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Ten Thoughts on the NFL: Chicago Bears and beyond

Check out my latest thoughts on the National Football League and don't forget to play along by dropping a few of your own in the comment thread.

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Unsurprisingly, this form led to an interception.
Unsurprisingly, this form led to an interception.
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

1.) The NFL's ability to ignore an issue is literally costing some their heads.

Ex-NFLers are upset because the recent NFL concussion settlement excludes a common brain disease. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease associated with repetitive smashing of the head - you know, sort of the exact thing that football players do for their entire careers.  While it can officially only be diagnosed posthumously, reseachers are working on tests to be able to determine if the signs are there.

A federal judge last week ruled, though, that future cases are excluded, because players can get awards for some of the symptoms associated, and also because she feared it could incentivize suicide. Nevermind that the symptoms include memory loss, depression, and mood swings, which also can be tied to suicides.

Popular players like Junior Seau and Dave Duerson, amongst others, were driven to suicide and found later to suffer from this disease.  The league makes billions of dollars off of these players backs, the least they can do is try to take care of their heads.  (Add'l background: Ex-Players Are Ripping Into the NFL Concussion Settlement Because It Excludes a Common Brain Disease)

2.) Seriously, how dumb do you have to be?

Mizzou DE Shane Ray was cited with a marijuana charge in Missouri yesterday, which if you'll take notice, was 3 days before the NFL draft.  The NFL draft that some projected him to be a top-10 pick in.

Last year's SEC defensive player of the year was pulled over at 6am and charged with having 35 grams or less, and failing to drive in the right lane of a 2-lane highway.

But seriously, how dumb do you have to be? Yes, he walks away with a citation and was thankfully not also DWI, but  how do you justify making terrible decisions? If one condition your hopeful employer says is "Hey, maybe don't smoke pot for a while" - DON'T SMOKE POT FOR A WHILE.

3.) Greg Hardy's had a hell of a week, huh?

He got his 10-game suspension dropped on him for his ongoing legal issues, which he's currently appealing. Then he got into an altercation with a team mate at the first OTAs.  And then this happened:

Hardy was convicted in 2014 of assault on a female and communicating threats in a case involving a former girlfriend. The case was dismissed earlier this year after the alleged victim just sort of disappeared after reports of a settlement between her and Hardy had been reached.

Karma. Sometimes things just work themselves out.

4.) This is number 4 and you'll see what I did there in just a second.

Of course the Packers will honor Brett Favre on Thanksgiving Night. And of course it'll be against the Bears.

In his career (which does, of course, involve his time with the Vikings) Favre went 745/1202 (61.98% Completion), for 8,606 yards, 60 TDs, and a rating of 85.6.  Also, he threw in 263 rushing yards and 3 rushing TDs for good measure. He had a 23-13 record against the Bears.

But hey, the Bears intercepted him more times (42) than any other team he ever played against. Specifically, the Bears accounted for 12.5% of his all-time leading 336 interceptions. So that's cool, right?

5.) We're seriously still talking about the Patriots' balls?

The Patriots apparently cheated in a way that wasn't fair to both teams, though this is a game where the Colts let Blount do whatever he felt like as he averaged nearly 5 yards/attempt on 30 carries and scored 18 of the Patriots 45 points. He nearly doubled the entire rushing output of the Colts in that game.

The outcome of this investigation is apparently important enough that it has taken over 100 days, and the NFL can't even tell us when they might get it over with.

NFL - just hit them with the fine, take the draft pick, and let's move on.

6.) The NFL is a league where we apparently have to laud people for just showing up to work.

Much has been made of the fact that Antonio Brown was working out with the Steelers yesterday. This after he told the team last he intended to skip voluntary workouts because he wanted a new deal.

He wanted this new deal, of course, after just three years in his new deal. Yes, the system is weighted in the favor of the league, but the system is also weighted in favor of most employers. I can respect the desire to achieve every maximum dollar, but at least show up to your contractually obligated work.

7.) J.J. Watt just seems like the coolest.

Let's say you wanted to go to a charity softball tournament, but you had to work. Don't worry, all-around defensive stud J.J. Watt is here to help.

Add this to him being in absolute admiration of this 12-year old who sang the national anthem at a Rockets game, and the fact that he destroys people on the football field, and you just want him on your team so bad it hurts.

And just remember, kids - the Jaguars thought it was more important to get Blaine Gabbert with the 10th overall pick.

8.) It looks like Adrian Peterson will probably stick with the Vikings.  The team seems hesitant to trade him, by all accounts, and there don't appear to be many teams itching to take an older running back who hasn't played in a year, regardless of his history.

Of course, there's that whole situation of where he doesn't really like them, either. Is it possible he doesn't play another year? Despite his child violence situation, I find it hard to believe. The NFL has demonstrated multiple times that ability will trump all else.  Expect to see him in at back in game 1, whether you personally agree with it or not.

9.) Washington will pick up RGIII's fifth year option, which will be fully guaranteed for injury. That's over $16M guaranteed for a guy who has not once played a full 16 game season.

There is one simple explanation: Dan Snyder actually hates money and will do anything possible to give it to people who consistently underachieve. See Haynesworth, Albert.

10.) Doug Buffone's gone, man. It still just sucks. I've never heard anyone have more passion about the Chicago Bears, good or bad, and his voice and presence will be missed.  RIP Big Doug.