By: Peter Bobrinskoy
In unfortunate news, the past couple weeks we have found out that Ryan Pace will be a bad General Manager for the Chicago Bears. We learned for the second year in a row that the Chicago Bears will continue to do what they have done for the past 25 years and keep hoping it’s going to work.
The Bears will never win on a consistent basis until they stop acting like the Redskins, Cowboys, Eagles, Jets, Texans, and Dolphins. What needs to happen is for them to start acting like the Steelers, Bengals, (Cough) Packers, and the Seahawks. The difference between the two sets of teams I just showed is that the first set of teams are always involved in free agency and try to buy success. While the second set of teams stays out of free agency, collects compensation picks, and puts all of their resources towards the NFL Draft. The Bears have never done that. The Packers entire franchise is centered on collecting as many draft picks as possible, drafting the best player available, developing players, waiting 4 years, resigning the players that deserve extensions, letting go of the players that don’t, collecting compensation picks for those players, rinse and repeat. By using this strategy, it allows their draft picks to flourish, making it possible for their late round draft picks to stick and possibly catching a steal.
However, with the Bears whenever they have a late round draft pick, they’re going to sign a free agent that will take his spot and that late round draft pick will never have a chance to flourish. For example, the Bears tried to sign Broncos running back C.J. Anderson at the beginning of free agency. By doing that they are drastically hurting the chances of Jeremy Langford and Ka’Deem Carey to prove themselves for the long term. Hypothetically they did sign C.J. Anderson, they would have eventually cut Ka’Deem Carey in training camp and that would have been another wasted fourth round pick by the Bears.
When the Seahawks drafted Richard Sherman in the 5th Round, it took him a couple years to develop into the Pro Bowler he is today. I guarantee that if the Bears drafted Richard Sherman in 2011, the next offseason they would have signed a “flashy free agent” safety and Richard Sherman would have never had the career he had. That’s the Bears problem. These general managers that the McCaskey’s keep hiring keep saying their teams are going to be “draft driven” but until they stop wasting their time with free agency, they never will be.
Now Ryan Pace has hired the right coaching staff but his philosophy for building a championship team has been used by the Bears for the last 25 years and it has rarely worked.
Sure teams that engage in free agency can have occasional success. I.e. 2006 Bears, 2010 and 2011 Jets, 2016 Redskins, 2016 Panthers but the teams that have consistent success and are competitive every year put all their resources towards the draft.
Now I know what you’re going to say, “But Pete, the Patriots are involved in free agency and they’re the best team in the NFL.” Now it is true that the Patriots do that, they occasionally take part in free agency. However, they still receive compensation picks every year because they usually only sign players who have been cut from their teams. Darelle Revis, Chris Long, Albert Haynesworth were all cut from their teams and the NFL does not take away compensation picks from teams for signing players who have been cut.
In conclusion, we found out two weeks ago that the Bears are not going to be a consistent NFL team from now on. Yesterday they overpaid and signed Josh Hill to a three-year contract. Really? Josh Hill who went undrafted is going to be the future for the Bears at tight end? Why not draft your next tight end of the future? Who knows how many times the Bears are going to make the same mistake but as long as the Packers have 10-11 draft picks every year while the Bears have 7, the Bears will never be better than the Packers over a long consistent period of time.