Chicago Sun-Times

Pancaked: Baltimore will block Suggs' bid to reach free agency

| 3 Comments | No TrackBacks


Free agency just lost a little bit of its luster.

Baltimore general manager Ozzie Newsome let it be known Tuesday that the Ravens will place the franchise tag on pass rusher Terrell Suggs if they cannot work out a contract extension with him before Thursday's deadline to tag players.

Cross Suggs off your shopping list.

That's OK, you say. Julius Peppers will be available.

Maybe not.

The Carolina Panthers can still lock up the defensive end with the use of the franchise tag and chances will increase that Peppers will be tagged if the club can work out a contract for left tackle Jordan Gross to prevent him from reaching the free market. Peppers has said if he's tagged he will immediately asked to be traded and that's probably the way it would go any way because the franchise tag number for him will be a whopping $16.7 million. The Panthers just don't want to let him walk away in free agency and get nothing in return but a compensatory draft pick. So then you're talking about having to fork over draft pick(s) to the Panthers for Peppers as well as a huge contract. Peppers would like the $30 million guaranteed Dwight Freeney picked up from Indianapolis.

So before free agency opens Feb. 27 some of the biggest names could be taken out of play. Keep a close eye on Thursday's deadline for the franchise tag.

*** Vinnie Iyer, one of the fine folks over at the Sporting News, has an interesting story today where he analyzes potential landing spots for Anquan Boldin, the disgruntled Arizona wide receiver. Boldin has two years remaining on his contract but wants out. The gap between the pay he's receiving and the $40 million, four-year extension teammate Larry Fitzgerald received last offseason (OK, it's more like a canyon separating the two contracts) makes it unlikely the Cardinals will pay to keep Boldin happy.

While that doesn't mean the Cardinals are going to make Boldin happy and start shopping him, Iyer examines likely destinations for Boldin and ranks the top eight. Where do the Bears come in? Try No. 8.

"8. Chicago Bears. Brian Urlacher for Boldin? That's just one of many wacky thoughts out there. The Bears wouldn't be an attractive destination for Boldin, considering their uncertainty at quarterback and their lack of receiving threats who can take pressure off him. Although his physical style would be popular in Chicago, he likely would become frustrated by defenses game-planning to make him a non-factor."

Iyer speculates that NFC East rivals New York and Philadelphia would be the most likely places for Boldin to call home in 2009.

*** Lovie Smith has company. Dallas owner Jerry Jones made it official today. Cowboys coach Wade Phillips will serve as his own defensive coordinator.

*** There's no telling whether or not Jacksonville's Gerald Sensabaugh was on the Bears' radar in free agency as a safety. If he was, he isn't now.

Sensabaugh was arrested in Kingsport, Tenn., last Friday for driving on a suspended license and the goods got buried a little in this story.

"Guns were found in Sensabaugh's possession during Friday's arrest as well. According to police, he had a Bersa 380, an International Arms AK-47 and a Glock 22 in the car. But jail officials say this time Sensabaugh was not charged for having guns in his car."

According to officials, Sensabaugh had a permit for his Tank Johnson Starter Kit. That's an improvement. He was busted in 2007 in Kingsport for speeding and police found a loaded 9mm and Sensabaugh had failed to obtain a permit for the weapon.

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL:


So we pass on a good player because he didn't pay a speeding ticket? Big Deal. I read somewhere that Kurt Warner got a lot of speeding tickets. The Bears want to be family entertainment, but they are not looking for monastery tenants. There has got to be a practical limit to player behavior standards.

"Tank Johnson starter kit" is really tabloid stuff. They said he wasn't charged because he had a permit. That is like the headline saying "he wasn't charged with illegal drugs" and the fine print saying because he had a valid doctor's perscription.

If the guy really is a Pacman clone, absolutely the Bears should stay away. But because somebody has different taste in legal adult toys doesn't necessarily make him a thug.

Who in their right mind would give up a player like Suggs or Peppers? Not me. If they aren't available we just have to move on. Evaluate needs and attack what's available. We still need an upgrade at safety and O-line. We could use OT, G and C. If we can pick up 2 impact players filling holes at these positions, then it narrows the focus come draft weekend. Better off having to fill 3 holes on draft weekend than 5 holes. Hopefully impact free agents the brain trust has targeted will actually be available come February 27th. Hopefully, they are committed to winning now.

So would any of us make the trade straight up--Urlacher for Boldin? Or more importantly, would the Cards go for something like that? Urlacher in a 3-4 would not necessarily be a good fit, because the middle LBs need to be able to take on a guard and shed quickly to stop the run. Urlacher could extend his career by moving outside in a 3-4, where his speed, coverage ability, and physical size would translate well to the edge.

Now that he is starting to get up there in age, I would probably make the deal. I think Briggs could transition to the middle, or we could use Jamar Williams, Hunter Hillenmeyer, or a draft pick to fill the spot. We would take a step back in athletic ability to cover the deep middle, but we could get a more affordable cap number, a younger, healthier player, and a premier WR in exchange. Would Arizona move Boldin for Urlacher? I sure wouldn't if I were them, but if they go for it, Jerry should jump at the chance. If Jamar Williams is capable of stepping up, problem solved and we can focus on OL and DL in the draft and free agency. If not, we would need to look for help at LB. But this is all a pipe dream or bad acid trip...Arizona wouldn't go for this in a million years, unless we really sweetened the pot, like with Vasher...

Leave a comment

Twitter updates


About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on February 17, 2009 10:34 PM.

Four Down Territory, Feb. 17: Garcia to land in NFC North? was the previous entry in this blog.

Bears would "like to have Tait back for another season" is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.