I’m wearing a “Da Bears” t-shirt as I bang away here at 4:56 a.m. It was a conscious decision while I shift my gaze toward April’s NFL Draft. Chicago, of course, holds the top pick, and thus becomes the “dealer” in this poker game. So do the Bears “discard” QB Justin Fields and select either Bryce Young or C.J. Stroud? I’m not sure I’d give up on Fields just yet. That’s easy for me to say, since my job and my ass are not on the line, as they are for Bears G.M. Ryan Poles. The Bears hold a big pile of chips to play with, since they have $108 million in cap space. This is a pivotal moment for that franchise. Does Chicago move on from Fields and pick Young or Stroud? Selecting Stroud could be more than a little awkward, since like Fields he is an Ohio State quarterback, which historically has not exactly been an NFL resume enhancer. Are you going to deem one Buckeye a wash-out, and then immediately turn around and draft another one? Seems unlikely. Then what is the Bears’ scouting grade on Young? And remember that Kentucky QB Will Levis could be a dark horse Number One.
Chicago could hold on to the pick, and then take a non-QB. Again, doubtful. That would spark a fire in that city the likes of which has not been seen since Mrs. O’Leary’s cow kicked the lantern.
Which brings us to this option. The Bears can trade the top pick, which might provide the franchise with maximum flexibility. They could move down and still get a QB, while picking up quality draft picks.
The quarterback-poor Texans hold the second pick. Would Houston be happy with either Young or Stroud? Or do the Texans clearly prefer one over the other, in which case they would have to do business with the Bears to ensure they get the guy they want? I am maintaining wardrobe flexibility, since I own both Texans and Bears t-shirts.
A Travis County prosecutor Wednesday dropped felony domestic violence charges against fired Longhorn basketball coach Chris Beard. The decision was driven at least in part by the unwillingness of the alleged victim—Beard’s fiancée—to cooperate. I hope we all understand that this is not “vindication” or “exoneration” for Beard. So Beard now doesn’t have to worry about having a felony conviction on his record. But he still has to find another line of work, because he is now a coaching untouchable.
Rory McIlroy says the PGA Tour should model itself after the NBA, whose marketing strategy focuses on individual star-power. Uhh, isn’t that the way it already is?
I don’t know about you, but I think the last thing we need is Adrian Peterson lecturing Damar Hamlin about Jesus or anything else.
Just as many Americans are “cutting the cord,” Major League Baseball may be involuntarily forced to “can cable” as well. The 19 Bally Sports regional cable networks are on financial life support and appear headed for bankruptcy. Fourteen MLB teams use Bally to produce their TV broadcasts in local markets. The company that owns Bally, Diamond Sports Group, pays MLB teams a total of $2 billion in rights fees annually. If that spigot runs dry, it will pinch baseball’s entire financial structure, including future players’ contracts. As for fans’ ability to see their favorite teams, MLB Commish Rob Manfred says baseball will turn to live-streaming if necessary.