Bears

CBA Watch: Sorting through proposals

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CBA Watch: Sorting through proposals

Friday, Feb. 11, 2011
11:37 a.m.
By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com
A long-time member of the NFL hierarchy told CSNChicago.com with no particular agenda, just an observation that he had never seen ownership as united as a group as they were through this current situation. That did not bode well for the players side finding cracks in the form of individual owners willing to break ranks.

On the other hand, the spitting and belittling that went on around Jay Cutlers knee injury in the NFC Championship game, while not part of any negotiating situation, helped foster the image of players willing to trash each other. Add to that items like the Twitter war between Antonio Cromartie and Matt Hasselbeck and the image being created is of a players bloc somewhat less than always solid.

Colleague Matt Maiocco at Comcast SportsNet Bay Area obtained a copy of an NFLPA internal memo and provides an excellent look at some of the intricate elements of salary proposals being discussed. The salient issue there concerns how players coming into the league are paid and is very much a subject on the table.

And Tom Curran out at Comcast SportsNet New England breaks down some of the math behind the NFLPAs proposal for revenue splits, that its 50-50 offer isnt necessarily all it seems.

A caveat in all of this: Nearly three weeks remain before the Mar. 3 deadline on the agreement, and myriad proposals and meetings will be happening between now and then. Tom notes the way that the proposal confuses the conversation immensely. A lot of that going on these days.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

NFL personnel compare Roquan Smith to Lance Briggs with speed

NFL personnel compare Roquan Smith to Lance Briggs with speed

Is Roquan Smith going to be the next great Chicago Bears linebacker?

Okay, draft night is probably too early to place such a hefty label on the No. 8 overall pick. Still, Smith will join a franchise with a rich history at the linebacker position.

From Dick Butkus to Mike Singletary to Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs more recently, the Bears have seemingly always featured other-wordly talent at linebacker. Smith's career is just beginning, but the comparisons are inevitable.

Laurence Holmes and Alex Brown discussed Smith's potential on NBC Sports Chicago Thursday.

"I had two NFL people with a lot of front office experience make this comp on Roquan, that he is Lance Briggs with 4.5 speed," Holmes said.

Brown took the conversation a step further, adding a player as talented as Briggs with Smith's speed is a Hall of Famer.

"Imagine that. We all know Lance Briggs without 4.5 speed and he was a monster, he said. "Lance Briggs with 4.5 speed is a Hall of Famer, in my opinion."

Ironically, Smith got the discussion going himself during a conference call after the draft on Thursday night.

"It’s a great franchise. A lot of rich tradition, especially on defense," Smith said. "From way back with Dick Butkus, Mike Singletary, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, all of those types of guys. It’s insane and I’m excited.

Former NFL quarterback and current Bleacher Report analyst Chris Simms compared Smith to seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Patrick Willis. 

"He’s a little Patrick Willis-ish," Simms said. "This guy is a special guy, he really he is, he is one of the safest picks in the draft, there is no doubt about that.

“He doesn’t care, he’s going to knock your head off if you’re there to be had."

 

Roquan Smith 'beyond excited’ to be drafted by the Bears

Roquan Smith 'beyond excited’ to be drafted by the Bears

Roquan Smith was still giddy over being drafted by the Bears when he dialed into a teleconference with the media at Halas Hall Thursday night. 

“I’m beyond excited, I can’t put it into words how excited I am about this opportunity to be a Chicago Bear,” Smith said. “It’s insane and I’m ready to give the city of Chicago everything I have in me.”

Smith already spoke like a future team leader — a role he ably filled as a junior during Georgia’s run to the College Football Playoff title game — and like a player who can make the rest of the Bears’ defense better. 

“What they can expect from me when I arrive is a relentless guy on the field and off the field,” Smith said, “(and) going about my business the right way and going to do whatever it takes to put the Bears in the best possible situation every time I step on to the field.”

Smith said he enjoyed his pre-draft visit to Halas Hall (he even mentioned the ongoing renovations to the facility) and is looking forward to playing with Leonard Floyd again, his teammate at Georgia in 2015. And for a guy who’s spent his entire life in Georgia, he already knows plenty about the Bears’ historic success at his position. 

“It’s a great franchise,” Smith said. “It has a lot of rich tradition especially on defense from way back with Dick Butkus and then you have Mike Singletary, Lance Briggs, Brian Urlacher, all those type guys, so it’s insane and I’m excited.”