Bears

Nashville matches offer sheet for Shea Weber

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Nashville matches offer sheet for Shea Weber

Shea Weber will not be heading to Philly after all. The Predators get to keep their captain and set a couple of records along the way.

On Tuesday general manager David Poile announced his team is matching the Flyers' 14-year, 110 million offer sheet in order to guarantee a roster spot for their leader through the 2025-26 season. And in doing so, they are coughing up the largest contract in franchise history and have made Weber the highest paid defenseman in NHL history.

According to the Predators' website, the organization considered three main points when deciding whether to match Philadelphia's offer:

1. Whether Weber could lead the team to contend for the Stanley Cup over the tenure of the contract.

2. Whether matching would be best for the long-term interest of the team.

3. What kind of message it would send to the rest of their players and the rest of the league if they were willing to give him up so easily.

After losing Ryan Suter to the Minnesota Wild, it is not shocking that Nashville matched. However, it is pretty safe to say that Weber likely did not see this coming if he was so willing to sign the offer sheet with the Flyers. He said he didn't want to be with a "rebuilding organization," and losing Suter takes a huge hit at the Nashville blue line. But matching was the only option the Predators had to keep their team afloat heading into the 2012-13 season.

Still, the numbers in Weber's contract just seem unfathomable.

As long as the season begins on time, the Blackhawks will be facing Weber and the rest of Predators five times throughout the 2012-13 regular season. During the 2011-12 campaign, Weber recorded 49 points in 78 games played, finishing the season with a plus-21 rating. He was drafted by Nashville in the second round of the 2003 draft and has spent his entire NHL career with the Predators.

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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USA TODAY

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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