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Ten Thoughts on the NFL

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1) What kind of pathetic excuse for a human being pulls out a gun over a fender bender?

Former New Orleans Saint Will Smith was shot and killed after his vehicle was struck from behind late Saturday night in New Orleans. The driver of the vehicle that struck Smith's from behind got out of his vehicle, argued with Smith, then pulled out a gun and pulled the trigger multiple times, even shooting Smith's wife in her leg twice.

The latest reports on the incident show that Smith may have bumped into the murderer's vehicle earlier in the night before driving off and that may have prompting the second fender bender that ultimately led to the altercation. Regardless of a hit and run, there's no need to pull a gun. Get the plate, and let the police do their job.

Arizona Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu, who was born in New Orleans and stayed in state to play football at LSU, actually knew the murderer. He took to social media to call him a "coward" and to call for change to make New Orleans a safer place to raise children.

Smith was a popular player during his time with the Saints, and he stayed in the area after his playing days ended. He was active in helping his community and his foundation, Where There's a Will There's a Way, helps provide opportunities for women and children.

There may end up being more to this story, but we'll have to wait and see.

2) Western Kentucky's Tyler Higbee, a tight end projected to be a mid round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, was arrested Sunday morning and charged with second degree assault, alcohol intoxication in a public place and second degree fleeing.

NFL teams will also charge him with being a dumbass by removing him off their draft boards.

In a draft devoid of top flight TEs, Higbee's prospects were starting to pick up after he showed off his surgically repaired knee at his pro day. But now, I would be surprised if he's drafted.

Higbee plans to plea not guilty, and claim self-defense, but the damage may have already been done.

3) A few weeks ago we talked about 400 pound tight end LaQuan McGowan of Baylor. His odds of being drafted are low, but he'll probably get a chance at an NFL roster as an undrafted free agent. Blocking TE, offensive guard, defensive tackle or pretty much anywhere a team wants to line him up at he's open to.

He's also open to professional wrestling after his NFL dream ends. He specifically mentions the WWE, but these days there are plenty of independent promotions that he could cut his teeth at. He has the size and athleticism, but it takes more than just that to make it in the squared circle.

4) After the New York Jets lost starting left tackle D'Brickashaw Ferguson to a surprising retirement, they quickly moved to find a replacement. The Jets sent a 5th round pick to the Denver Broncos for former Pro Bowler Ryan Clady. They'll also get a 7th rounder in the deal.

N.Y. asked three time Pro Bowler Ferguson to take a pay cut for the 2016 season, but after 10 years and only missing 1 offensive snap in his entire career, he figured he'd rather retire.

I'll type that one again because it's amazing, Ferguson only missed one offensive snap in his 10 year career.

5) Former Browns QB Johnny Manziel, who is trying to get back into the NFL, has decided that living with a guy that can't lay off banned substances, Josh Gordon, is a good idea. Gordon was awaiting his reinstatement, but he tested positive again last month.

If Manziel is trying to give some good vibes to prospective teams, he should probably distance himself from dumbasses.

6) We stay away from politics here on Windy City Gridiron, but I can get behind the idea floated by John Kasich. He wants to make the day after the Super Bowl a national holiday.

"It should be. There's no productivity whatsoever. I think it should be," Kasich said. "I'm going to take that under consideration. Maybe I can get that done in the first 100 days."

This may have just been a fun throw away remark by a presidential candidate on a sports show, or it could have been a strategically placed way to get some undecided votes from football fans to come to his side.

Either way, please refrain from discussing "actual" politics in the comment thread. I can guarantee you no one gives a damn about your views.

7) The Tennessee Titans are reportedly torn between Mississippi left tackle Laremy Tunsil and Notre Dame left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Some believe this is why they are seriously considering trading the #1 overall pick, because taking Stanley at #1 overall wouldn't make a lot of sense. The trick for them is to not trade that far back, otherwise they risk a shot at Stanley too.

But if they do trade back, would this prompt some other team to trade in front of Tennessee if they also covet Stanley?

The NFL Draft is only 16 days away...

8) Moritz Boehringer is a 6'4", 224 pound wide receiver for the German Football League's Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns. He's trying to make the leap to the NFL, and he participated at Florida Atlantic's pro day. The Chicago Bears were one of a handful of teams represented at FAUs pro day, although the Bears aren't expected to have a private predraft meeting with him.

Some scouts are predicting that Boehringer will be a day three pick and from an athletic standpoint,

He ran the 40-yard dash in 4.41 seconds, per, which would've ranked third among receivers at this year's NFL Combine. His reported 39-inch vertical, 10'11 broad jump, 17 bench press reps, 4.1-second 20-yard shuttle, and 6.65-second three-cone drill would've all ranked among the top five at his position.

... teams with an extra late round pick would be crazy not to take a flier on his potential.

9) has one "burning" question for each team in the NFL, You can check out the AFC version here and the NFC right here.

Here's the question posed for the Chicago Bears and their answer.

Can Jeremy Langford carry the load?

There seems to be a prevailing assumption out there that Langford is simply going to walk right into the starting lineup and produce like Matt Forte, based on a few good games last season. I'm not sure that fans or analysts realize how productive Forte has been. First off, the man has averaged over 20 touches per game through eight seasons. Secondly, Forte was an outstanding receiver in Chicago. Remember Langford's big drop late in the home loss to the Vikings? Clearly the team was thinking something similar, or else John Fox would not have gone after his former running back (C.J. Anderson) in free agency.

I not only remember that drop against the Vikings, I remember about 3 or 4 other key drive stalling drops.

I touched on it before, but among all players with 20 or more targets, Langford had the worst drop percentage in the NFL according to SportingCharts. His 7 drops in 42 targets (22 receptions) was good for 16.7%. I think Langford deserves more carries, but I also think it's smart for the Bears to look for a compliment for their backfield.

This thought is a little foreshadowing for the SB Nation writers mock draft where I step in and mock the 2nd round for the Bears...

10) If there's one thing that gets my goat, it's when members of the national media get something wrong when discussing the Bears. It's really not that difficult to check facts in this day and age. Google is a good place to start. But when you work at a behemoth of a company like ESPN or the NFL Network, you have regional experts that you can probably pick the brain of, or at the very least, give a copy of your article to so they can peruse it.

Gregg Rosenthal, the Around The NFL Editor for, just published a Roster Reset article about the NFC North. He hits on each team and the offseason changes they've made. Here's a snippet from his Bears section.

The Bears probably had the noisiest offseason in the division. That doesn't mean they are better than they were two months ago. General manager Ryan Pace and coach John Fox seem to be embracing a full rebuild of the Lovie Smith era. Gone are productive veterans like Matt Forte and Martellus Bennett. Former big ticket free-agent signings (Jermon Bushrod) and first-round picks (Shea McClellin) are also gone.

If Rosenthal doesn't believe the Bears are in a better place than they were 2 months ago, then he may not know what an improving team looks like. Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman are a gigantic upgrades over last season's inside linebackers, and some publications are already calling them the best 3-4 ILB duo in the NFL. Sure they're yet to play a down for the Bears, but if you're going to use that as an excuse to not speculate on improvement, then the same can be said for every offseason acquisition of the other 31 teams.

And are the Bears embracing a full rebuild of the Lovie Smith era in 2016? Lovie hasn't coached the Bears since 2012. I know the Marc Trestman/Phil Emery era wasn't very memorable, but they were in Chicago for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Emery starte dto rid the Bears of Lovie guys long before Ryan Pace took over. Of the four veterans Rosenthal liste dafter referencing the Lovie Smith era, two of them came to Chicago under the first year of the Trestman regime. isn't the only major sports news outlet that is clueless when discussing the Bears, I'll hit on ESPN around lunch time when I look at one of their recent mock drafts.

What are some of your thoughts on the NFL this week?