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soulman

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  • NFL Team
    Bears, Broncos
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    Sox and Cubs
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    Bulls, Nuggets
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    Blackhawks
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    U of Wisconsin and Colorado State U.

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    Denver, CO.
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    Financial Consultant
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    Weekend Musician
  1. Adam Jahnhs Interviews Ted Phillips 3/24/2019

    Count me as one who the less I hear from or about Ted Phillips as it relates to football the better I feel. But Adam Jahns is a writer I respect as one of the best on the Bears beat and I believe he did a nice job of eliciting some things from ol' Teddy Bears we're all somewhat curious about such as; * How did Phillips and McCaskey feel about extending Pace after the Fox ears and how did it happen. * How did they feel about the trade for and the drafting of Trubisky. * How do Pace, his staff, and the coaching staff grade draft picks. * How did the trade for Kahlil Mack develop and how did Phillips and McCaskey respond. Hope you all enjoy the interview. I thought it was a worthwhile read.
  2. Risks with rewards: Why Ted Phillips sees a ‘special’ future for the Bears By Adam L. Jahns @adamjahns | email https://chicago.suntimes.com/sports/bears-matt-nagy-ryan-pace-ted-phillips-organization/ Before the Bears concluded the preseason last year against the Bills, coach Matt Nagy, general manager Ryan Pace and president/CEO Ted Phillips gathered in Nagy’s office at Soldier Field. Earlier that day, conversations with the Raiders had intensified. The tone had changed. The unbelievable had become possible. Outside linebacker Khalil Mack was available. Pace and Nagy had talked about the possibility of acquiring Mack during training camp. The superstar also remained a topic of conversation throughout the Bears’ elongated preseason. And now — with the Bears’ regular-season opener in Green Bay only 10 days away — Mack was available via trade. Bears general manager Ryan Pace is greeted by team president Ted Phillips in 2015. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times “I remember [Pace] saying, ‘Geez, I’m hearing that they might move him,’ ” Phillips said. “And I never really gave it much of a second thought. I thought, ‘Why would they do that?’ “So now fast forward, he would bring it up periodically. But [it was] never like, ‘Oh, my God, if they do, we’re going to make a move.’ It was not really like that.” Until it was — on the final day of the 2018 preseason. But Pace was prepared. Of course, he was, Phillips thought. It’s one of the attributes that Phillips has come to appreciate about him. As Pace explained the positives — from Mack’s age to him playing a “need” position to his lack of baggage — Phillips said that trading for him started to make too much sense. “I don’t need to have four committee meetings and let’s discuss it all,” Phillips said. “That’s why you have to have the right people in place. “You have to be decisive. It wasn’t a long, drawn-out, lengthy discussion. Once I understood it all — because [Pace] never leaves a stone unturned, he’s very thorough — and when I hear it all, it’s, ‘Go get him.’ ” And Pace did. Mack is one of the many reasons why the Bears arrived in Phoenix for the NFL’s annual owners meetings this week in a good place. This season will be Phillips’ 37th with the organization, and it already feels different. “I’ve never had more passion and been more fired up about the outlook of this team ever,” Phillips said in a wide-ranging interview with the Sun-Times. “It’s special.” * * * It was during negotiations with Nagy’s agent, former Bears defensive end Trace Armstrong, that Phillips realized his general manager was about to be in an unsure position. “Once it became Matt, it became apparent that they wanted a five-year deal,” Phillips said. “Ryan only had through four.” So Phillips turned to Pace. “Do you need another year?” Phillips said. “Are you OK with his?” Phillips needed his general manager to feel good about “all the aspects of hiring that head coach.” Pace did. Nagy always was his guy. “No, this is fine,” Phillips recalled Pace saying at the time. “We’ll let it play out and see how it goes.” On Sunday, Pace was named the Sporting News’ NFL Executive of the Year. The honor was voted on by his peers. In February, Nagy was named the NFL Coach of the Year. In other words, everything played out just fine. Pace never approached Phillips about a possible extension. That started with Phillips, who talked to chairman George McCaskey as the 2017 season neared its conclusion. If coach John Fox was on the chopping block, what did that mean for Pace? “I said, ‘We need to talk about Ryan before we go get a head coach because he only has two years left [on his contract],’ ” Phillips said. “Either he’s our guy or we need to make another change there, too.” They discussed Pace’s signings in free agency. “I would say it was 50-50 at best,” Phillips said. And they discussed Pace’s draft picks. “There was at least a sense in the ’16 and ’17 picks that, ‘OK, we may have hit something special here,’ ” Phillips said. “But we don’t know yet.” But what Phillips did know is that he still felt strongly about the person they hired. Their conversation quickly turned into praise for Pace. Together, Phillips and McCaskey highlighted Pace’s positives, such as his straightforwardness and thoroughness, and their strong belief in him when he drafted quarterback Mitch Trubisky. “I can go on and on,” Phillips said. Phillips called extending Pace’s contract by three years a “pretty easy decision.” It was a quick negotiation, too. No agents were needed. Pace’s new deal still was criticized when it was announced. Fox’s 14-34 record still belonged to him. But Pace now was empowered to run his own coaching search — the one that resulted in Nagy. More than a year later, Pace’s extension should be remembered as the starting point for the Bears’ turnaround. Without it, Nagy isn’t hired, Mack isn’t acquired and the Bears don’t win the NFC North. “Whether it’s drafting a quarterback, signing a coach, signing a GM, extending a player, extending a coach or GM, there is always a risk,” Phillips said. “[But] I’m a big believer in this: When you find the right people, your risk is drastically reduced. “Especially with the GM, you need someone you can trust, who can build relationships in the building, and [Pace] does that so well.” * * * When Pace presented his first-round “cloud” for the 2017 draft to Phillips and McCaskey, it included a quarterback from North Carolina who started one season. Pace went over Trubisky’s positives and negatives. He did the same for others, too. But Trubisky stood out because of his position. The Bears’ draft started with the third overall pick. “Obviously, the quarterback position has been an Achilles’ heel for us literally for most of the decade of Bears history,” Phillips said. “So clearly, it’s a position that we need to address.” If Pace wanted Trubisky, Phillips was “all in.” So was McCaskey. Even if it meant moving up. “If you’re strong in your convictions at that position, you got to go for it,” Phillips said. “I never had a problem with [Pace] trading up, especially with the rumors of what might be going on up ahead of us.” Pace wanted his quarterback and got him. All that mattered was that the Jets, Browns and Bills didn’t. There would be no regrets for Pace. Phillips loved that. Under Pace, the Bears have a detailed five-part grading system. When Phillips looked at the Bears’ draft board, he saw what Trubisky represented. “Very few players on our draft board check all those boxes, where [Pace] can put that little Bears hat up that says he’s a perfect fit,” Phillips said. Trubisky had that “hat.” He was hope and change personified in one pick. “I’ve been in that draft room, when you pick a player and you had hoped — not that you weren’t happy — but where it hasn’t been quite the celebratory feeling,” Phillips said. “But after that selection, the place erupted. Every scout. Every executive in there. Ownership. We were all so excited. It was as exhilarating of a moment on draft day as I remembered for many years.” * * * Mack didn’t disappoint in his Bears debut at Lambeau Field. He followed his sack, strip and fumble recovery with a 27-yard pick-six. He was an absolute terror. “I get goosebumps thinking about that start,” Phillips said. The Bears still lost to the Packers that night. But they made a statement on national television. The Bears were back, though Phillips already had believed it. The trade for Mack — which required what Phillips called “scary” compensation, including two first-round picks — took it to another level. “It’s easy to say now when we had the good year,” Phillips said. “But it’s all about what you think is going to happen. We felt that we were going to be a much better team. How much? I don’t know. [But] that’s going to make the first-rounders be less valuable. “And then the whole key to that trade was we decided we are not giving up getting that second-round pick back [in 2020]. That was critical.” The Bears also had to be prepared to make Mack the NFL’s highest-paid defender after Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald’s blockbuster deal. In two days, the Bears worked out a trade and a massive contract for Mack. All of it was another risk worth taking. “Given that kind of player, we thought that the time was right,” Phillips said. “We got our franchise quarterback. We got our head coach. We got a long-term commitment to Matt and Ryan.” And now the Bears had their top-tier pass rusher. Adam L. Jahns Follow me on Twitter @adamjahns Email: ajahns@suntimes.com
  3. Free Agent Rumors

    Yeah......I could been that crappy for 20% of that.
  4. Trib Columnists Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer talk Bears FA. Rich Campbell and Dan Wiederer break down the Bears' start to free agency, starting with the Bears-Packers swap of safeties Adrian Amos and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (2:31 mark). They discuss the role of sports media in the wake of Bradley University's restrictions on the Peoria Journal Star's longtime basketball beat writer (21:44) and use that incident to discuss the dynamics of Bears media coverage (28:09). They examine the free-agent additions to the offense, specifically Mike Davis and Cordarrelle Patterson (37:51), and what they mean for Jordan Howard and Mitch Trubisky (48:14). They crown a coach who helped develop two unheralded secondary prospects and, by extension, improved the Bears' chances of earning a compensatory draft pick in 2020 (55:26). https://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/football/bears/ct-bears-free-agency-ha-ha-clinton-dix-podcast-20190318-htmlstory.html
  5. 2019 Draft: Targets

    Agreed. It's too soon to judge Shaheen based on how he looked coming off an injury that kept him out for half a season. He's never clocked as slow and having played Div III college ball and not even that much of it he's always been a project who needed developing. But his pre-draft scouting report call him a pass receiving TE in a Y-TE body which is still how I believe Pace sees him. He's still on his rookie deal through 2020 so let's see what Nagy can do with him this season provided Shaheen stays uninjured. Losing him in preseason last year was a bad break for him and us. I still believe has has more upside than he's been able to show so far. That said I can see us drafting another TE next month. At the very least we need competition at TE and we may keep four of them.
  6. 2019 Draft: Targets

    With two 2nds in 2020 we stand a much better shot at getting a top RB whose a perfect match for the offense. This year you have Jacobs likely to go late round one and then a half dozen more who rank more as guys who'll go in rounds 3-4 where unless we can parlay a trade for a higher pick using Howard or we can trade up we're picking very low and may miss out on the one or two we'd prefer. When I see their interest in Mike Weber who appears to be very much like Mike Davis or a Devin Singletary who look more like a complimentary back too me and backs who may drop to round 5 or a later, Pace seems to be preparing for not getting his guy this year but simply adding some competition and depth behind what he already has which may or may not include Howard. If we played 2019 with Howard, Davis, Cohen, a rookie and Patterson as a wild card we'd still be better at RB than we were in 2019.
  7. Free Agent Rumors

    Completely off topic but has any QB ever made more money for doing less in his career than Mike Glennon?
  8. Free Agent Rumors

    Why would Pace wait 'til August to sign a vet OLB unless he thought that Irving or Fitts might be ready for a role in the rotation as 3rd OLB? Releasing Acho and not re-signing Lynch before FA would tend to indicate he thinks more of them than you might. We don't really know that yet. If Pace thinks Irving and Fitts aren't the answer that would tend to push him toward signing a vet OLB long before camp as opposed to hoping someone better may come along later. Remember teams no longer cut down to their 53 man rosters 'til after preseason has wrapped up so the pickins' for quality edge rushers will be pretty slim and we're near the bottom as far a waiver claims go. If we do find someone better we cut someone else. Why would a mid or late round draft pick be any better than Irving or Fitts and will Pace even spend a mid round pick on an OLB/Edge? Irving has 20 games of NFL regular season experience under his belt and has led the team in sacks and pressures in the previous two preseasons. He's an RFA in 2020 so 2019 is kind of a make or break year for him as far as picking up a tender and sticking around. He may get his shot at it. Fitts is probably still a year away and needs more development but his size and basic skill set are what teams look for in an edge rusher. His issue and why he dropped as far as he did in the draft is he couldn't stay healthy in college or he could have been a day 2 pick. Too soon to say on him. I'll just say I expect him to sign a vet at his price because it makes sense to have an experienced #3 OLB to rotate with Floyd and Mack for now. Who he signs and when he signs him is what we're all looking at but eventually we'll want that spot filled by a player we've drafted or signed as a UDFA because it's far less expensive than continuing to sign vets when we have to pay both Mack AND Floyd big money and that's coming up in 2020.
  9. Free Agent Rumors

    Could well be it works out just that way for those who are still unsigned. Pace doesn't appear pressured at all by it. IMHO it's expecting a lot for a rookie mid round pick to come in and take on a spot as a 3rd OLB but it's possible Pace and Pagano feel Irving has gained enough knowledge and feel for it that he could take over that spot with Fitts and a rookie vying for the #4 spot. Hard to tell just yet but you'd be paying 3 guys less than what a vet like Lynch alone is asking for.
  10. Bears sign Buster Skrine

    Tough to predict 2020 other than to estimate a base cap of $199-$200 mil and use that to make some predictions. With a $10 mil cap hit vs $1 mil in dead cap at age 31 Amukamara seems like a very probable cap casualty. Tolliver and a 2019 or 2020 draft pick may be vying for that spot. IMHO Long is harder to predict. $8.1 mil Cash and a $9.6 mil Cap Hit isn't over the top if he can play 16 games and returns to his Pro Bowl form this season. By way of comparison Massie's 2020 Cash is $7.7 mil and his Cap Hit is $8.3 mil. Leno is at $8 mil Cash and $8.9 mil Cap. That's significantly less than the $12-$14 mil and more top ten deals are at. Trevathan's deal was IMHO one of the best we ever signed. He's earned every nickel and it was very well structured so his cap has only increased by an average of 5% per year roughly keeping it in step with increases in the base cap. He's still only 29 and a vocal team leader on defense. With Smith still on his rookie deal and no clear successor extending DT for another year or two at our price wouldn't be a bad idea.
  11. Bears general manager Ryan Pace named 'Executive of the Year' by Sporting News By: Lorin Cox | 4 hours ago https://bearswire.usatoday.com/2019/03/24/bears-general-manager-ryan-pace-named-executive-of-the-year-by-sporting-news/ Almost three months after the Chicago Bears’ breakout 2018 season, the accolades continue to roll in. Matt Nagy was already named Coach of the Year, and now the man who hired him is bringing home an honor of his own. Sporting News named Bears general manager Ryan Pace the Executive of the Year. The award was voted on by executives around the league who agreed Pace had the best year. It started with hiring Nagy, followed by a strong free agent group and a draft class that contributed from day one. Then he put the cherry on top with the Khalil Mack trade in September, setting the Bears up with their best season since 2006. The success the team had on the field was a direct reflection of what Pace accomplished in the offseason prior, culminating in an Executive of the Year caliber season.
  12. Free Agent Rumors

    Teams typically don't guarantee more than 40%-50% of a multi-year deal unless it's a QB or other high profile player and with Lynch injury history I'd say it would be more in the 40% range tops so more like $4.5-$5 mil. I used $4.5 for my projection. It shouldn't require more than a modest signing bonus and 1st year salary at most for guys like Lynch. In fact with his injury history I would minimize his salary and fill in with per game bonuses like last year when he earned 13 of them, $400k and change. What Lynch would like to get is immaterial. Pace has show with each of our FAs that he has an amount he'll pay and no more. If he was gonna stretch for anyone it might have been Callahan because we were close to what Denver offered anyway but he didn't. At best Lynch was only assured of $3.5 mil last year provided he made the 53 man roster and I don't think Pace will go much beyond that even on a multi-year deal which he may not be willing to offer either. OLB/Edge guys are finding it's a buyers market now.
  13. Free Agent Rumors

    FWIW this is how Brad Biggs answered a question about Lynch returning..... No interest in bringing Aaron Lynch back? Or too expensive? — @jasonloetterle I believe the Bears would like to re-sign the outside linebacker. I would not be surprised if the Broncos and coach Vic Fangio have interest in him as well. One source suggested Lynch was seeking $5 million per season before the start of free agency. He might not get that. We’ll have to see where the market goes for him, but he’s definitely got interest. NFL Media reported he’s visiting the Colts and has already visited the Raiders and Seahawks. There still are some experienced players on the street who can fill the role. I imagine the Bears have a number in mind for what they want to pay a third outside linebacker. If that's accurate he's seeking a multi-year deal that's 25% greater in AAV than I suggested and apparently not getting offers in that range from us or anyone else so far. I also believe this is a case where his value won't rise much if at all based on deal Curry and Irvin just got. IMHO at $5 mil he's over pricing himself as a rotation piece and I don't see him as having to goods to be a full time starter for anyone including Denver.
  14. Free Agent Rumors

    I guess what I'm thinking is he's not signed. Not by us or anyone else. That tells me he hasn't gotten an offer yet OR he hasn't gotten one he's willing to accept. I just came up with a cap friendly one with no more cash year one than last season and one we can leave after year one if It's wise to do so. He had 3 sacks and 8 hits last season, created decent pressure on most passing downs, and played the run well. Defensively he played a cut above Acho and got paid a little more and Acho also missed 12 games in 2018. Seriously, I believe Lynch paid for himself in 2018 and I'd bring him back if possible. And what upside? The deal I suggested averages what he got in 2018, not more. With cap increases if anything it's a lesser deal with just $4 mil-$4.5 mil gtd. If we can sign him for less for one year that's OK too but somewhere along the line we need to get a deal done with Lynch or someone else.
  15. Free Agent Rumors

    I'm basing it a bit on recent deals and in this case a multiple year deal as opposed to one year like Curry and Irvin got for 2019 Vinny Curry got $2.25 mil but with a reported $1.25 mil in incentives so his upside is $3.5 mil. He's 30/7 yr vet Bruce Irvin got $4 mil straight. He's 32/7 yr vet. In 2018 Lynch actually signed for $3.5 mil ($2.25 mil salary/$1.25 mil SB) with another $500k in per game bonuses of which he earned $400k and change so he got $3.9 mil plus. If we were gonna offer him a 1 year deal again it might be somewhere in that range. Arguably he earned his 2018 deal and got most of his per game $$$. Lynch is only 26 so offering him something more than 1 year isn't a major risk provided we can step away after a year and that's all I did but made it even more cap friendly than his 2018 deal. Maybe more $$$ is put into incentives and less in salary or his SB but I didn't want to clutter it up too much. IMHO I think we're gonna be in a $3 mil - $4 mil range for any vet OLB/Edge we sign whether it's Lynch or another and for us Lynch is more of a known quantity. JMHO
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