Hoping Bears Target Mario over VJax on Eve of Free Agency

Hoping Bears Target Mario over VJax on Eve of Free Agency

It is the obligation of everyone who covers a football team from a non-beat writer's perspective to take a stand when it comes to said football team's approach to free agency. In that spirit I state the following: if the Bears must decide between pursuing Mario Williams and Vincent Jackson, I hope they fix their scope squarely on the chest of the elite defensive end from North Carolina State.

Yes I acknowledge the Bears have a lack of explosive talent on the outside. Yes I believe Vincent Jackson is a very good player and would continue being a very good player in Chicago. No I would have no problem with the Bears announcing they've signed Jackson to a lengthy, lucrative contract just seconds after the opening of the free agency period.

My preference is just that - a preference. If the Bears HAVE to select one or the other to pursue (the contention of most analysts), I prefer Williams. The reasons are simple. Jackson is very good.Williams is elite. And he is elite at what might be the second most important position in the modern NFL. If you were to poll franchises around the league and ask them whether they'd be more afraid to face a Bears side with Vincent Jackson or one with Mario Williams opposite Julius Peppers, I believe the result would be overwhelmingly for the latter.

Would I like both? Yep. Would my dream scenario be signing Mario Williams and trading for Brandon Marshall? You betcha. (This scenario may gain traction as rumors circulate about Peyton Manning not wanting to play with Marshall.) But if the Bears plan this March is to land one major free agent, I'm hoping they take the best player on the open market. That is Mario Williams.

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  • jay cutler would be the first one to utter a curse if emery spends big on defense and not offense.

  • If we pass on ANY FA WR, then I sure as hell hope we get Floyd at 19.

    We can make it with Hester, Bennett, Floyd and The Palsy stricken Giraffe, but I'd like to see Hester out of the conversation and relegated to ST.

  • Redskins just released OJ Atogwe. I remember the blog was really high on him a few years ago. Good FA pickup? Back our broken Pringles?

  • DYL, you are correct.

    I have to say I agree Jeff.

    Just one player would make our offense a real terror. I mean, we were averaging 26 pts per game with Jay and Forte..

  • ...and Knox, who may not return, and Barber, who reportedly is as good as gone already.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    Marion Barber has reportedly made it clear that he does not expect to be back with the Bears for the 2012 season. He's already moved out of the Chicago-area apartment that he lived in last season

    Read more: http://www.fantasysp.com/player/nfl/Marion_Barber/2122407/marion-barber-has-reportedly-made-it-clear-that-he-does-not#ixzz1owRUIbdX

  • Yeah. That report came from the Vaughn McClure of the Tribune.

    Barber accounted for 60% of the Bears rushing TD's last year.

    On 3rd or 4th & 1-2yds to go, he ran 10X for 52 yds (5.2avg) + 2TD.

    Forte in that situation ran 5X for 3 yds (0.6 avg) +0TD.

  • that's including defense and special team scores. we put up 37 against the lions with D/ST contributing 21 of them. the bears' lone offensive TD drive in that game was an impressive 30 yards.

  • I agree that we need to bolster our defense but I think we can do that fairly easily by upgrading our DB's, safeties in particular. We make these QB's hold onto the ball just a little longer and our D line will shine. And a top teir safety wont hit our cap nearly as hard as a DE. Then we would still have $ for a #1 WR.

  • Wouldn't it better to have our D-line shine, and then we don't have to worry about the DBs? Our safeties look pretty good when the QB is on his back and writhing in pain.

  • Adam Schefter ‏ @AdamSchefter Reply Retweet Favorite · Open
    Raiders plan to release TE Kevin Boss, who last summer signed a four-year, $16 million deal, including $6 million guaranteed.

  • Uh so theyre just going to eat the $6mil ? With deals like that it's no wonder the Raiders stink.

  • Hey guys, I actually got a spot on the Football Nation site to write for them! Cool Bday present.

    I'll still be on here and I will still be posting everything I normally do but this will be a great experience to do for now.. My article is up and it's pretty cool.

  • Left Tackle Levi Brown just got released by Arizona. A couple good LT's on the market. It is 4pm tomorrow yet?!?!?!?!

  • You planning on giving us a link, padawan?

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:


    I really won't post any more of my articles on here because I don't want Jeff to get upset or anything.

  • didn't you say in the last thread that you weren't going to mention mike wallace anymore? =]

  • I likery Artoo. Just one question though! Who put up more numbers than Wallace? hee hee

  • I didn't read your post yet but congratulations, Artoo. You'll be the hardest working man on that site. Don't forget to get your degree. Good luck and Happy Birthday.

    Going to read your post now.

  • wtg, Artoo!

    I read your article; overall a good effort.

    You may wish to tell the editor/webmaster to put the question mark back on the end of your article where you had it.

  • In reply to SC Dave:

    I know

  • Excellent job, boyo - I'd buy you a beer at the draft party, but if you're as smart as I think you are, you'll be doing the $25 open bar.

  • "production is production"...sounds familiar. :)

  • In reply to MikeBrownhadaPosse:

    I so badly wanted to quote you but I don't know your real name.

  • congratulations
    your pasion makes me smile
    i am extremely happy for you
    chase that dream
    and float to heavens

  • Et tu, Artoo ?

  • Props Artoo. Does that gig pay or what ?

    Liked the article by the way.

    "How to hammer your bird and get what you want." by Erik The Viking.

    Very retro. Very caveman. Likey.

  • Once I move up in ranks it will. It will take time and I am willing to learn and try to build up.

    Just something that I love to do is all. I just finished writing my second one.

    I hope they publish it soon.

  • Brown will become one of the best offensive tackles on the market in a weak class. This could be a blessing for him because he'll draw some interest on the free agent market.
    #Cardinals unsurprisingly are expected to release OT Levi Brown, per @AdamSchefter. Brown was due $8.33M + $6.25M in


  • Beat me to it! I guess that superman suit is real

  • Levi Brown - anyone secretly watch Card games who can give us the inside scouting on him?

    Card fans seem to be pretty happy about letting Brown go, which always raises red flags. This is a direct quote from one of the bloggers.

    "thank GOD! say goodbye to false starts and missed assignments! whether Payton comes here or not its a good call. Fearless4caster you obviously don't know what you're saying because Levi isn't even close to cards best lineman. In fact he is on the opposite side of the spectrum. Good luck in miami playing Tbrady and Rex Ryan's defense twice a year. "


  • I think sometimes we can get caught up with names and potential. The NFL on the other hand, is short in the patience department when it comes to overpriced lost projects.

  • In reply to TracDaddy:

    On a side note, for those who advocate need vs best player available in the draft, remember that Levi Brown was chosen ahead of Adrian Peterson in the draft.

  • What we should at all points during the draft, if we start reaching for guys because the position needs to be addressed .....

  • Anyway, he is an upgrade in the LT

  • Brown is more the kind of upgrade we need around here, because that kind of help is not coming out of the draft - we can draft a receiver or a defensive end, but not a starting left tackle.

    Mario wasn't franchised because they'd have to pay him 22m - but there's nothing to say that they don't sign him to a multi-year contract. Ditto V-Jack. We need to be looking at every other FA not called Mario or Vincent.

    If we keep Forte and re-sign who we need to re-sign, there doesn't appear to be any money left for big-name signings, maybe a second tier guy.

  • Gonna miss watching Barber run. Guy had a lot of enthusiasm in his running and put his head down and rammed tacklers.

  • Eric Winston is fa

  • You are fast. Have to wonder if this is part of the "we want Payton" blood bath on at least half a dozen teams.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:


  • Tonight is gonna be crazy..

  • I agree with Jeff, if it's an either / or situation I'd go with Mario. I'm glad SOME of the speculating will end in the next week. It should be interesting to see how things shake out, what the Bears gain and lose. Erik, congratulations on your new gig.

  • There's going to be a shit load of players released today.

    Interesting fact. The 2009 Cap was higher than this years.
    2012 Cap on raised $200,000

    There's approx 400 FAs expected to hit the market, not counting all the cuts in the last week.

    Two starting Ts have already been released in the past few hours.

  • Hey guys, I am going out tonight and you need to follow me and Jeff on twitter because some news should break out tonight.

    Ohh btw, So I can drop this bomb on you before I go..

    @yourboyroy @ErikGrogan This just in the #Bears r the front funner 2 land #SuperMario per @CSNMoonMullin

  • Have a good birthday piss up man, hopefully you'll still be fresh enough to keep us updated tomorrow...

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    BIrthday? Oh yeah Mang, happy b-day little bro. We all chipped in and got you a defensive end here ... lemme see ......

  • this would be dreamland
    I hope the numbers work
    getting into the inner sanctum
    of the quarterbacks in our division
    will change the way our fortunes lie
    this is my #1 priority
    bust up the backfield
    and these stellar passers
    become uncomfortable
    which will lead to mistakes
    and turnovers and superior field position
    I want these prima donnas crappin' their pants
    when they walk to the line
    If we can hold teams to 20 pts.
    our O and specials
    will take care of the rest
    I hope you are right
    I still like this Cox kid though
    and thought we would really be
    addressing the D line through the draft

  • Does FA start at 4pm EST?

  • In reply to DYLbear23:

    Yes but teams will be gearing up tonight

  • What baffles me is that Meachem has been interviewed by a few teams but the Bears aren't one of them. Can someone explain this to me?

    If we get M.Williams and Meachem, that's an A+ FA grade for me.

  • fb_avatar

    I really hope we sign Meach, I'm annoyed that they haven't talked to him. I don't think he's the best FA WR available, but I do think he's the best WR available in terms of value. I'd rather sign him to a reasonable deal than overpay for VJAX, or MColst.

  • Rumors: Players of interests for the Bears

    LB David Hawthorne 27. He's a very versatile and productive LB (racked up about 100 tkls in every year). If the Bears get him, he would be the heir to Lach or Briggs. Negative. Mild knee inj last season and reportedly wants a $40M contract.

    DE Mario Williams 27. We all know this story. There are serious reports that the Bears are going to pursue him, and when the Bears target a player, they're pretty good at closing the deal. Negative. $$$

    DE Jeremy Mincey 28. He might be the fall back plan for Super Mario. Played for the Jags and registered 8 SKs. Negative. Didn't Izzy get 8 sks once too?

    OLB/DE Kamerion Wimbley 28. The Raiders are in cap hell, and might be forced to release him. Bears wanted Wimbley before and might get lucky this time around. Projected to be a 4-3 DE for us. Negative. Will have to transition to DE and may demand about $40M.

    WR VJax 29. Another familiar player. Rumors are the Bears are really looking into him, but maybe they're just kicking the tires here. He's 6'5 230 ish and all he does is score TDs. Negatives. A little older, minor character issues, and $.

    Interestingly enough, who the Bears are NOT talking to is just as revealing. The Bears haven't been linked to Meachem or any Olinemen/RB/DT/CB/S that I know of. This is including some of their own FAs. No reports have surfaced that they're negotiating with Izzy, Jennings or Graham (or Davis for that matter).

    Maybe the Bears are just in CIA mode, or maybe this means that they're going to let them go and reload through some surprise FA guy or the draft.

    I guess in 24 hrs, we'll know.

  • Isn't Hawthorne like 6'0? Little short for a linebacker to paraphrase Princess Leia.

    Emery's on media lockdown. I like that. Just tell us when they're signed.

  • Patrick Willis is only like 6'0. He looks pretty good to me.

    Hawthorne has reliable production.

    2011: 115 Tks; 2 sks; 3ints (that's with a Forte knee sprain)

    2010: 106 Tkls; 1int; 3 FF

    2009: 117 Tkls; 4 sks; 2ints; 3 FF

    I'd still rather draft LBs than getting them in FA, but I know some of you guys out there want to replace Briggs.

  • SF signed Randy Moss to a 1-year deal.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    Holy fucking shite.

    He's going to catch about 80 balls for 1,200 yds under Harbaugh, watch.

  • Under Harbaugh maybe but Alex Smith? We'll see.

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    heard harbaugh was the Q.B.
    throwing the passes in his workout
    JIMMY!!!!!!!! IN CONTROL

  • In reply to huntinbare:

    If the threw those passes behind the Bears OL with the 49'er D rolling in, it would be Jimmy in traction.

  • Artoo, I do have and occasionally play Madden on 360 but never been all that great at Madden online. Definately down to play a round of Bears vs Bears sometime. I don't know how you'll ever find the time as you keep becoming more and more famous. Congrats on the new writing spot.

  • In reply to ben in norcal:

    I will always have time for you guys. I'm not leaving here unless Jeff kicks me out.. and if he does that I will just make up another email and name lol

    I am willing to play anyone in Madden. Tag: Bears85Payton23

    Thanks for the congrats.

  • Grasshopper wishes to play master in Madden online ...

    {strokes beard}

    Perhaps too early for Grasshopper to climb big mountation, start with small hill better ......

    Tell me Grasshopper ..... what is the sound of blind receiver flapping one arm wildly ?

  • Payton23?

  • In reply to gpldan:

    34 was taken and I have always loved the number 23.

  • Bears will be here in SF next year vs Moss, I won't miss it.

  • Now, this is MY type of bracketology!


    Top 4 Teams: 85 Bears; 72 Dolphins; 89 49ers; 78 Steelers

    A lot of really good other teams as well, some from the Pack, Cowboys and Raiders...

    Go vote, ya bums!

  • Each NFC North team will receive $1.6 million in additional cap space as a result of the Redskins and Cowboys 2 year old contract violations

  • That $ should go to Forte's bank account - direct deposit.

  • While Jason La Canfora says the Jaguars are in the mix, he ultimately believes Williams lands in Chicago

  • Man, can't wait, can't wait, can't wait...

    I've been driving the M.Williams bandwagon since the Viking's game on Da Blog...only a few more hours my brethren...heeYah!

  • I wish some more people were up.

    I am going to go to bed and get up early.

    Guys, if you have a phone, add me on twitter or keep my twitter or Jeff's twitter up. News is going to exploding tomorrow and I know Jeff will be up and I know I will force myself to move out of bed.

    Calm before the storm my amigo's.

  • I found ya on there eric, I'll have my ears open. Here's to a big day in FA. I'm hopin all these reports from so-called sources are true regarding Mario. I may freak out if I find out he'll be opposite Pep in '12.

  • In reply to ben in norcal:

    The flip-side is good too. We don't sign him and we have more money to fix everywhere else.

  • I see you're flip side Irish, But this one move could completely legitimize(spelling?) our entire D, no loger top 15 but probably top 5. And while It would tie up a load of money at one position, this could be a move for the future as He'd potentially be around for awhile. In other words, our defense is going to look completely different in about 3 years and this guy could be the link that carries us into the future along with (hopefully) better drafting on D.

    I hear ya on getting FA help on the OL and investing in a wideout, but like Jeff said up top, when faced with the decision of tying up big money in V-jack vs Mario, I say Mario all day.

  • In response to a question I posed in an earlier thread. It looks like the 1994 San Francisco 49rs were a good example of a team that broke the bank in FA and then won it all.

  • In reply to NewBearInTown:

    Interesting...who'd they get, Haley/Sanders?

    "Breaking the Bank" in FA is a relatively new feature to Football. In the good ole days, no one left the team that drafted them until like their last two years.

    The Pack with "The Minister of Defense" kinda broke the bank and won a SB or two.

  • I don't know if the Bears HAVE to expend a lot of cap space and/or draft pickage in order to fix the offensive line, but if they do, and they choose not to because they want to sign Mario Williams, then signing Mario Williams is a huge mistake. Bears need improve pass protection and pass reception more.

  • Carl Nicks tweet via Sean Jensen:
    Carl Nicks

    "Y'all know I keep it real on this. My agent told me the saints made me an offer and it is respectable..."


  • Do you agree that the Bears should make a serious attempt to sign Eric Winston if they have good reason to believe that Gabe Carimi's knee is shot?

  • In reply to Crunch Buttsteak:

    That is a gigantic fucking if. Marc Columbo to the courtesy phone.

  • In reply to gpldan:

    No it's a normal if. What you suggested is anecdotal.

  • I'll re-post this tomorrow since no one's gonna see it right now, but I just want it on record...

    Butch’s 2012 FA Predictions

    Top Offensive Players

    QB Manning. Still sticking to MIA. Broncos a surprising candidate too.

    QB Flynn. Sea to me seems the most logical destination. Browns as well.

    QB Smith. Re-signs with the 49ers. Lucky to even start in NFL.

    HB Bush. Browns just released Hillis. If Browns wait till April, Jets.

    HB Tolbert. Bengals need insurance.

    HB Hillis. The CIA. If not, the Pats fancy reclamation projects.

    WR Vjax. Many court, but ultimately cashes in with Bucs, Jags or Skins

    WR Colston. Re-signs with Saints. If not, see above.

    WR Meachem. The Bears? Most likely, the Pats.

    TE Carlson. Broncos need one. Maybe Gmen too.

    OT Gaither. Re-signs with SD.

    OT McNeill Vikes are old at T. Need to protect Ponder somehow.

    OT Winston. Broncos thrilled Texans are poor.

    OT Brown. Cards trash is Rams treasure.

    OG Nicks. Surprise! Stays put.

    OG Grubbs. Bengals got $ and want to build the trenches. Ravens still in play.

    OG Hutchinson. Cowboys also trying to bulk up.

    C. Wells. Bucs are young and need a PB vet to anchor the team.

    Top Defensive Players

    DE. M. Williams. DING DING DING…Bears win FA jackpot!

    DE. Wimbley. Bills get the consolation prize. Maybe the Falcons.

    DE Abraham. Jags? Titans? Bengals? Who’s a 4-3 D desperate enough to pay him?

    DT Soliai. Fins lock him up. If not, the Bills might make a move.

    DT J. Jones. Eagles need desperate help at DT.

    OLB J. Johnson. Ravens want to go younger, but keep their own.

    OLB E. Henderson. Vikes retain him.

    ILB Tulloch. Vikes will make Lions pay for years.

    ILB Lofton. Falcons re-sign him.

    ILB Hawthorne. Sea had a good D, and they know why.

    ILB Conners. Philly continues the dream.

    CB Carr. Who has loads of $ and no Cbs? Bucs. Crazy Cowboys might make a play too.

    CB Finnegan. Skins. Don’t know why, just see him there. Rams might show interest.

    CB Rodgers. If he’s smart, he’ll stay in SF. If not, Jax/Titans can buy him.

    S Landry. J-E-T-S.

    S Otogwe. Chargers create a solid S duo. Pats could make a bid here too.

    Footnote. Certain teams are missing because these are the top players which might be to expensive for say the 16M over the cap Cards; other teams like the Pack simply don’t value FA as much.

  • Your Boy Roy ‏ @yourboyroy

    Doh! RT @ShawnZobel_DHQ: I've been told that the Washington Redskins intend to make Vincent Jackson the richest receiver in the NFL tomorrow

  • fb_avatar

    That just confirms what a bad move paying Jackson would have been for the Bears. Sounds like a perfect Daniel Snyder play. On the other hand, RGIIII now has a real nice option. The Skins still can't block, kick or cover.

  • Is signing Mario like buying a big screen Plasma TV the Bears can't afford?


  • fb_avatar
    In reply to TracDaddy:

    What single guy wouldn't invest more in his TV than he should?

  • Lovie has a giant Nyquil induced hard-on for getting to the QB rushing only 4. It's like he's on a personal one man crusade to keep Guards off Child Support so he can make it to Canton. Very well, it's looking like Super Mario and Hendrix Kong will be book ends.

  • fb_avatar

    Good morning Bears Fans!!!!

    A great day for the beloved. At the end of the day, I believe the Bears will be better and that is reason to be happy.

    Agreed on Mario Williams as the best move...Below is why I believe this.

    - Is the goal to fill the most glaring need, OR to improve the team as constructed as much as possible? Williams improves the team more than Jackson. By a lot.1) he is ELITE, 2) he improves CB, DE (not just his spot, but Peppers as well), DT and LB positions.

    - Even with Jackson, we are not going to win a shootout with GB or even Detroit. So let's just shut their A$$eS down.

    - FA Williams over any Receiver. If he wasn't available, DE would be a medium priority, behind OL and WR.

    - Which goes first? WR or OL? I would argue that it is WR. I also think WR's are a crap shoot in FA. So #1 pick goes for Floyd (if he's there) or Stephen Hill. Then we pick up as many FA WRs as are left and hope one of them works out.

    Note" if there were an A+ or A left tackle out there who was 28 or younger, I'd rethink this whole bit.

    The end. Bear Down...

    And the budding opinion that we should try to get Mike Wallace from Pittsburgh AND give up a number 1 qualifies as the dumbest idea, I've ever seen on this board.

  • In reply to Big Mike:

    Your funny lol a great point at how hard it is to find an established WR.

  • fb_avatar

    Not sure what was funny. Simply put WR as the 2nd priority this year, because Mario Williams improves the Bears more than Jackson or Wallace (minus a first round pick would).

    Doesn't mean I don't see the need for a WR. If Williams wasn't out there, I'd be all over getting the best WR we could. Unless of course there was a truly elite LT out there.

    What's funny are posts that believe only one view of the situation can qualify as serious.

  • In reply to Big Mike:

    I think everyone here has more than one view to the situation BM.

    We all would love to have Brandon Marshall and only give up 2 third rounders.

    We would love to have Vincent Jackson or Marques Colston if they didn't want to break the bank.

    Hell, we all would be okay with developing a WR but damn, that seems to never happen with our receiver coach.

    So, just because we all like Mike Wallace doesn't mean we wouldn't take Marshall for cheaper. Just ideas man, just ideas.

  • fb_avatar

    I'd love to have Mike Wallace. But I wouldn't give up a number 1. Sorry if the tone of my first post was snarky. I must have spent too much time on the Tribune's board.

    Truth be told if the Bears landed Jackson, I wouldn't be too unhappy.

    What the Bears really need is a break. By that I mean finding the gem in the 3rd round that by the end of the year, everyone wishes they had taken that guy in the first or second round.

  • http://www.suntimes.com/sports/11252340-606/bears-couldnt-lose-by-adding-texans-free-agent-mario-williams.html

    Nice article.

  • "Many would argue that the Bears have more pressing needs and that Williams is a luxury. But 2011 is all the evidence someone needs to see, to understand the significance of the D-line to the Bears."

    Really, Sean? Most who want Williams will at least concede the obvious, that 2011 is proof that the Bears have more pressing needs.

  • All right people.. I hope you ready for the news today.

  • One less CB on the market: New York Giants reached agreement with cornerback Terrell Thomas.

  • Q. If a team is under the salary cap at the end of a given season, can the team carry over room to the next season?

    A. Yes. A team may “carry over” room from one League Year to the following League Year by submitting notice to the NFL prior to 4:00 p.m. ET on the day before the team’s final regular-season game indicating the maximum amount of room that the club wishes to carry over.

    From Larry, didn't know that.

  • I think you gotta go Mario, he makes such an impact. With jackson, or any other WR, you need the QB to hit him, the OL to block for the QB and the WR to catch the ball. With a guy like Mario, you just turn him loose. He will make the pass rush better, the DBs better and between he and Peppers, the other linemen will have a one on one. Go get him. They can pick up another WR, maybe not as good as Jackson, but still good if they want to.

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