If I were a texting teenage girl, I guess my reaction would be “OMG!” As in, oh…my…God.
Tackle Chris Williams from Vanderbilt was the exact player I wanted the Bears to select in April’s draft. So it’s not as if I’m reversing what my position was at that time. I followed all the pre-draft evaluation closely, and heard most notably NFL Network’s Mike Mayock comment that Williams had fallen off some team’s boards due to health issues. Health issues including back problems. So I was relying on the facts that Chicago’s doctors examined him as closely as any other team did, the results of which I wasn’t privy to, of course.
Williams signed a $16 million deal with $9.2 million guaranteed on the eve of camp. Reported to practice on time, and promptly went down in a heap and couldn’t practice with alleged back spasms. Returning from the game last night, I learned what others did before the game-that Williams just had surgery to repair a disc problem in his lower back. While the Bears say publicly he will remain on the 53-man roster and be back this season, the major skeptic in me doubts that.
As a matter of fact, according to Mike Mulligan who surveyed other team’s scouts at last night’s game, this is not a minor injury. To quote one of the scouts: “That is a very serious injury for a lineman-I would be more worried about his career than this season.”
This is a disaster. On the heels of cutting Cedric Benson, who along with second-round pick Mark Bradley from 2005 are making the draft from three years ago look laughable, Jerry Angelo and his staff should have known better. I preferred Williams to Jeff Otah and potential tackle Branden Albert, but again I didn’t know the extent of his medical conditions. Conditions that other teams felt were pre-existing, while the Bears don’t.
Angelo used to preach of drafting players that had a stronger floor than ceiling. His latest pick looks as though he fell on the floor before he became a Bear. Wonderful.