For a Chicago Bears Daily Blog, I sure have dropped the ball. Since the Bears signed receiver Brandon Lloyd one week ago today, there hasn’t been much action. As mentioned before, during off-season lulls this may be closer to a Chicago Bears Weekly Blog.
Yesterday, Brad Biggs of the Sun-Times wrote about this week’s most recent happenings. Bears basically bargain hunting was the title. And as I’ll say again, I can’t argue with this. I see so many people on message boards and article comments, all the way up to Steve Rosenbloom of the Tribune, complaining that the Bears have all this money and they’re not spending it. But that’s just not true. I am in total agreement with Jerry Angelo not going out and whipping money at Alan Faneca or Michael Turner. Or $42 million to Bernard Berrian for that matter.
It is a proven fact: in the vast majority of cases, teams do not get good by throwing the most money at the highest-tier free agents. Look at the San Franciso 49ers, after spending over $70 million on Nate Clements last year, they finished with a 5-11 record. This year they threw over $40 million at defensive end Justin Smith, and I don’t think a run-stopping DE is going to result in a much better record.
Then consider the Packers, who only invested heavily in one free agent of late, corner Charles Woodson, who most other teams didn’t want. Woodson has worked out great for them, but their 2007 success was a direct result of great drafting, not free agent signings. However, 2008 will be the season that will prove me correct or incorrect, that the statistics and success of guys like Ryan Grant, Greg Jennings and Donald Driver will come crashing back to Earth without Lord Favre there to prop them up.
As a part of the braintrust there, Angelo proved in Tampa that if he feels one or two players will put the Bears over the top, he will make the move. The Buccaneers were on the verge of the Super Bowl in 2000 and 2001, so they invested in Keyshawn and Brad Johnson at quarterback and receiver. And while Angelo wasn’t there to see it in 2002, they then made the Super Bowl.
If the Bears had a competent offensive line, quarterback and running back, I would have been mad if they didn’t make a run for Randy Moss to put them over the top. But they haven’t had a competent quarterback that stays healthy arguably since the 1940′s, so to throw tens of millions at a receiver now just wouldn’t make sense.
The flip side for Angelo is that now, he must come through with his draft picks if this thing is to turn around in 2008. No more Michael Haynes, Dan Bazuin, Garrett Wolfe, as much as I want to see Wolfe succeed. As Angelo said when he hired Lovie Smith, if this doesn’t work out, the next funeral the press would be attending would be his. Not likely though, as long as idiot fans like me continue to pay yearly ticket price increases and put their butts in the stands, which I will continue to do, it will be status quo.