Bears

Lovie Smith: Not voting Brian Urlacher into Hall of Fame on first ballot 'would be an insult'

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AP

Lovie Smith: Not voting Brian Urlacher into Hall of Fame on first ballot 'would be an insult'

Lovie Smith knows about Hall of Fame players. He coached them with Tampa Bay, where he was linebackers coach for Derrick Brooks and developed Brooks behind Warren Sapp. As St. Louis Rams defensive coordinator, he was close to the work of Marshall Faulk, Orlando Pace and Kurt Warner.

And the thought of Brian Urlacher not being brought into the Hall of Fame on a first ballot left the former Bears coach sputtering.

“It would be an insult if Brian is not a first-ballot selection,” said Smith, on the recruiting trail as coach of Illinois and the third-winningest Bears coach at 81-63 over his nine years from 2004-12.

“To me, Brian is a no-brainer. Derrick was a no-brainer. Ray [Lewis] is a no-brainer. Derrick changed the way the outside-linebacker position was played. Brian changed the way the middle linebacker could be played. First ballot for Brian is a no-brainer.”

Brooks, Lewis and Urlacher were the linebackers voted to the NFL’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s.

A nagging question this year is whether Lewis being on the ballot lessens Urlacher’s chances because of their playing the same position. That notion left Smith incredulous.

Indeed, while obviously more coincidental than intended, a Hall class without two players from the same position group has become the norm. Every class since 2011 has contained inductees from the same area:

Year          Pos.          Players inducted

2012         OL             Dermonti Dawson, Willie Roaf

2013         OL             Larry Allen, Jonathan Ogden

2014         DL             Claude Humphrey, Michael Strahan

2015         OL             Will Shields, Mick Tinglehoff

2016         QB            Brett Favre, Ken Stabler

2017         RB            Terrell Davis, LaDanian Tomlinson

So “it makes no sense to think that two players from the same position can’t go in in the same year,” Smith said. “And in the case with Ray and Brian, the both had and did things that the other didn’t. Brian brought a dimension in pass defense that no middle linebacker ever did.”

Jay Cutler is the most unsurprising 'breakout star' of 'Very Cavallari'

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USA TODAY

Jay Cutler is the most unsurprising 'breakout star' of 'Very Cavallari'

After producing one-liners as amusing as “I’m looking to do the exact opposite of work,” in his reality TV debut, Jay Cutler was at it again.

The former Bears quarterback had more gems to offer in the second episode of his wife’s reality show, “Very Cavallari.” Cutler’s general apathy towards, well, everything continued.

In one of the more unintentionally funny lines of the show, Kristin Cavallari, Cutler’s wife and the star of the show, said Cutler has no game. Keep the giggles to yourselves, Bears fans.

She wistfully talked about how much fun the couple used to have early in their relationship until Cutler cut her off and said “You decided to go to bed at 8:45 every night.”

“He can be a little s*** sometimes, but he makes me laugh,” Kristin Cavallari said of her husband on the show.

That line might be something Bears fans can relate to.

While the show has plenty of your standard reality show drama, Cutler’s scenes are a humorous change of pace. The way things are going, Cutler could be in for a bigger part. In the meantime, maybe Bears fans will skip around until Cutler appears on camera.

Who knew? Bears fans, Kristin. All Bears fans knew.

Roquan Smith not among Bears rookies reporting to training camp

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USA Today

Roquan Smith not among Bears rookies reporting to training camp

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith won't be reporting to Bourbonnais with the rest of the team's rookie class Monday, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. His absence won't be considered a holdout until veterans are required to report on July 19.

Smith is among several top-10 picks without a contract but is the first who will grab headlines. Chicago's training camp starts earlier than most this year because of their participation in the Hall of Fame Game on August 4. The extra week of camp makes Smith's contract status less concerning, even if it spills into the first few practices.

Still, we aren't too far removed from Joey Bosa's lengthy contract dispute with the Los Angeles Chargers that centered around offset language and his signing bonus.

Generally speaking, teams want offset language in rookie contracts as protection in the event they decide to cut a player in his fourth season. If the contract doesn't include offset language, the player is entitled to all of the money in that fourth season from his original team while also eligible to sign elsewhere. Teams don't want to pay that money while the player wants the ability to double dip.

This is one of the few issues that can result in a holdout now that the rookie wage scale is in place. Smith, most likely, isn't arguing over dollars. Instead, it's about contract language, which can get dicey.

We'll know more about how far apart the Bears and Smith are on his contract come July 19, when this disagreement will officially become a holdout.