Bears

4 reasons why Tony Romo and the Bears would make a good fit in 2017

4 reasons why Tony Romo and the Bears would make a good fit in 2017

Tony Romo's press conference Tuesday afternoon was dripping with class as he ceded the starting quarterback role of the Dallas Cowboys to rookie phenom Dak Prescott.

What Romo didn't say, however, was that he was hanging up his spikes.

Leading up to the presser, there was at least a question it may be the end for the 36-year-old quarterback, but Romo instead reinforced how much the desire to play still burns within him.

That being said, if the keys to the Cowboys franchise really are in Prescott's hands, Romo could be looking for work elsewhere come spring time.

The Bears have already been linked to Romo as a possible landing spot in 2017 and that potential union makes a lot of sense.

1. The Bears will likely need a quarterback.

It appears the writing is on the wall for Jay Cutler in Chicago.

The Bears can cut ties with Cutler after the 2016 season, on the hook for only $2 million beyond this year.

Regardless of his leadership (or lack of it) in the locker room, Cutler's play on the field has been inconsistent and it makes sense for both sides to move on in 2017.

2. The Bears will likely need a veteran quarterback.

Assuming the Bears do move on from Cutler, they will be in the market for a quarterback of the future in the 2017 NFL Draft, where they very likely will have a Top 10 pick.

But will they want to start a rookie quarterback from Day 1? That's not a path most NFL teams want to take, preferring instead to have a veteran option behind center until the young QB is ready to roll.

The Bears also believe they're better than their current 2-7 record indicates. 

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With another year of free agency and Ryan Pace's front office drafting in the Top 10, the Bears will have added more talent to a team that has underperformed this season. 

Contention is always right around the corner in the NFL and the Bears undoubtedly will enter Week 1 with in-house expectations and intentions to at least challenge for a playoff spot. If that's the case, they'll want a proven veteran under center like Romo, who presents a clear talent upgrade over Brian Hoyer.

Romo has only played in four games over the last two seasons, but he's still been effective when healthy, throwing for 34 touchdowns in 2014 and 31 scores in 2013 against only nine and 10 interceptions, respectively.

3. The Bears will have the cap space.

Cutler will count $16 million against the cap in 2017, but the Bears are only on the hook for $2 million of that if they release him, opening up $14 million in cap space.

That's also the same sum ($14 million) of Romo's base salary in 2017. Given that the Cowboys owe Romo more than $25 million in guaranteed money, Jerry Jones isn't going to just release the veteran, meaning Dallas would have to find a trade partner with enough cap space to take on Romo's salary.

Even including Cutler's contract, the Bears have almost $50 million in cap space in 2017. 

If Romo's price tag is the same against the cap as Cutler's in 2017, the Bears will still be in good shape to add talent via free agency in the offseason.

4. The Eastern Illinois connection.

If nothing else, Pace and Romo at least have the connection as former teammates.

Pace was a defensive end at Eastern Illinois from 1995-99, overlapping with Romo — who attended EIU from 1998-2002 — for a season.

Even though Romo redshirted his freshman year, he probably still knows what it feels like to be chased by Pace as the two would've gone head-to-head in practice.

Now, Pace may be chasing Romo as the key to the Bears offense in 2017.

Bears still have league-average amount of salary cap space left

Bears still have league-average amount of salary cap space left

Free agency has slowed to crawl a little more than a week into the process, and the Bears still have some money to spend.

Ryan Pace made multiple moves to clear up additional salary cap space this offseason, but he spent his money cautiously.

Even with five outside signings under contract, he still has the space to make some more moves.

As of Friday, the Bears have just under $17 million in cap space, the 16th-most in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Pace has more money to work with now than he did before the team started releasing players to clear space.

He still has to keep some cap available to sign their draft picks as well as an emergency fund for the season, but the Bears have more than enough money left to add an impact player or two on the open market.

The pool of talent to pick from continues to shrink, but Pace can still find quality options that could come at a bargain the longer they sit on the open market.

 

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Chicago Football Madness Rd. of 32: Chalk dominates the 1st round, with some notable exceptions

Chicago Football Madness Rd. of 32: Chalk dominates the 1st round, with some notable exceptions

Excitement for the Bears are at an all-time high, so while March Madness and the NCAA Tournament begin, we still have Bears on the mind. So we've created Chicago Bears Football Madness, pitting players from the three best Bears teams and legends head-to-head.

THIS. IS. STILL. MARCH. 

The first round of our inaugural Chicago Football Madness Tournament is over, and friends, it was kind of anti-climatic -- except for Jay Cutler advancing, that rules. 

Out of all the 32 Opening Round matchups, only two underdogs moved on: Robbie Gould and The Fridge. Now, Gould's got a tough matchup against 2-seed Lance Briggs, and there's no rest for the Perry (this joke works, right?) as he takes on Walter Payton. 

Keep sending the votes in! You can find all the matchups over on our Twitter account, or on the website, because we like to give you options. 

RD. OF 32 REGIONS:

1985 Bracket

2006 Bracket

2018 Bracket

Legends/Others Bracket

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