I don’t even pretend to be following these laborious labor negotiations over the last six months or so. I didn’t care in March. I don’t care now. Once that deal is done, and it looks like the owners are set to ratify the new CBA on Thursday at an all-inclusive meeting, I will care. Because it means the National Football League is back. And the NFL, despite it bothering me over this half a year, is still the greatest sports league in the universe.
Let’s focus on the Bears and lay out as succinctly as possible what will transpire starting Monday. (All rumors part to Monday. This is not confirmed.) Side note: It looks like the NFL has told folks in London that the Bears and Bucs are coming in late October. I know I said I wouldn’t go. But I’m a known liar.
STEP ONE: SIGN WHO YOU GOT
It looks like there will be a period of three days wherein the Bears will have an exclusive window to sign their own free agents. Many people are also pointing to this period as a time to sign draft picks but let’s be honest, most of those deals are done. If front offices weren’t getting draftee economics in order, what the hell were they doing since the end of April? (Jerry Angelo has been dodging questions about his botched draft-day trade with the Ravens.) The priorities for the Bears should be Olin Kreutz back at the center of the offense, Anthony Adams at the center of the defense and Corey Graham back as special teams ace/corner. (The Trib reported Graham may be looking for a bigger role elsewhere but I don’t see it.)
STEP TWO: SIGN WHO YOU NEED
There’s going to be money and the Bears have needs. The Bears are going to start J’Marcus Webb at left tackle but they have no idea if the monster can play the position. I agree with PFT’s assertion that the Bears should looking for fallbacks at left tackle. I’d go so far as to say they should stockpile o-line help. The worst unit of the 2011 Chicago Bears will not suddenly be solid based upon the drafting of the Bear Jew. (Bear Jew t-shirts are awesome and still available by clicking here.)
Everyone, and I mean, is reporting the Bears don’t have a need at wide receiver. Well…THEY GODDAMN DO! But they wouldn’t if they brought Sidney Rice to town.
And I got excited by this PFT report about Vince Jackson and Logan Mankins making serious legal plays to accrue free agent status. I wouldn’t complain if both ended up in navy blue and orange next season.
STEP THREE: FOOTBALL
You have to also play football. And teach your team to play football together.