Bears

Forte doesn't think Angelo lied about contract

522048.jpg

Forte doesn't think Angelo lied about contract

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Posted: 1:18 p.m.

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com Bears Insider Follow @CSNMoonMullin
At the outset of training camp, Bears GM Jerry Angelo expressed optimism about getting a new deal done with running back Matt Forte, who said he took Angelo at his word that real work would be done to make a new contract happen.

As camp went on, the optimism faded. The Bears put an offer on the table that topped that of Kansas City Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles, with more than 10 million in guaranteed money but it was deemed not sufficient by the Forte camp.

But as far as Angelos early comments that Forte was a priority, I dont think he lied about that, Forte said. We tried to get a deal done. I guess maybe they have a different view of the type of player I am than I think I am.

Forte clearly expected to be under a long-term deal by this time. Now the official line is that no negotiations will happen until post-2011 season.

Im a little surprised and disappointed that it wasnt done, Forte admitted. Coming into the league you feel that its supposed to be production-based, and when you produce, you expect the team or the organization to actually notice that, compared to other guys. We just couldnt meet in the middle, I guess.

Scheduling idea

The Bears opening with three playoff teams (Atlanta, New Orleans, Green Bay) seems at first like a schedule-makers vendetta. After all, the schedule does include some first-year coaches and teams coming off bad years and lost offseasons. The Bears couldve drawn the Carolina Panthers, Minnesota Vikings, Oakland Raiders or Denver Broncos, all with coaches in their first full years with their teams or first years as head coaches, period.

But the Bears dont look at that way. Last year they had the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys, Panthers, Seattle Seahawks and Washington Redskins all teams that finished with losing 2010 records and they barely got out of that stretch with a winning (4-3) record.

Besides, I mean, theres no Division-2 schools, quarterback Jay Cutler said Wednesday. We dont have a lot of options, so we got to take what it is. We got Atlanta, and we have to deal with it.

Moneyball?

Jason LaCanfora at NFL Network reports that safety Brandon Meriweather is being paid 3.25 million, which is a lot for a backup, which no one expects him to be for long. But the Bears did give center Chris Spencer a two-year deal worth 6 million, an indication that the Bears regard him as starter-grade and likely will be at some point.

But the market sets the price ultimately, and to the Bears credit, Meriweather is listed behind Major Wright on the depth chart released Tuesday. The two could switch places and Meriweather start, however, if Wednesday and Thursday practices dont go well for Wright.

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.

Bears, Top 10 draft scenarios get one last look, and a change at No. 8

3-11ryanpace.jpg
USA TODAY

Bears, Top 10 draft scenarios get one last look, and a change at No. 8

This member of the NBC Sports Chicago team has gone through the blizzard of mock drafts that are a rite of NFL spring, although with perhaps less clarity and certainty than in any draft season in 25 years of doing this.

Usually the requisite detective work of the job produces at least a fix on a player, or not that, then one position – in ’94, the Bears were going edge rusher (John Thierry) to replace Richard Dent; in ’95, they targeted running back (Rashaan Salaam) to upgrade from Lewis Tillman; in ’99, a quarterback (Cade McNown); in ’05, a back (Cedric Benson); in ’16, an edge rusher (Leonard Floyd); last year, a quarterback (Mitch Trubisky).

No, those were not all successful mock-draft calls (this reporter called Deshaun Watson last year). No, the point is that getting a sense of what’s behind the curtain has gotten exponentially more difficult as the Ryan Paces of the business have become so well practiced at maintaining veils and cones of silence over their intentions.

So late on the night before the draft, your humble and faithful narrator is continuing to scratch in the dirt for edible morsels (there’s no shortage of chaff, not so much wheat). Some things that come through the dust… .

Tremaine Edmunds remains the call for the Bears at No. 8. And I don’t like it. Not Edmunds; I like him more than Roquan Smith, my previous mock pick, for reasons of grade, player skillset, and need.

But the scratching around has uncovered that prominent voices in the Bears’ draft room are pushing for Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 8. Multi-year deals with a combined $36 million guaranteed for Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller notwithstanding, the Bears did immense work on Ward (Combine meeting, Ohio State pro day, pre-draft visit), who visited five teams drafting in the top 12 in addition to Pro Day evaluations.

The night before the 2018 draft, the order of Bears “probables” now stands at: 1) Ward, 2) Smith, 3) Edmunds, trade up for 4) Bradley Chubb (the Bears were one of only three teams to have him in for a pre-draft visit, 5) trade up for Quenton Nelson. And 6) trade down for Marcus Davenport (see below).

“4-gone” a Bears wish-list? Maybe not

Four quarterbacks going off the board within the seven picks before the Bears are on the clock at No. 8 has been cast as the best of scenarios for the Bears. And it would mean that the Bears, who don’t number a quarterback among the players in their cluster graded as worth that No. 8, would be in position to draft the de facto fourth-best player of the draft, certainly among non-quarterbacks.

But would that “4-gone” be the best of all possible Bears cases? Not necessarily.

One NFL insider suggested to NBC Sports Chicago that the Bears would be better off if THREE of the four top QB’s were gone and one was still there at No. 8. The Bears, claiming to have a cloud of guys that would comfortably allow them to trade back and still get an elite player, would then likely be fielding a call or calls from Miami, Buffalo and anyone else desperate for a quarterback.

As in: Josh Allen has fallen, still there at 8, and so are, say, Marcus Davenport, Tremaine Edmunds, Roquan Smith, Denzel Ward, any one of which would be a solid pick at No. 8. The Bills at No. 12 want Allen, Ryan Pace’s phone rings, and Pace slides back to 12, gets Buffalo’s No. 3 to replace the one he surrendered in the trade-up last year for Mitch Trubisky, and still gets one of the elites he would’ve drafted anyway at No. 8.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should Bears do at No. 8?

pace.jpg
USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: What should Bears do at No. 8?

On the latest SportsTalk Live Podcast, David Haugh (Chicago Tribune), Hub Arkush (Pro Football Weekly/670 The Score) and Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) join Kap on the panel.

The guys discuss Ryan Pace’s options with the NFL Draft just a day away. Plus, Porter Moser gets an extension at Loyola, Kyle Schwarber continues to rake and Michael Kopech continues to dominate at Triple-A.

Listen to the full SportsTalk Live Podcast right here: