospect, but I'd rather the Bears not take a wide out in the 1st round at 7. With such a deep WR class, the Bears can find good value in the 2nd or even the 3rd round, or maybe later in the 1st with a trade back.

10a) In case you missed it, a number of WCG members mocked the entire first round over the weekend. There weren't many surprises until the mock got around to #7 and the Bears' pick from MidWayMonster54.

Todd Gurley RB, Georgia

John Fox is going back to old school, smash mouth football and Gurley fits the bill. With Matt Forte in the final year of his contract and no real proven player behind Forte, it makes sense to restock with Filet Mignon rather than ground chuck.

The track record from 1st round drafted running backs hasn't been very good lately, but Gurley looks the part of a future Pro Bowler. If Gurley didn't tear his ACL back in November, he was talked about as a likely top 10 pick.

What are your thoughts on the NFL this week?