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Magilla_Gorilla
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As for Free Agents - I'd have Connor Williams at the top of my list. I hate the idea of relying on a rookie C snapping to a rookie QB. Lets bring in the best C available and we can draft a developmental with a later pick.

Noah Fant TE - this team needs a move TE to pair with Cole Kmet, especially if Waldron is going to play some of the 13 personnel stuff he did in Seattle.

Kamren Curl S - Good safety that can play multiple positions

Michael Pittman - I like the idea of signing Pittman as a reliable possession guy and then drafting a more explosive downfield threat (Rome Odunze in Rd 1, or one of the Texas WRs in round 2 Xavier Worthy/Adonai Mitchell)
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Ditka’s dictaphone
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It’s not just Mahomes though, people here were pretty fervent in their belief that you have to sit a QB for their rookie season.

Now they’ve done a 180 and think with Williams “it’s just not realistic”.

Why not?
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RichH55
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Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 3:21 pm It’s not just Mahomes though, people here were pretty fervent in their belief that you have to sit a QB for their rookie season.

Now they’ve done a 180 and think with Williams “it’s just not realistic”.

Why not?
I don't think that's a 180 - because they aren't binary choices

I think Caleb would benefit from sitting a year (I think this is true of about 95% of Rookie QB - maybe higher) - I also don't think it's realistic that we do that.

Does that help?
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RichH55 wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 3:34 pm
Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 3:21 pm It’s not just Mahomes though, people here were pretty fervent in their belief that you have to sit a QB for their rookie season.

Now they’ve done a 180 and think with Williams “it’s just not realistic”.

Why not?
I don't think that's a 180 - because they aren't binary choices

I think Caleb would benefit from sitting a year (I think this is true of about 95% of Rookie QB - maybe higher) - I also don't think it's realistic that we do that.

Does that help?
Why is it unrealistic?
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Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 4:26 pm
RichH55 wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 3:34 pm

I don't think that's a 180 - because they aren't binary choices

I think Caleb would benefit from sitting a year (I think this is true of about 95% of Rookie QB - maybe higher) - I also don't think it's realistic that we do that.

Does that help?
Why is it unrealistic?
A #1 overall pick is expected to play from the start. I doubt there's ever been a #1 overall pick that hasn't played from the get-go. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.

It is a little bit unusual because we have the #1 pick this year as a result of another team's ineptitude, but I think the expectations are the same. He'll start if they pick him at #1, no questions asked.
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Carson Palmer
Alex Smith
Eli Manning
JaMarcus Russell
Vinny Testaverde?
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LacertineForest wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 4:33 pm A #1 overall pick is expected to play from the start. I doubt there's ever been a #1 overall pick that hasn't played from the get-go. Happy to be corrected if I'm wrong.
It's a recent development...or a return to tradition, depending on how you look at it. Drew Bledsoe and Peyton Manning started right away. Tim Couch started the second game of his career, Michael Vick only started twice in his rookie season, and David Carr was thrown to the wolves. Then teams got more conservative.

Carson Palmer didn't play at all his rookie year. Next year's 1.1, Eli Manning, didn't start right away, nor did the following year's 1.1, Alex Smith. Neither Manning nor Smith started half their teams' games as rookies. Jamarcus Russell predictably continued the trend, and only started the final game of his rookie season.

Matt Stafford in 2009 is the first 1.1 QB to begin the season as a starter since Carr. Sam Bradford, Cam Newton, and Andrew Luck did the same over the following three years.
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Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 4:26 pm
RichH55 wrote: Fri Jan 26, 2024 3:34 pm

I don't think that's a 180 - because they aren't binary choices

I think Caleb would benefit from sitting a year (I think this is true of about 95% of Rookie QB - maybe higher) - I also don't think it's realistic that we do that.

Does that help?
Why is it unrealistic?
I think it's mainly due to circumstances across the Board. He will be the #1 pick. #1 Pick is harder to sit than say pick #9. Just in terms of the pressure from the media and fanbase

I also note that Caleb has played a decent amount of College Football - I do think (personally) that sitting a Year (or at least most of a year) really helps any Rookie QB - But arguably (and its speculation either way at the end of the day) - a guy who played a lot in College is more ready to play right away (*)

(*) Which is to say that a #1 pick with an extensive resume already - arguably needs to get his feet in the fire faster - It's not like every Rookie QB struggles (People can note CJ Stroud )

The other part is that there is no Favre/Rodgers here - Or even an Alex Smith to keep the seat warm for the year. I think you have to trade Fields if you draft Caleb - and as much as I love Bagent - I don't think he has the resume to quiet what will be a HUGE drumbeat to play the Rookie.

Maybe you can bring in a Vet for a year? But QBs are costly - and you need to Walk a Fine Line there.

The Vet needs to be good enough that you can keep playing him - and he can credibily be the starter (And with our Team? Quite Frankly that Vet needs to be a Potential Playoff QB - we have a good roster)

BUT also not TOO expensive and ideally willing to sign a 1 year deal - And ideally be a bastion of health too (Since thats the whole point)

Maybe the answer there is Minshew? But it's a bit of a goldilocks player you need there.
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Ditka’s dictaphone wrote: Wed Jan 24, 2024 7:55 pm Rookie and Bagent with a new OC.

Feels risky
I dunno, dude. Waldron's a really good OC, and Bagent will be in his second year. That scenario doesn't really get my Spidey Sense tingling at all...
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If the Bears are drafting Williams and trading Fields, then Williams is starting. While I would agree that sitting a year is the best option for all QB's, I just dont see it happening (unless they are also keeping Fields). Keeping Fields, drafting Williams creates a toxic environment. I think Bagent is going into next season as the #2 and he will be the Bears backup QB for a handful of seasons. Someone like Jimmy G (and not Cousins) could be the veteran option that some of you are talking about, but Chicago upper management can not afford to cut Fields and go with someone like Jimmy G and seriously hope to keep their jobs.

I think the Bears like their OL coach enough that starting a rookie C and a rookie QB is not that big of a deal.

I also feel that Chase Young is definitely someone on Poles' radar.
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duckherd50 wrote: Sun Jan 28, 2024 1:06 pm I also feel that Chase Young is definitely someone on Poles' radar.
Why? What about the injury history?
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Contrary to my original post, here's some secondary guys to look at:

Evan Brown, C, Seahawks: could be the guy they bring in to start while seasoning a rookie draft pick
Noah Fant, TE, Seahawks. 32 receptions, 414 yards in '23. Okay blocker
Mike Gesicki, TE, Pats: not much of a blocker but could be a pass catching machine. Moore, another top WR, Kmet, and Gesicki would be sick
Mercedes Lewis: 39 years old, 19 years in the league, wants to play one more year. Excellent blocker, a strong vet
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Bills DE AJ Epenesa might be one to watch now that Eric Washington has been hired as the Bears DC

He turns 26 in September and is 6.6, 260lb. His stats for the past 2 seasons are interesting.

2022
  • 15 games (2 starts)
  • Played 38% of the defensive snaps in the games he played
  • 16 tackles (13 solo)
  • 6.5 sacks, 4 QB knockdowns and 3 hurries for 14 total pressures
  • 2 FF, 1 FR
  • 5 PD
2023
  • 15 games (1 start)
  • Played 41% of the defensive snaps in the games he played
  • 20 tackles (9 solo)
  • 6.5 sacks, 4 QB knockdowns and 4 hurries for 14 total pressures
  • 1 FF, 1 FR
  • 2 INT (one pick 6)
  • 8 PD
Given the amount he played, those are some pretty good stats. If he could maintain that level of productivity while playing around 60% of the defensive snaps he'd be logging double-digit sacks.

Spotrac has his valuation as 2 yrs for $11,296,930, an average of $5,648,465 per year. Over The Cap has him at $4,197,375.
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Does anybody know why the Bills didn't extend Epenesa already?
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crueltyabc wrote: Mon Jan 29, 2024 1:44 pm Does anybody know why the Bills didn't extend Epenesa already?
Epenesa was 77th in the NFL in win rate (among players who played 200 pas rush snaps).

He was 86th in the NFL in pass rush snaps.

The reason he didn't play more, per PFF, he was a liability against the run, can't tackle (missed 30% of tackles this season and 50% last), and is not terribly efficient against the pass. Not to get all 'Greg Blache', but pressures matter and AJ only had 33 on the season.

I imagine he isn't terribly high on their priority list.
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More candidates to consider due to connections to the new passing game coord
- The apparently ageless Adam Thielen https://www.pff.com/nfl/players/adam-thielen/8288
- Terrace Marshall Jr. as a big-bodied reclamation project https://theathletic.com/2527357/2021/04 ... al-skills/
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Guy did a good job listing the cap situations of top and bottom teams and then speculating on potential FA cuts by position and the money the team would save. Just saves some time if you don't want to go through everyone's roster and see for yourself. Probably not a comprehensive list, but a good start.
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