Cubs

Word on the Street: Pujols headed to Windy City?

Word on the Street: Pujols headed to Windy City?

Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011
CSNChicago.com

Could Pujols be headed to the Windy City?

Sports Illustrated is reportingthat superstar Albert Pujols and the Cardinals are on completelydifferent pages in terms of years and money, that people familiar withthe talks say there is virtually no chance for a deal before Pujolsreports to spring camp Feb. 16.

The three-time NL MVP will be afree-agent at season's end, and has set his reporting date as thedeadline for a contract to be done with the Cardinals.

Onecompeting executive said he wouldn't be surprised if the Cubs made abig play for Pujols. Chicago have Carlos Pena on a one-year deal andwould have a spot for Pujols next offseason. (Sports Illustrated)

Melo re-signing in Denver?

Carmelo Anthony would consider signing a three-year, 65 million contract extension with the Nuggets. That is, if he isn't traded before the Feb. 24 deadline.

This marks the first time Anthony has said he might sign the contract extension that has been on the table since June. when asked what he thought of a possible trade to the Lakers, Anthony played coy saying, "Everyday is something different. I guess now is the Lakers." (Denver Post)

Kenny on Ozzie, budget, 2011

Check out Crains Chicago Business terrific four-part Business of Sports video interview with White Sox SVPGM Kenny Williams. Among the topics Williams candidly discusses with Crains Ed Sherman include his current relationship status with manager Ozzie Guillen, how he handles his teams budget, going for it all in 2011 and much more. (Crains' Chicago Business)

Montana heading to Montana?

University of Montana football coach Robin Pflugrad confirmed today that he met with NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana yesterday afternoon. Joe's son Nate is currently a backup QB at Notre Dame. Pflugrad would neither confirm nor deny that the meeting surrounded Nate Montana's pollible transfer to UM.

Pflugrad added that he was aware of Nate's situation at Notre Dame, but said Montana "has four kids and we talked about them all." (The Montana Kaimin)

Cutler pops the question?

Are wedding bells in the near future for Jay Cutler? According to TerezOwens.com, Jay is planning on popping the question to Cavallari. The Bears QB has been seen ring shopping in Beverly Hills. (TerezOwens.com)

Cooke served 4-game suspension

The NHL announced that Pittsburgh Penguins forward Matt Cooke will get hit with a four game suspension. This announcement comes a day after Cooke hit Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Fedor Tyutin from behind in a 4-1 loss. Tyutin was sent face first into the boards, fortunately getting back on his feet soon after.

Cooke will forfeit 87,804.88 in salary. He was last suspended for two games on Nov. 28, 2009. (Chicago Breaking Sports)

Cubs Talk Podcast: It's time for a culture change for the Cubs

davidrosscubsconap.jpg
AP

Cubs Talk Podcast: It's time for a culture change for the Cubs

After the Cubs Convention, fans left still uncertain about the team headed into the 2020 season. Host David Kaplan and NBC Sports Chicago Cubs writer Tim Stebbins discuss what they took from Cubs Con, the culture change that is coming to the organization and a realistic possibility that the Cubs are looking into disgruntled star Nolan Arenado.

Listen to the episode here or in the embedded player below.

Cubs Talk Podcast

Subscribe:

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs easily on your device.

Bears Season in Review: Offensive line

Bears Season in Review: Offensive line

The Chicago Bears' offensive line was viewed as one of the team's biggest strengths at the start of the 2019 season. By the time the year came to an end, it was considered one of the club's biggest weaknesses. 

The most concerning issue with the offensive line's regression was that it wasn't isolated to a single player. All five starters played a part in the disappointing performance.

The biggest letdown came at right guard. Kyle Long, even when healthy, was a far cry from the player who at one time was considered one of the most talented offensive linemen in the league. His body failed him again, leading to another injury-shortened year that continued a streak of four straight seasons of nine games or less. Long decided to retire this offseason, leaving the Bears with a big void that GM Ryan Pace has to fill this offseason.

RELATED: Top 30 free agents of the 2020 NFL offseason

Long was replaced by Rashaad Coward, and while Coward's play wasn't terrible, he isn't the long-term answer the Bears need in the starting lineup. 

Chicago didn't fare much better at offensive tackle, where Bobby Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. each had a season to forget. Massie earned the lowest Pro Football Focus grade of his career (63.2), while Leno, Jr. earned his second-worst (58.6). The offense didn't stand a chance as a result. It's unlikely either player will be replaced in 2020, but more depth (at the very least) is needed.

And let's not forget the drama at center and right guard, where Cody Whitehair and James Daniels were forced to switch positions midseason because of Daniels' struggles at the pivot. Both players fared well once the swap was made. Whitehair finished the year with the Bears' eighth-highest grade on offense from PFF, while Daniels' 70.3 was third-best.

NFL offenses simply don't stand a chance without a functional and consistent offensive line. The 2019 Bears are proof of that. But don't expect sweeping changes (sans right guard) to be made this offseason. Leno, Jr., Massie, Whitehair and Daniels will begin 2020 as starters, and there's a good chance Coward will too. There might be a chance to add a starting-quality player in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft, and the Bears should take advantage of that opportunity if it presents itself. But with salary-cap issues and limited draft capital, Chicago may have little choice but to give this unit another season to prove they are, in fact, one of the better starting-fives in the NFC.