Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Next Step, Waiting in the Wings

What a weird week. For the second day in a row, I am in nearly total agreement with David Haugh's column. Of course, considering that it's about Briggs saying he would love to get a long term contract to the Bears, it would be hard, at this point, for that column not to be pretty awesome. I'll just tip my hat a little bit to Haugh for staying out of the way of the story. Because it's a super-joyful one.

Briggs has been abso-fucking-lutely amazing so far this year. He has played well enough that I wouldn't even give a guy a funny look if he said Briggs looks like he might actually be a better linebacker than Urlacher. Coming into the season, it was pretty obvious that Jamar Williams was being groomed to be Briggs's replacement starting next season, and I knew that it would take some pretty incredible play on Briggs's part for that not to seem like probably the best idea for the future. But Briggs has pulled it off already. I'm thoroughly convinced the Bears should do everything they can to sign Briggs to a long-term deal--even if that means giving him more money than Urlacher. Who knows: Briggs might actually deserve more money than Urlacher, but regardless, I can't imagine that move resulting in damage to locker-room chemistry, which, aside from salary-cap issues, would be the biggest reason against it.

The other major point of Haugh's article is kind of interesting: now that Grossman has pretty thoroughly played himself out of his coronation as the quarterback of the Bears' future, there's not any reason to worry about signing Briggs because the Bears would need the money to wrap Grossman up long-term. I guess, if there's a silver-lining to the incessant media and fan ridicule of Grossman finally infiltrating his brain and turning him into an absolute disapointment, that might be it. But Haugh goes on to entertain the possibility that Griese might be able to be the Bears starter for the next few years, and I have to say that we'd really have to see a lot of improvement from Griese before that would be in any way a comfortable proposition for the future. Especially knowing the Bears history with such sentiments: every time that I can remember that the Bears had something of a question mark at quarterback while there were all sorts of possible free agent quarterback answers getting signed everywhere else in the league the Bears have said something along the lines of, "We've already got a guy. We don't need to go out and get a guy." And it's always backfired. I'm not sure exactly who will be out there for free agents at quarterback this next offseason, but there is one intriguing prospect that I want to mention because it just dawned on me the other day: Oakland only has Culpepper signed for one season, and they have Jamarcus Russell who they're obviously going to go with as soon as possible--maybe even later this year, regardless of how well Culpepper plays. As obscene as it once would've seemed to me, I actually think Daunte ending up at quarterback for my Bears would be pretty exciting. As much as I never really thought he was as incredible as all the behorned Vikings fans around me did, I'm also positive he's not as bad as he seemed at Miami last season, where he wasn't fully recovered from his knee thing and where the coaching was ridiculously bad. He would easily be the best Bears quarterback ever, and I think he's got quite a few seasons left in him. The chances of that happening are obviously pretty close to zero, but I just figured I'd throw it out there. (Further adding to the obscenity level of this fantasy: Randy Moss was only signed for one season at New England... the Bears were already planning on spending some hefty dough on offense after this season; they just thought it'd be on guys already wearing Bears blue. Culpepper and Moss playing on the opposite of the ball as the Bears defense? It kind of makes me feel like barfing rainbows...)

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