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10 Thoughts on the NFL: Free Agency, Bears, and More

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Coach John Fox realizing that crazy rumor time is upon us.
Coach John Fox realizing that crazy rumor time is upon us.
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

1) Bad pizza salesman, insurance salesman, and occasional 2015 NFL football player Peyton Manning retired after 18 years, two teams, two super bowls, and approximately every commercial.

Jokes aside, Manning finishes his on-field career with a bunch of NFL records for passing, and generally speaking, is one of the more dedicated and hard-working players you've ever seen on the field.  But despite his best efforts over the last couple years, there's one NFL record he couldn't break, and that belongs to Brett Favre.

favresmug
Most Passes Intercepted
336

Brett set a basically untouchable record. So congratulations, Peyton, on a storied career, a first-ballot HOF nomination, and also on not giving the ball up as much as Brett Favre.

2) The legal tampering period is well underway, and this time of year is maybe slightly less annoying than the last week before the draft. The free tampering period is the NFL's way of making a cool talking point out of that thing we all knew was happening anyways, and eliminates their need to try to figure out how to punish teams for performing business transactions.

[insert team] has a lot of interest in [insert talented player x] but [insert talented player x] will be [looking to maximize his money]/[looking to go to a contender], so it's unlikely a deal gets made.

[insert team] has interest in [insert talented player x], [insert talented player y], [inserted talented player z] but may need to trade or cut [less talented player q] to make it happen.

It's a perfect way for everyone to hedge their bets - throw enough bullstuff at the walls, some of it is bound to stick. So be ready for 3,000 annoying retweets because that guy someone fell in love with in the fourth round of the 2010 draft is now available.

3) The Eagles seem determined to Febreze away any remaining Chip Kelly scent, on news that they made multiple trades Monday.

Demarco Murray will head to Tennessee with a new contract, to play for Mike Mularkey, known for loading up on running backs with a bunch of carries:

Year Player (Team) # Carries
2004 McGahee (Bills) 284
2005 McGahee (Bills) 325
2006 Brown (Dolphins) 241
2008 Turner (Falcons) 376
2010 Turner (Falcons) 334
2011 Turner (Falcons) 301


376 rushing attempts for Michael Turner in 2008?!  WHAT!?! RIP, Demarco Murray's legs, we hardly knew ye.

The Eagles also traded Byron Maxwell and Kiko Alonso, Kelly picks, to the Dolphins. Doug Pederson will get a bunch of new toys, and honestly, I had to google "eagles coach" because I couldn't remember who Doug Pederson is.

4) Robert Griffin III is finally released from his own personal hell in Washington.

This sucks for everyone involved, really. It sucks for Washington fans. It sucks for RGIII fans (yes, they exist.) It sucks for the Washington football team (which made their own bed, I don't feel bad for them) and it sucks for RGIII. But he'll get a chance to go somewhere and compete, and we'll see if he can still do any of the things that made him such an exciting player to watch in college and his early NFL years.

5) The Broncos seem to have sort of a problem on their hands, right? Peyton Manning retired. They had no choice but to use the franchise tag on defensive badass Von Miller, and now the Texans are being considered a legitimate contender to sign QB Brock Osweiler.

So if the Broncos lose Osweiler, and lose other defensive playmakers like Danny Trevathan and LB Brandon Marshall, it could be a real big swing from SB champs to 3rd or 4th in the division.

6) I would be hard pressed to imagine Martellus Bennett in a Bears uniform, but I'm also hard pressed to imagine anyone trading for him. Look for a Bears cut announcement in the coming terms.

7) Speaking of tight ends, did you see where this tight end market is at? Dwayen Allen's deal is kind of crazy for a guy who doesn't have all that much production. Or, as former Bears Greg Olsen put it:

8) The Bears should look hard at Kelvin Beachum.

The former Steelers left tackle was going hard until getting derailed by an ACL injury in week 7 last year. If his workouts look good, he's a guy who could be gotten at a nice price. However, every team wants a left tackle, so that market could inflate quickly.

The Bears still have a lot of questions about the offensive line, which gave up 33 sacks last season and a whole hell of a lot more pressure. The defense needs a lot of work, and shoring up the offensive line in free agency would allow a draft-heavy focus to fill in the 3-4 gaps still left.

9) Reports out of Detroit say that while the Lions aren't necessarily pressuring Calvin Johnson to make his decision, they sure would like him to.

Johnson has a $24,000,000 cap hit sitting there like a storm cloud. If he leaves, they can save $11M in cap space, but then their only proven receiver is Golden Tate. They could be in for a rough time up there either way.  Gotta love it, right?

10) Our friends over at Acme Packing Compnay have something on the Matt Forte front, the possibility of him going to Green Bay.

First reaction: Ah, gross. Second reaction: They've got him at possibly coming at $3M/yr, which seems low. Their argument is well-reasoned with sources, but I can see someone like the Patriots, who we watched spectacularly fail in the postseason by continually lining a running back up at wide receiver, giving him that touch more to go there. Both teams are contenders, but it's hard for me to shake the idea that we'll see Forte in silver and blue in the near future.

I'm sure many of you have opinions about the concept of Matt Forte in the green and yellow, so we'll end on that note. Let's all hope that [insert talented player z] signs on with Chicago for $10,000,000 less because of the franchise's rich history.