Tag Archives: David Greenberg

Manziel vs Mayfield: a tale of arrest records, public scrutiny, and Heisman trophies

With the NFL Draft approaching in the next couple months, there has been a lot of comparisons made between two certain quarterbacks: Johnny Manziel and Baker Mayfield. In this article, I’m going to present the similarities and differences between the two QB’s, and tell you why they are two very different players.

If you’re wondering what gives me the right to compare the two, let me tell you.

I’m a Longhorn. I’ve been a Longhorn since birth. I’m a freshman at UT now, and when it comes to football I know two things for sure. 1. OU sucks, and 2. it’s Goodbye to A&M. In that case, I’m writing this from what I have witnessed with my own eyes, researched and heard about both of these two quarterbacks.

First, I’ll go into some background about the two.

Johnny Manziel played two years at Texas A&M before being drafted with the 22nd pick in the NFL Draft by the Cleveland Browns. He led A&M to a 20-6 career record, a Cotton Bowl and a Chick-Fil-A Bowl win. He played two years with the Browns until his very public downward spiral of drugs and alcohol addiction sent him from the field into rehab.

Baker Mayfield began his career as a walk-on quarterback at Texas Tech before transferring to Oklahoma to finish his college career as a Sooner. He finished with a 34-6 career record and led Oklahoma to its first College Football Playoff birth and in the upcoming 2018 NFL Draft, Mayfield is projected to be a top 1st Round Pick.

Now lets dive into their similarities and differences.

Here is how the two are similar:

Coming out of high school both Manziel and Mayfield were listed as 3-Star recruits by 247Sports.com. As we’ve all seen before, recruiting rank does not mean define a player as both went on to be AP Player of the Year, All-American Honors, Davey O’Brien Award winners, Offensive Player of the Year in their respective conferences, and of course, winners of the Heisman Memorial Trophy.

On and off the field, both players have had their share of disruptive behavior.

Manziel:

Before his first collegiate game on June 29, 2012, Manziel was arrested and charged with three misdemeanors. Disorderly conduct, failure to produce identification and having a fake driver’s license. Along with this “instance”, it’s also known that he left the Manning Passing Academy early, a place where top high school QB’s come and showcase their talents, allegedly due to him oversleeping and missing part of the course.

Mayfield:

During the 2017 offseason, Mayfield was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, fleeing and resisting arrest and public intoxication.

Mayfield has had less trouble off the field than Manziel, but on the field, some critics question his antics from this past season. On the road facing Ohio State in the second game of the year, Mayfield planted the Oklahoma flag at midfield of Buckeye Stadium after defeating Ohio State 31-16. Then, later in the season against Kansas, Mayfield grabbed his nuts and was caught shouting swear words at the Jayhawk sideline.

Now here’s how these two guys differentiate themselves from one another:

In college, their styles of play were very different and regardless of their size comparisons, they are not the same.

Manziel was more reliant on his running abilities. He had star receiver Mike Evans (ever heard of him?) as his number one threat down the field. Throw the ball up to him and it’s caught. I remember watching a game against Alabama where Manziel scrambled all around the line of scrimmage finally heaving it up to Evans for a 50-something yard completion. THAT DOES NOT HAPPEN IN THE NFL. Johnny may have been a good enough athlete in college, but plays like that don’t happen in the NFL. They just don’t.

Johnny didn’t become “Johnny Heisman” by throwing the ball. His namesake came from dynamic running ability. In his TWO years at A&M, he ran for 2,169 yards and 30 touchdowns. Compared to Mayfield’s 893 yards and 18 TD’s in his THREE years at Oklahoma.

Mayfield relied on his gunslingin’ strong arm to lead him in his success. Don’t get me wrong, he could still make plays with his feet, but he’s the better passer. At Oklahoma, Mayfield passed for 12,292 yards, 119 touchdowns with only 21 interceptions. Let that sink in a little. The man can throw the rock. Manziel threw for basically half that, with 7,820 yards, 63 touchdowns and 22 interceptions. Mayfield threw for almost twice as many yards and touchdowns, and did it with less interceptions in three years, than Manziel did in two.

Now you’re probably wondering what do I think.

Honestly, when people say Baker Mayfield and Johnny Manziel are the same, I don’t buy it. Not one bit. Sure, they both have gotten into trouble, but when you look at what kind of players they are, it’s not even close. In my opinion Mayfield has shaped himself into a good mix of the new Pro-Style quarterback. The game is changing and more Russell Wilson type QB’s are emerging left and right. The league has changed from ground-and-pound, to pass-first and RPO. Mayfield is a baller. He’s a flat out competitor. That’s why he talks smack and does all his gestures. He just loves winning and I respect the hell out of that.

To all the NFL GM’s out there, don’t buy into the Manziel-Mayfield comparison. When given the opportunity, Baker Mayfield will take your organization to the next level.

Why Lonzo Ball is the most underrated player in the NBA

Read this and you’ll see why Lonzo Ball is one of the top young players in the NBA. If you’re already disgusted with that first sentence I encourage you to read the rest because I will do my best to change your mind.

Here’s what is wrong with all this criticism on Lonzo. It’s all based on the dislike for his family brand name, and his loudmouth father.

Since Lonzo has entered the league, everyone likes to compare him to Lebron and his rookie year. They like to say when James first came up he was tearing teams up. Scoring at will, defending like an animal, etc. Well, what I’m about to show you will prove to you why Lonzo should not be scrutinized anymore at the expense of his father .

In his first season, Lonzo is averaging 10.1 ppg. Lebron averaged 20.9. I know that’s not great but I had to get the bad out of the way first to blow your mind with his other stats. First off, I know this is average, but it makes sense. Lonzo isn’t a scorer. His game isn’t centered around scoring the way James’ is. Second, Lonzo has also only played 36 games as compared to James 79 his rookie year. Expect Lonzo’s numbers to only get better.

Now here’s where it gets good. Lonzo is averaging 7.1 assists and 7.1 rebounds per game. Lebron averaged 5.9 rebounds and 5.5 assists. Both of Lonzo’s rebounds and assist stats rank within the top three among all rookies. The only rookie better at both, is clear cut ROY favorite Ben Simmons.

In their first seasons, Lebron averaged 3.5 turnovers per game. Lonzo’s averaging 2.7.

Lonzo’s Player efficiency is 16.3. James’ was 18.8.

I looked back and saw that had Lonzo been a rookie in ‘03-’04 with that same number PER, he’d have been third in the league among all rookies. Only behind the second best player of all time Lebron James, and future hall of famer Carmelo Anthony.

He would have been before guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Kirk Hinrich.

If you’re still not convinced I’ll leave you with one last stat. Lonzo’s defensive efficiency ranks in the top 15 amongst ALL players in the NBA.

Lebron’s rookie year? Didn’t even crack the top 50 list.

Now, I am not telling you all of this to try and prove Lonzo is a better player than Lebron. I am just showing you that Lonzo is held to a much higher standard and put under a lot more pressure because of his father. Everything he does is looked at under a microscope, but don’t tell me for a second that he sucks because you don’t like his father’s loud mouth.

Shooting and learning to score is the easiest thing to correct in a players game. In fact, most players continue to improve their ability to score as their careers continue. Give the kid some time and he’ll be turning some heads no doubt about it.

Colin Cowherd said it best. Lonzo is dealing with a very different type of pressure than Lebron did. Lebron had hype. Because of his father, Lonzo has negativity. Lebron had to overcome the expectations of being the next greatest, Lonzo deals with people’s hatred for him and his family.

They want him to fail. Wanting someone to fail at all costs and not living up to the hype are two very different things.

 

Did I just predict the future?

If I remember correctly, I pretty much called it the night before the Cavs went rogue and traded everyone away. After that Timberwolves game, I wrote how it was the turning point for them.

37 points, 10 boards and 15 assists from Bron Bron that night was the changing of the tide in Cleveland.

A new wave of sports, where one player is so dominant he acts as not only the best player, but the Head Coach and GM as well.

There was no way he would let them suck for a second longer. He took matters into his own hands and did what he had to do. And look.

Three straight wins? Averaging a triple double? Any of this ring a bell?

Well it should, because I freaking wrote about it three days ago.

Shoutout to me for predicting the future.

Now, let’s get back to the Cleveland Lebroniers.

They look real good. They are finally using that team the way they needed to. After GM James went and traded away every person on that team, he finally got the system that suits the style of play he wants to run as the new Head Coach.

Tyronn Lue might as well be on a beach in the Bahamas right now, because there’s no coaching going on by him anymore.

Against the Hawks, Lebron finished with 22 pts, 12 rebs, and 19 (NINETEEN) assists. Oh, and did I forget to mention he had only 3 turnovers? Shoot, my bad. Guess I forgot about that.

Against the number one ranked Celtics he had 24 pts, 8 rebs and 10 assists. I know, how terrible right? No triple double? Did I forget to mention he only played 28 minutes? My bad again. I have a terrible memory, what can I say?

These new additions make the Cavs younger. I had a feeling that’s what Lebron needed. He is a 33 year-old in, a 22 year-olds body. He is the definition of a true professional. He puts his head down and he works his you-know-what off.

You’re probably thinking, what do you mean he puts his head down, he’s always in the media? Well, when you’re the second greatest basketball player of all-time, and considered one of the greatest athletes to ever play a sport, it’s hard to hide your face from the camera.

This post-trades Cavs team looks different, and feels different. There were two many egos on that old team, and as far as I’m concerned, Isaiah Thomas was at the center of it. He was abysmal in that locker room. You don’t go into the same locker room as Lebron James and say, “I’m the best player on this team,” because you’re not. You . just . don’t . do . that. (insert sassy lady clapping in between each word). Even if you’re fresh off a career year.

I.T., my man, in case you didn’t know, the Celtics traded you right after said “career year”. For who? Oh that’s right. Kyrie Irving.

Watching the Cavs play the Celtics the other night was Fun. For the first time all year, it looked like Lebron was enjoying being around his teammates. He was joking with the young guys, he was smiling, laughing. It was good to watch. These new look Cavs have the potential to be a one seed in the East now.

With nearly a triple-double a night from Lebron, and good role guys to keep feeding him, the Cavs could have what it takes to compete in a seven game series with any team.

Except the Warriors. They’re just unfair.

What signing Darvish means for Bryce Harper

Everyone knows next year will be one of the hottest free-agency markets of recent history.

Two names: Manny Machado, Bryce Harper.

We are talking about a potential billion dollars worth of deals between those two players.

It’s pretty clear those two are going to the best teams in the MLB with the most money. I predict Machado to the Yankees (or maybe White Sox) and, well, I’m praying Harper to the Cubs.

The Cubs just signed Yu Darvish the other day to a 6 yr/$126 million contract.

So, now the question begs,

Will the Cubs still be able to afford a Harper-type contract?

Well, I got out my protractor out and went to town. I crunched the numbers ‘til the sun came up.

Being the GM that I am, and thanks to my friends at Baseball Reference, I looked over the Cubs contract situation and it won’t be easy to put it lightly.

To start it off, I’ll give you a little background on the contract situation. Lester, Zobrist and Heyward are untouchables. Their contracts are huge.

Did the Cubs overpay for Heyward? Yes. Is it the end of the world? No. They bring just enough value to the team to make up for their gargantuan salaries.

Lester’s contract breakdown follows as so. He is owed $27.5 million over the 2018 and 2019 seasons, $20 million in 2020 and $10 million in 2021. Yikes.

Heyward’s contract is $28.17 mil this year, 20 the next, and 84 million over the next four. Bigger Yikes. Yeah, I already know what you’re thinking holy crap did they drop the ball on that one. Heyward’s contract is the most team unfriendly, but there is no question he is getting better and still one of the top corner outfielders in the league.

Zobrist is owed $16.5 mil this year and 12.5 the next. Now, let’s get to the big question.

Will the Cubs be able to re-sign Kris Bryant and Addison Russell and still sign Bryce Harper.

No.

Bryant and Russell are up for arbitration these next three years since their rookie contracts are coming to a close. Both signed handsome bonuses after bringing the North side it’s first World Series in 108 years, but now that’s up.

So, what does this mean? The Cubs have to get rid of one of them, and I promise you it will not be Kris Bryant. Expect the Cubs to shop around Addy this season and help them bolster their farm system that has produced some of the best young talent currently in the game.

Darvish’s contract is going to average $21 million a year, for a 31 year-old pitcher, over six years. It HAS to be win now and by signing Darvish, it is.

If the Cubs shopped Addison Russell this offseason, not only would they get a good deal from whatever team he’s dealt to, it would be one less person the Cubs would have to deal with in Arbitration. For the Cubs to convince Bryant to take a team friendly contract in order to bring in Harper would be much more likely than Russell.

Harper and Bryant have been good friends since Little League in Las Vegas and have been hanging out a lot this offseason so I would expect him to be more lenient on his contract situation, in order to sign one of the best players in the league. I also expect if Harper does decide to come to the Cubs, that he will take less money in order to be on the team he chooses. This could be huge for the Cubs who are already stacked on major contracts.

I know that sending Addy away is not ideal as he’s only been in the league for 3 years and is already one of the best young shortstops in the game. He’s coming off a year last year where he underperformed due to injury and a domestic violence accusation. After getting through both obstacles he had a good postseason with 5 hits, 2 doubles and 5 RBI’s in 10 games.

Opening up the shortstop position could give a guy like Javy Baez, who is under team control, the chance to show what he has at the spot and give Ian Happ a chance to play his natural position at second base. This could be a very good thing for the Cubs because they would have a very good young infield.

Happ and Baez up the middle could become a dynamic duo in the making. Heyward in center, Zobrist in right and Schwarber in left would be a very slow outfield. It would put a lot more pressure on Heyward, but defense is his specialty and he has thrived in center when he’s had to fill in.

Obviously that would be a one year option if the Cubs decided to go after Harper next year.

Kris Bryant and Bryce Harper on the same team again? Watch out MLB.

Foles takes down the GOAT, Dynasty in Shambles

First off, I want to say that Super Bowl 52 lived up to everything it was hyped to be. I also want to say that first half was beautiful. Shoutout to the entire NBC team for putting on a great performance until they botched it with a nationwide blackout. But other than that, I thought it was great. Big week for NBC, first the Super Bowl then the entire Olympics?

Stock in NBC = very high

Now, let’s dig into the game. I’m still trying to digest what happened. Saint Nick took down the GOAT, the NFL has a number of issues they need to resolve, is the dynasty in shambles???

I’m not going to bore you with all the stupid catch rule stuff so I’ll just say this.

They need to define what is and is not a catch.

Saint Nick played the game of his life. Every single NFL team out there should send the Eagles an offer for him this offseason because he’s better than any qb in the league right now. He just won the Super Bowl. Don’t even think about arguing it.

Now, going off that. He will still be the backup next year. The Eagles got their win win situation. They just won their first Super Bowl, and did it without their franchise QB who, oh by the way, is just 25 years old.

I love what the Eagles have done with their team. I think they have the potential to be the next dynasty. They are loaded with young and under-contract talent, a hungry athletic defense, a QB with a very high ceiling and a great coaching staff who was able to adjust their system around their backup QB to win a Super Bowl.

There’s a lot of pressure on Wentz now, but I’ve never seen someone overcome as much as he has so I am sure he will be fine.

Now, let’s talk about the Pats and the endless pit of misery they are about to be swallowed by. First off, this is well deserved. I love Tom Brady as much as the next man but the Patriots as an organization deserve what is about to come their way.

They are no longer the Kings of the AFC because, well, the Eagles figured them out. Tom Brady is great because he makes his teammates around him better. But when his teammates aren’t there, it’s a bit of a different story. Julian Edelman was done for the season. Brandin Cooks is probably still dead and Gronk is still recovering from the concussion he received two weeks ago. So Chris Hogan, a former lacrosse player, has to step into the shoes of Edelman? It’s a band-aid solution. It’s patchwork. They said he’s the best we’ve got so lets see how it goes.

Not a terrible strategy as he played well through out the season. But he is still not Edelman, Cooks or Gronk.

Tom Brady is not the QB he once was. He is a robot now. Brady is the greatest Quarterback of all time and was never supposed to come within 1000 miles of that title. He is the epitome of greatness in every sense of the word and everyone, including himself, knows that. He doesn’t have to do anything else in his life because his legacy could never be tarnished, yet, he still decides to keep playing because he simply loves the game. He has perfected every aspect of the game and knows how to beat just about anybody.

Now, let me clarify. Brady has had the same guys for a very long time. It’s the same system and when someone gets hurt, it’s always been next man up. One of Belichek’s biggest slogans. But when those men don’t have the same robotic synchronization with the greatest QB to ever play the game, then its a very tough situation.

All the plays they scripted were centered around three people: Cooks, Gronk, and Amendola/Hogan.

Gronk had NO clue where he was last night. I’d be surprised if in 10 years he remembers a thing from that Super Bowl, and he still had 9 catches for 116 yards and two touchdowns. A great SB performance that will be forgotten by him in less than a decade. It is terrible but true. Head injuries are a very serious issue and another problem the NFL faces.

Cooks was their guy. They needed him to win that game and they knew it. I believe that if he wasn’t trying to do too much to extend the play and just took the first hit to the ground, the Patriots would have won that game. Classic example of players trying to do more than they need to and I am sure Belichek is LIVID over that.

After the birds took out their number one wide receiving threat, the Pats told a concussed Gronkowski, “here’s the play, use your 6’ 7” 270 pound frame and go do something.” It was visible that he was not at 100% mentally. I remember there was one seam route up the middle where Gronk was wide open but instead of coming back towards the middle he ran straight and the pass fell short. Robots don’t miss open seam throws over the middle. They just don’t. It’s been programmed inside their robot brains, since robots started playing football.

With Gronk a semi-scratch, they left the game up to Amendola and Hogan. Don’t get me wrong, both are good receivers when they have space, but neither of them are worthy of being Tom Brady’s number one option.

I do believe, and I know this is crazy, that TB12 can win another Super Bowl. But it HAS to be in the right circumstance and it HAS to be soon, otherwise him and the Patriots are done.

First off, they need to improve that defense. They need better athletes on the front line and in the secondary. The defense is their biggest weakness just because that offense is too lethal.

Second, they need to make the right coaching changes. They got gutted. No other way around it. McDaniels to the Colts and Patricia to the Lions are done deals. Whoever comes in next as OC has to adopt their system AROUND Brady. Not the other way around.

I’d like to see something different from that D than what Patricia has been doing. They need more talent on the opposing side of the ball because they got torched all year. Patricia never had to be the best defense, and he hasn’t needed it because their offense was so good. He’s always had good defenses, and in some circumstances, great ones, but this year’s team was not great by any meaning of the word.

Honestly, I know he’s been there and won it, but I don’t think he will make a great head coach in this league. It is an offensive minded league now, the game is changing. And it’s not like the Lions defense is great where a new face will push them over the edge.

Brady is now 40, so one wrong hit and his career could be over in a flash. Gronk is injured again and as great as he is, still can not seem to play a full season. Edelman, a 31 year-old is coming off an ACL injury which is never easy to recover from, and will no doubt see a step down in his performance next season. Then there’s Amendola who’s entire career no matter what team he’s been on has been cut short due to injuries.

I knew it was bad when Gronk came out last night and questioned his certainty to return to the game. I fully expect he will, but if he’s saying it, it’s definitely on his mind and something he’s thought about before.

Brady I expect to retire after next season. He will announce this offseason that these will be his final games and he’ll be given the full red-carpet treatment, and paraded around everywhere he goes as he very much deserves. But for him to go out a champion like Peyton Manning, they need to fix that defense right now.

Injuries and a lack of athleticism on D plagued the Pats all season long and it is incredible that they were able to do what they did this year overcoming that.

But it just wasn’t enough. This one is going to sit with Brady for a very long time because that game was totally out of his hands. He played possibly his best season (at 40) and best game he could have, but due to a long list of extranious factors he fell short in getting his sixth (I know I still struggle with it too) Super Bowl.

Hell of a game for Eagles Nation. Love what they’re doing with that team and that city and I expect big things in their future.

For Pats fans, you’ve had your fun. Take your rings and be happy. Praise the god that is Tom Brady and be happy with that. No complaints. Just love.

It’s Winter Meeting season and I couldn’t be happier

It’s that time of year again ladies and gents. Winter meetings are just a few short weeks away. A time when the finest of baseballs front office members pack their bags and head down to sunny Orlando, Florida with the hopes of signing the biggest and best free-agents on the market and conducting any other league-wide transactions.

Let me start by saying this. It’s gonna be a wild one this time around and hopefully it’ll give me that little fix of MLB that I’ve been craving since the Astros hoisted the Commissioner’s Trophy above their heads.

Where Will Giancarlo Stanton Land?

Derek Jeter the new owner of the Miami Marlins is cleaning house. Everyone’s on the chopping block unless your name is Christian Yelich. Jeter’s in full rebuild mode and for good reason. The Marlins finished just under .500 on the season at 77-85, but were a better team than their record shows. After the tragic death of Jose Fernandez that team just wasn’t the same and for good reason. He was such a huge loss to not only that team, but to the sport itself. RIPJF. Right now Stanton is sitting on a mountain of money equivalent to $295 million over 10 years. He has a buyout clause after the 2020 season if he so wishes to use it. He’s no doubt one of the top trade pieces of the last 10 years. He has pretty much everything teams are looking for especially after coming off a historic year. A good bat who can either DH or play the outfield depending if he’ll end up in the AL or NL, and he is a longterm guy with at least 3 seasons left under contract, granted he doesn’t want the buy out. The teams that have been the most outspoken about trading for Stanton are the Cardinals, Giants and Dodgers. I heard the Red Sox were in the mix for a little, per usual as Dave Dombrowski loves to destroy franchises by trading away and spending everything his teams own and then failing to win a World Series (circa Detroit Tigers 2012). Stanton has all the money he could ever want and coming off a year like that he’ll go wherever he wants, and I think that’s back home to beautiful Southern California.

Most likely landing spot: Dodgers, they have too much in the farm system and plenty of money to spend.

 

Where will Japanese two-way superstar Shohei Otani land?

Survey says… Whichever team has the most money!

Yep, you guessed it. Cue the music ladies and gents get my guy Frank Sinatra on deck.

NEEEEWWWW YOOOORRRRKKKKKK

That’s right Otani is almost a lock in New York in my opinion. It’s not a matter of if he comes to the MLB it’s a matter of when. A guy who throws 100 from the mound and rakes at the plate just screams like a guy that Brian Cashman wants on his roster. Complement that with the youth that team has and that’s going to be a scary looking roster. The Yanks are real close, they have almost everything they need to win number 28 and it was very easy to see that as they fell to the world champs in Game 7 of the ALCS. Rebuilding year? Not so much. The Yanks are close and Otani will only secure that even more. When Judge wasn’t striking out 9,000 times they hit top to bottom like one of the best teams in the MLB. Their bullpen was awesome in the postseason and David Robertson looked like a young stud once again. When almost everyone in your bullpen throws 95+ Larry Rothschild definitely has plenty of options. Tanaka looked like the guy he was back in Japan, Severino showed flashes of greatness but was just a little too inconsistent at times, stacked with that lineup? Watch. Out.  Who knows whether Otani will pan out as a two-way stud, but there’s no better place to make a name for yourself than a team that’s one of the most glorified franches in all of baseball, that happens to be right back up there on the verge of yet another World Series.

Most likely landing spot: Did I stress it enough? Oh yeah, Yankees.

 

Where will all the top Free-Agent’s land?

After the 9 players to receive qualifying offers turned them down, they’re going to enter into the free-agency pool.

The top guys that headline this are former Cubs’ Jake Arrieta and Wade Davis. Arrieta and Davis who are 31 and 32, respectively, are the premium pitchers of this year’s class. Arrieta who reinvented himself in Chicago has won a Cy Young and thrown two no-hitters in his tenure in Chicago. Davis was nearly perfect on his saves last year and was at the top of the league in ERA and saves. Those will both be huge losses for the Cubs to overcome this offseason but I have full faith in my guy Theo to keep us on the right track after making three consecutive NLCS appearances, and ending the 108 year World Series Drought.

Next we have to look at the Royals and how differently their going to look next time they take the field. They’re getting gutted harder than Brad Pitt in Moneyball when he lost Isringhausen, Giambi and Damon. Poor Dayton Moore, that’s a huge blow. Guys like Cain, Moustakas and Hosmer have been the core of that squad for years and in 2015 brought the Royals their first championship since 1985.

Most likely landing spots: Arrieta, Phillies; Cain, Rangers; Cobb, Mariners; Davis, D-Backs; Holland, Royals; Hosmer, Cardinals; Lynn, Cubs; Moustakas, Angels; Santana, Red Sox

 

How much Friggin’ money is J.D. Martinez going to make?

Talk about someone who is going to cash in this offseason and that’s J.D. The former Tiger who was traded to the Diamondbacks last season carried that squad to the postseason only to get swept by the Dodgers. Quite honestly I don’t know how that D-Backs team didn’t put up a fight against the Dodgers because I thought for sure they were a lock in the NLCS vs the Cubs. That lineup with Martinez, A.J. Pollock, and Paul Goldschmidt. Add on Greinke, Robbie Ray and Archie Bradley it amazes me they were so flat in the postseason. Can you imagine if that Dansby Swanson trade hadn’t backfired and he was still on that team too? Good lord. I’ve heard from the most bias Detroit sports fans that, “J.D. will always be a Tiger, he told me, ME PERSONALLY, that he wants to finish his career as a Tiger,” but that ain’t happening sorry dudes. He wants to win and even with that super team back in 2012 they still couldn’t do it so he’s not coming back. He’s going to the Nationals. The Nats have the money and a playoff talent caliber team to entice J.D. to come across the country. Plus the Nationals are going to be looking for Bryce Harper’s long term replacement after he skedaddles and comes to the Windy City. Perfect fit. Who knows, maybe he’ll be the guy to push D.C. past the point of choke return.

Most likely landing spot: Nationals

Offseason Day 1 Starts Right Now

I know what you’re thinking. We’re all thinking it. It’s the worst combination of four words in the human language.

Football season is over.

Let us take a moment of silence for a fantastic NFL season. Honestly one of the best seasons of the past decade that I can remember. The regular season brought us teams that no one expected to do well like the Rams and Jaguars, and gave us one of the greatest underdog victories the Super Bowl has ever had to offer.

But now that it’s all over it’s time to talk offseason moves.

As a Bears fan this post will be mostly Bears related.

First off I want to start by talking about the future of the team. I believe in Ryan Pace and I like the vision that he has put in place for this team. He knows this team is young and I like the style of offense for Trubisky to develop under.

He is a phenomenal athlete and I believe that the west coast style offense will be the best system for him to get acclimated under. It is all about quick throws and there is always a hot route in case the pocket collapses.

I also like the move of bringing in Mark Helfrich as OC. I like the RPO scheme that he specializes in and ran at Oregon. I believe it is the future of football. With Trubisky being a good athlete, teams will have to be mindful of him as a runner as well making him that much more dynamic.

I fully believe in Trubearsky and I am all in on Ryan Pace and the rebuild. I expect the Bears to make strides at contending in two years time.

They have a great young defense who finished in the top half of the league and get their DC back in Vic Fangio who I believe was one of the best moves Pace made so far this offseason. A familiar face at the coaching position is always a good thing for a young defense.

With that being said the Bears are two years away from contending if and only if they continue to make the right moves. So let’s talk about this offseason and the moves they HAVE to make.

The Bears are in a great spot in the draft sitting at 8. It’s a spot where they can do just about anything they want. They don’t need a QB so the potential for Darnold, Rosen, Allen and Mayfield aren’t even on their minds, which is a huge plus.

What I hope to see from the draft:

OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame — Round 1

Protecting Trubearsky (copyright pending) is going to be a KEY next season. For him to develop properly he will need to have 100% trust in his line. The Bears already have a good interior line, one of the best, with Guards Kyle Long and Josh Sitton, and Center Cody Whitehair. In 468 pass-blocking situations, Sitton only gave up 6 QB hurries. On the other hand, their Tackles this year were miserable. Bobbie Massie and Charles Leno, Jr. gave up 73 QB hurries. It is clear the Bears need to get more athletic at the Tackle position because defensive ends are only getting bigger, stronger and faster.

Quenton Nelson is a fierce blocker. Plug him in on the line and he immediately makes them better. He can pull, trap and is a good enough athlete to stop speedy pass rushers. This will be huge for the Bears because there is nothing better than a good offensive line to protect a young and inexperienced Quarterback.

If they go with the defense and Tremaine Edmunds, ILB Virginia Tech, is there, I wouldn’t be upset with that pick either. He’s a versatile athlete who can play multiple positions. Edmunds is a great pass rusher as a linebacker due to his great speed. He had 14.0 TFL for a total of -52 yards. He had a whopping 60 tackles and 49 assists this past year. Not to mention the 5.5 sacks he had this year as a linebacker. It is no wonder scouts are foaming at the mouth over this guy.

I would also be okay if a guy like Minkah Fitzpatrick, S Alabama, fell and the Bears snagged him. Minkah is a flat-out beast. I have been following Alabama football since I was probably 12 years old and Minkah has been one of the cores to the Alabama defense that has awarded him with two National Championships. In his junior year contest Fitzpatrick finished with 60 total tackles, eight of those for a loss. He corralled just one interception and had 7 pass deflections.

I have seen a lot of mock drafts, per Matt Miller and Mel Kiper Jr., that the Bears will take Calvin Ridley, WR Alabama, with the eighth pick. If this happens I will cut all ties with Pace and lose all trust in his vision. If they take Ridley in the draft they will have wasted every bit of progress they’ve made so far. There are far more needs in the draft than a wide receiver that early. There are plenty of receivers in this draft and the Bears could end up getting a steal at that position much later.

Talking about receivers, let’s shift gears toward free agency. The Bears biggest FA targets should be WR’s. There are a lot of talented proven veterans in the league that could immediately impact the Bears terrible receiving core, like Jarvis Landry, WR Miami Dolphins. The 25 year-old is my number one target. He is a guy with great hands, who will make plays for Trubisky in the 50-50 balls. He is simply put a pass catcher. Only AB and Julio Jones have caught more passes since coming in the league. He’s not a No. 1 guy, so the Bears will be able to save money on him as well. His downfall is that he is a little slow. Only a 4.77 40 guy, he lacks explosiveness and at times fails to create lots of space.

Next acquisition is Paul Richardson, WR Seattle Seahawks. Richardson is by no means a flashy guy. But he works hard. He has been a great option for Russell Wilson and is coming off a career best year where he caught SEVEN touchdowns. He started 13 games this year and caught 44 of his 80 targets for 703 yards. A really good year for him might draw his price up, but I am sure the Bears will not overspend on a guy like Richardson.

Finally, my third FA target is Jimmy Graham, TE Seattle Seahawks. I know what you’re thinking, why wouldn’t he be my number one target? A proven guy who has had great success on both the Saints and Seahawks. His production went down significantly after his trade to the Hawks but he had a great season last year corralling 57 receptions for 520 yards and 10 Touchdowns. Graham is a big body and one of the best most reliable tight ends in the league. So after hearing all this you’re probably wondering why he’s target number three. Well, he’s 31 years old and has battle injuries throughout his career. Getting Graham would be big for the Bears because of the style of Offense that Nagy runs. Look at Travis Kelce, Nagy practically made his career. The Bears already have a good young tight end in Adam Shaheen who shows lots of promise in the near future. If the Bears can get Graham on a team friendly deal he could be a great weapon for Trubisky. Shoot, I mean Trubearsky (copyright still pending) and a good person for Shaheen to learn under and split downs with.

The time is now for the Bears to make some noise. The potential in the pot is about to boil over, and this could be the year where things start to shift gears in the Windy City.