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Ten Thoughts on the NFL and the Bears

Check out our thoughts on the NFL this week...

Pittsburgh Steelers v New Orleans Saints Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images

1) Antonio Brown to the Green Bay Packers has been a hot rumor, but it’s a real possibility when you look at how their roster is constructed (plus cap space and draft capital). Aaron Rodgers is still quarterbacking at a high level at 35-years old, and snagging one of the best wide outs in the game would give that offense another dimension.

Even if one of their current wide outs thinks their groups is already set and ready to go.

Marquez Valdes-Scantling showed promise as a rookie last season with 38 catches for 581 yards and 2 TDs, but adding Brown to the mix is a game-changer. The Steelers plan to trade Brown to the NFC, I just hope it’s not to the North.

Brown is rumored to prefer going to San Francisco, but the Steelers will take the best offer on the table.

2) The most interesting thing about free agency this year is where the quarterbacks will end up. The first domino fell with the Broncos trading for Joe Flacco, but I’m curious to see which teams go with veterans and which teams look to the draft to fill their openings.

3) The Oakland Raiders will be playing in Oakland after all in 2019. They’re still scheduled to become the Las Vegas Raiders in 2020, but their home this season was up in the air with San Francisco as a rumored destination.

4) Joe Mixon had an underrated season for the Cincinnati Bengals in topping a thousand yards rushing, averaging 4.8 yards per carry, and catching 43 balls. With new head coach Zac Taylor coming over from the Rams, Mixon will play the “Todd Gurley role” in their offense. That has him motivated to get into the best shape of his life to handle an increased workload with an eye towards 400 carries.

5) I still haven’t watched a snap of the AAF.

But if this was a true “minor league” developmental system, with Bears assigned to a team, I’d be 100% invested.

Get it done, NFL.

6) The NFL loosened their celebration rule, but now they want to tighten it back up.

I don’t see the problem with players rushing to the end-zone to celebrate with their teammates unless it’s slowing the game down. After a touchdown, the referee should set the ball and start the play clock and if a team isn’t ready to go, that’s on the team.

7) This is the oddest offseason I can remember the Chicago Bears ever having. There are few needs on the team making free agency a mild topic, and they don’t have a draft pick until the third round.

We’ll still have everything locked down here at WCG, but this offseason will have a different feel to it.

Do any of you guys miss the parade of mock drafts yet?

8) But with that being said, is listing 2 Bears in their Top 101 Free Agents of 2019 list.

34 - Bryce Callahan - CB

Football analytics have noted that slot-corner efficiency is aberrantly unpredictable from season to season. That said, Callahan was one of the position’s premier playmakers prior to his season-ending foot injury in December.

The Bears will have a number they won’t exceed for the oft injured Callahan, but losing him would be a big blow.

41 - Adrian Amos - S

A Pro Football Focus darling ranked second among all safeties in 2017 and seventh in 2018, Amos completes his assignments with aplomb. His old coordinator, Vic Fangio, could try to bring him to Denver.

I’ve seen the Amos to Denver thing floated by a few publications, so that wouldn’t surprise me, but the Broncos aren’t exactly swimming in cap space at a bit over $18 million.

8a) CBS Sports has a Top 30 free agent list, and both Bears make that cut.

17 - Bryce Callahan - CB

He’s one of the better nickel corners in the league. With teams playing so much nickel now, that means he’s a quality starter. That will get him paid.

22 - Adrian Amos - SS

He’s been a quality player on the back end for the Bears. He is good against the run and the pass, although he isn’t as good as Eddie Jackson, who played next to him.

9) The Baltimore Ravens made nickle corner Tavon Young the highest paid slot corner in the NFL with his recent 3 year contract worth a max of $29 million. The Bears could use this deal — for the soon to be 25-year old — as a jumping off point to negotiate with the 27-year old Callahan. We’ll soon find out how the Bears, and the rest of the NFL if he hits free agency, views Bryce.

10) I don’t know how I missed this a couple weeks ago, but CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora gave his early 2019 NFL predictions and his Bears prediction was interesting.

The Bears will be the Jags of 2019

Regression is a way of life in this league, and the Bears will be hard pressed to get back to 13 wins. If they do, it will be because of Mitch Trubisky taking major strides. Because they won’t be able to win as many games the way they did a year ago. It’s going to take a more balanced efficiency. Besides what are generally challenging divisional games, the Bears also face four of the five best teams in the NFL from a year ago (Chiefs, Chargers, Saints and Rams), and games at the Eagles and at Denver (Mile High is always tough) could be tricky, too, especially with former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio now running the Broncos. No matter how that schedule comes out in April, it’s going to be a gauntlet.

Where do I even start?

  • The 2018 Bears won 12 games, not 13.
  • Does JLC realize the Bears nearly swept their “generally challenging” division last year?
  • I already de-bunked any strength of schedule argument that is made at this time of year.
  • Not to mention JLC is below the Mendoza line when it comes to hitting on his Bears’ rumors/predictions.