Friday, May 17, 2024

Big ESPN Bombshell Could Drastically Impact Chicago Bears’ Draft


Last month, the Atlanta Falcons stunned the NFL world when they signed former Pro Bowl quarterback Kirk Cousins in free agency. While the signing itself was lauded by experts, plenty of people were curious how things came together so quickly. Some wondered if the Falcons had broken league rules by contacting Cousins before the legal tampering period. The NFL has since launched an investigation into the matter. Recent updates indicate that Atlanta is in serious hot water, and the potential repercussions could impact the Chicago Bears.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, a resolution on the matter could happen this week. If the Falcons are found guilty, there is a strong likelihood they will lose draft picks as punishment. Considering Miami lost a 1st round pick when they tampered with Tom Brady a few years ago, it stands to reason the same could happen to the Falcons. If this proves true and they forfeit their 1st rounder this year, it would mean the Bears go from #9 overall to #8. While not a huge jump, it could have massive implications.

The NFL’s investigation into alleged tampering charges against the Falcons for their involvement with then-free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins and the Eagles for their involvement with then-free-agent running back Saquon Barkley is ongoing and could reach a conclusion as early as this week, per sources.

Sources believe the discipline, which is likely to involve draft picks, is expected to be more severe for the Falcons. Here are two examples of tampering discipline from the NFL:

The Dolphins forfeited their 2023 first-round pick and a 2024 third-round selection for tampering with Tom Brady and Sean Payton on three occasions from 2019 to 2022. Team owner Stephen Ross and vice chairman/limited partner Bruce Beal were fined; Ross was fined $1.5 million, while Beal was fined $500,000.

The Chicago Bears would benefit in several ways.

With Atlanta off the board, it virtually guarantees GM Ryan Poles would have his choice of any defender in the entire draft. Every team in the top seven of this draft is expected to draft an offensive player. If the Bears are determined to get a pass rusher alongside Montez Sweat, they don’t have to worry about the Falcons taking the guy they want most. This would also increase the likelihood that one of the top three receivers will be on the board when the Bears are back on the clock. There is also one other bonus.

It shortens the distance between the Chicago Bears and a potential spot to trade up in the top 10 if they wish to go after Marvin Harrison Jr. Going from #9 to, say, #5 is more expensive than going from #8 to #5. Any time you have a chance to pay a cheaper price for a potential star, it is a great thing. Timing is everything. The NFL must reach a resolution before Thursday, the 25th, when the draft begins. Otherwise, the punishment may have to wait until 2025. It sounds like things are moving quickly because the league wants to send a message.

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Slip Knotz
Slip Knotz
Apr 22, 2024 7:15 pm

It’s not clear how the punishment might be doled out. I have seen proposals where Atlanta trades picks with the Vikings, which would be disadvantageous for the Bears, especially in round 1.

Who trusts Goodell to make this fair?

Apr 22, 2024 12:44 pm

Cousins, whose father was a pastor, has said that he gets distracted when he looks into the crowd and sees unmarried couples holding hands, which he calls “ungodly” and “disgusting.”

He said this on a podcast last year, and according to Washington beat reporters, this was well-known going back to Kirk’s time at Michigan State. Atlanta should remove the Kiss Cam from their stadium and he should be fine at home.

Apr 22, 2024 12:43 pm

Poles can solve more needs by trading down, than staying put or trading up. If the Bears are in playoff mode for this year, they need to address the DL. They can finish the rebuild, and then start the depth and upgrade process once the needs are filled. Get the DE to pair with Sweat, find the WR to learn, and step up when Allen is finished, look for value and upgrade potential in FA, and don’t tie up too much salary cap in any one position. With the QB reset, Poles now has four years to build the sustainable… Read more »

Apr 22, 2024 9:22 am

I’m curious to see if he can push off from a drop back and generate velocity through that leg when he throws. That’s a lot of money, and I’m not sure why he isn’t just as much of a red flag as Penix Jr and his medicals.

Apr 22, 2024 9:01 am

Atlanta is going to regret signing Kirk. Just like Denver signing Wilson. Dude never won anything in Minnesota. And he is old. Will probably not make it halfway through the season before he gets hurt again. At his age his body is breaking down. Atlanta! Oops!

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