Chicago Sun-Times

Radio host says Angelo, Bears have faced budget restraints

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In a quiet free agency period for the Bears, longtime NFL coach and front office man Pat Kirwan raised the volume around Halas Hall with his comments Tuesday on Sirius NFL radio.

The sounds you heard were fans screaming in protest.

Kirwan and co-host Tim Ryan had a caller on the line who wanted to discuss the Bears. The caller said he was mostly supportive of general manager Jerry Angelo but was frustrated by the lack of moves this offseason, specifically pointing to wide receiver and safety as issues that were not being addressed. Kirwan, who has known Angelo for more than two decades, came to the defense of Angelo quickly. What it turned into, however, was something completely different. Instead of trying to interpret this for you, and paraphrase what was said or try to tell you what was meant, we're just going to lay out the transcript from the ``Movin' The Chains'' show in Sirius:

"Jerry came to Chicago as a proven entity, all right,'' Kirwan said. "He ran the drafts in Tampa, all the drafts that had all those great players. So he came with credentials. The next thing is he brings the team to a Super Bowl. That's on his resume now in Chicago, with Rex Grossman under center that team got to a Super Bowl. The other thing is, if you're a real Bear fan, you know that this is not exactly the most generous spending team in the history of football. So he's got restrictions and restraints and he's not going to [say], `Hey, I'm trying to sign this guy but my owners won't let me,' You think he's going to say that? No.
"So he is a little bit bound to his draft picks where you've got to exhaust every opportunity to make that guy work before you surrender and try something else. I just want to get that framework up there before we start killing Jerry,'' Kirwan continued. "Tim and I have a personal experience, we know Jerry pretty well. Jerry is not going to sit there and hold court with the media and give you everything you wanted to know because he's got too many sensitive subjects and he's got too many issues where he can't expose to you what he wants to do and I'm not going to cite the one that we had a conversation with him about, but he was absolutely sick to his stomach that something might be going on that he couldn't control because he didn't have the cash to do it.''

Now, the first thing to note here is that Kirwan didn't go into detail of when this conversation took place with Angelo, who has been on board nearly eight years. He didn't say it was this week, last week, this offseason, this year, or if it took place in some previous year. What this insinuates is that Angelo has been inactive at one moment, at least, when his hands were tied by higher management or ownership. Because of money. That's tricky business, or thrifty business as the case may be.

When reached Wednesday, Angelo declined comment on Kirwan's remarks. Through a spokesman at Sirius, Kirwan also declined an interview request.

A team source did say that Angelo has not been prevented from making any move this offseason because of financial considerations. Thus far, the Bears have one signing to show for free agency--offensive lineman Frank Omiyale, who signed a four-year contract worth between $11.5 million and $14 million. They're not the only team to be doing more looking than shopping when it comes to free agency.

While Angelo declined comment to the Sun-Times, he did discuss free agency on the team's Web site Wednesday. Specifically, he addressed why the Bears were bystanders in the T.J. Houshmandzadeh sweepstakes and why they were not a player for veteran safety Brian Dawkins.

"Houshmandzadeh is a fine receiver. Would we have entertained him? Yes, but we wanted to see what his marketplace was. In this case, we felt like [what he received from the Seahawks] was an exorbitant amount of money. Remember, he was a No. 2 in Cincinnati. That's not to say that what Seattle did wasn't right for them; their situation is different in my mind than ours. They had an inordinate amount of injuries with receivers and they felt like they needed to get somebody that was established and healthy.

"A lot of teams would have liked to have had Houshmandzadeh. But he's going to be 32 in '09 and the price that you're paying for that receiver we felt was very high. You have to look at economics when you look at players. Who doesn't want Houshmandzadeh? But you have to look at the economics: What are the implications to the cap going forward and what does that prevent us from doing in other areas within our team and/or in free agency?

"With Brian Dawkins, he's 35 years old. He's a great player, but Philadelphia put a limit on what they were going to pay him and they know him the best. You have to understand that it's not just, `Do you want the player?' Certainly there are players out there, but at what cost? And what does that cost do to your salary cap and to other things you may want to do internally and/or in free agency?

"You have to be patient as you go through this process. It's not a matter of not wanting to spend the money. The cap is how you want to allocate the money. When we look at a player, we have to put a value on that player, and then we have to stay disciplined to stay within those parameters. With 14 players being franchised, it makes free agency less attractive, and the players that do get out in free agency are making an exorbitant amount of money because it's a supply and demand business.''

To put the contracts in perspective, Houshmandzadeh received a $40 million, five-year deal from the Seahawks with $15 million guaranteed. Dawkins also got a five-year deal, and while the length is not as significant, Denver guaranteed $7.2 million of a $17 million package.

Team president Ted Phillips discussed the franchise's vision last month when also addressing the ticket price freeze. He said the weakened economy would not affect Angelo's football budget.

"The short answer is no,'' Phillips said. "We've set that budget for the cash that we can spend on players. It's typically pegged right around the cap and so it will be again this year."

Maybe a more significant figure to look at in this instance is committed cash. That's a figure the NFL Management Council keeps for every team. It tracks how much money a team pays out to players every season, including base pay, bonuses, incentives, the works. The salary cap is a different figure. For instance, Cedric Benson will count more than $2.5 million vs. the Bears' cap this season, but the running back won't receive a nickel from the team. They're not committing any cash to Benson in 2009.

This past season, the Bears ranked at the bottom of the top half of the league in committed cash. The belief is they were 16th. It's a figure that moves around from year to year. During the 2006 Super Bowl season, the Bears were in the bottom seven. No team spent more on extensions for their own players this last year than the Bears with Angelo writing more than $185 million in contracts with more than $50 million guaranteed. The Bears just didn't spend on players outside Halas Hall.

According to a report in the Washington Post, the Redskins entered the 2008 season No. 1 in the league in terms of committed cash at $747 million since 2000. They were followed, in order, by Indianapolis, Baltimore, Dallas and New England in the top five. The Colts, Ravens and Patriots have combined for five Lombardi Trophies in that time. Of course, New England owns three of them, but the Redskins haven't sniffed the title game. Neither have the Cowboys.

Here are the top 13 teams from 2008 in terms of payroll, according to a report in the San Francisco Chronicle last month:

1. N.Y. Jets
2. New Orleans
3. Washington
4. Indianapolis
5. Dallas
6. Denver
7. Cleveland
8. Carolina
9. Oakland
10. N.Y. Giants
11. Jacksonville
12. St. Louis
13. San Francisco

Three of those teams reached the postseason. Seven had coaching changes after the season.

The Bears have contract offers out to running back Kevin Jones and offensive lineman John St. Clair. Say what you want, just don't say you were surprised. Angelo made it clear entering free agency the Bears were not going to be lavish spenders. He hasn't stood alone in assessing what has been a watered-down crop of available players either.

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56 Comments

All fans get impatient, especially when their is needs like we have. I have been a friend of Jerry's for over 5 years now and I respect him as a G.M and as a person. I am close enough with Jerry that I openly told him that he made a major mistake when he let Thomas Jones go, and he respected my opinion and we are still friends to this day. Even though I am wanting us to make moves, Jerry sees the bigger picture that us fans don't always see, and I still think as we progress threw free agency he will make a couple of signings. Think of this, if St. Clair does sign and we get Darren Sharper by the end of this week, all of a sudden our flexibility changes a bit heading into the draft. Now if Kevin Jones does not re-sign than we would also need to look at a complementary back, but if we pick up a 3rd round compensatory pick than we could fill that void with one of those third rounders. I think Jerry would love to see one of the fast playmaking receivers fall to us at 18, (maybe Hayward-Bay) and that would give us a nice trio with Hester and Bennett. All in all we certainly would start to get a little more flexibility heading into the draft if St.Clair and Sharper came on board at right tackle and free safety.

The available free agents might be "watered down", but they're not any more watered down than the players currently on the Bears roster. (Besides, even when there are marque free agents out there, it's not like the Bears do anything. Last year, they didn't even look in the direction of Faneca or Michael Turner, two top guys who would've filled a glaring need at the time)

Don't try to sell to us that there aren't any players out there who could've improved the Bears.
How about Jason Brown, OLineman formerly of the Ravens?
WR - Anquan Boldin, TJ Houshmandzadeh (he's got 3 years left in him), or some depth guys like Nate Washington, Bryant Johnson, Brandon Jones.

How about some running back depth (Garret Wolfe sucks, period)? Why not bring in Derrick Ward and hammer teams with a Forte/Ward 1-2 punch? If not Ward, there were other RBs out there.
There were also some safeties out there that could've fortified the Bears defense.

however, the Bears didn't even make an attempt at them.
Looks like we're looking at yet another offseason where the only additions are some April pickups of castoff players like Marty Booker or Brandon Lloyd last year.

Ok Brad,

Explanation seems to be all over the map as if you are looking very hard for some reasoning here. You didn't succeed.
I can understand why angelo didn't go after some old farts, albiet, good ole farts but old, none the less and very high priced. Angelo has stayed away from these players in the past. I can accept this philosophy.
What I don accept is not filling any holes from free agency. Oh...i can assume that angelo is trying. One has to wonder whether many players just don't want to come to chicago...you know...the place where wide receivers die...and maybe...many other players.
Or just maybe...lovie isn't so lovie after all....and no one wants to play for him.
After all, would you like to work for someone that as stone face as lovie, that shows no emotion, who supports you in the open media while at the same time, planning to release or fire you? Would they want to work for a coach that fires a defensive coordinator that was a major reason for going to the superbowl and then replacing him with a want-a-be coach and allowing his team to sink for 2 straight years?
Maybe the truth is...free agents just don't want to come and play for the bears, for whatever reason.
None the less, angelo needs to be filling the holes in free agency because his record for drafting is not very good at all. I would place him in the bottom quarter of managers where drafting players is the issue.
Fact is, a manager that can't draft, shouldn't be managing, whether the guy is likable or not.

I don't understand the outcry from Bears fans. I think it was Lovie who said at the combines the Bears already signed a big-name free agent: Rod Marinelli.

Granted, I did think Jerry would sign a bottom-tier receiver. Which he still might do.

I was not at all surprised by the Bears lack of activity.

Kirwan goes a little overboard on Jerry's "geniusness". He's had some absolutely brutal draft picks. Free agency is used to correct drafting mistakes. Now if you don't draft well and don't sign free agents......

Has anyone actually rang the door bell at Halas Hall in the past month or so? Maybe the lights are on, but no one's home... As a die hard Bear fan, it drives me up a wall that our management basically sits back and waits rather than being proactive about anything. Other teams have seen their ho hum situation and made drastic shake-ups, i.e. Green Bay going to a 3-4. Sure it may take a couple years to actually take and see results, but McCarthy realized strong, decisive action was taken. I'm not advocating a 3-4 defense for the Bears, but seeing a bold move given their current state would be nice... unfortunately, only movement out of Halas Hall is a bowel movement...

Thanks for the info...I am done with this team. I'd be a fool to continue to pump money to this evil family. When the Bears get new owners I'll be back until then I'll just read about them in the paper.

Fine, his hands are tied money wise but why must he lie about being "fixated" on fixing the QB position. He hasn't done squat for an experienced backup and there is no way he'll draft a QB that will make any kind of difference this year. He goes after some unknown, "cheap", practice squad player! That is supposed to "fix" the QB position? Boy, us Bear fans feel real good about our QB position. Like NBS says, "We're one play away from starting an undrafted free agent QB"!! WOW! I'd rather have Rex back, at least he knows the playbook.

No more T.O. drama in Dallas. Anybody here want to adopt that petulant child in Bear Country?

I am frustrated because we've been hearing for years now that in Chicago you win with defense and the running game. OK...perfect. Then lets go out and sign a road grader like an Alan Faneca (I know that was last year). Let's go out and get a solid right tackle like a Khalif Barnes. Let's go out and get a shutdown corner like a Nate Clements or Asante Samuel. I understand the blue print but I see NO execution of it. I'm not all about spending big money on guys that under perform, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time the Bears have done that (i.e. Nate Vasher) and it won't be the last. That's the nature of it. Other teams are getting better and we are standing still. I think a perfect model of team that has a vision and is executing on it is the Minnesota Vikings. They are going to stop the run, put pressure on the QB, and they are going to run the football. Maybe, just maybe they are going to get lucky and the passing game is going to come together. At least one thing is NOT debatable and that is that they are getting football players that excite fans and put people in the seats. What have the Bears done in free agency in in recent years that have excited ANY of us. If you want to be low profile, move the team to Geary Indiana. THIS IS CHICAGO!!!!!!!!!!!!

According to the Tribune:

"Sharper does not have a trip to Halas Hall scheduled but said he could sign with the Bears without it.

'That's a possibility,' he said. 'I have been there before. I know the city. I know the players on the team.'"

Who does that? Who in Gods name signs with a team without a cordial visit to a team? Just say that the Saints look like your future team, and stop playing with the fans emotions, for better or worse!

What about trading Urlacher for picks? I believe he would pull in a #1 and a #2 pick.

Just a thought!!!!

Who's gonna play free safety? Who's gonna play WR? Who's gonna back up Orton? Who's gonna rush the passer? Who's gonna play right tackle? You can't do all this in one draft! Why don't we go after players(not some other teams backup) with some starting experience. Don't let anyone fool you, Bear fans, this IS a rebuilding year!

If money is the issue, then stop talking to us like we're stupid fans. That doesn't excuse the fact that JA's draft history also sucks! That's not a money issue!!!! one OL drafted in the 1st 3 rounds since Marc Columbo? Big need and we only draft one last year in the first 6 rounds??? Whatever JA's plan is, its not working!!! This team needs help in too many places and the draft can't fix everything! We need short term fixes and that is where free agency comes in. I am sick tired of hearing that JA has a plan. So far, his plan sucks!!!!!

everyone who has read my comments on these blogs knows that i'm not fond of the bears front office. however, how reliable is pat kirwan?

he's the same guy who said one week week ago today that the bears had a visit planned with byron leftwich on friday 2/27, not true.

jerry angelo did not run the drafts in tampa bay, rich mckay did. angelo had input, but not he final say. much like chicago, the same thing happened in tampa. a few hits on defense here and there, but no semblance of a real offense.

angelo has retained less than half of his overall draft picks in chicago. 5 of his 7 first round picks are no longer on the bears, so i don't follow.

this team is a mess due to failed draft picks (jerry) and lack of existing personnel evaluation/development (lovie & staff). not quite sure why people are so eager to defend him.

I think the fact the Chicago Bears spent the most on extensions of their own players proves Jerry Angelo isn't at bad at drafting like a lot of fans think he is. Tommie Harris 3-time pro bowler, Lance Briggs 4-time pro bowler, Devin Hester 2-time pro bowler as a return specialist and having 25 of his 51 catches during the last 6 games of the season, might turn out to be a pretty good receiver, and Charles Tillman who's not a pro bowler, but I bet there's a lot of teams out there that would love to have him on their team. Thats 9 pro bowls folks, all Jerry Angelo drafted players, and all four players are pretty good. A lot of people say, "argh!! Angelo hasn't drafted a pro bowler in 2 seasons!!" Maybe not, but remember Matt Forte, who Angelo reached for in the second round of the 2008 draft, if Forte is in the AFC he probably makes the pro-bowl, the NFC is stacked with great runners.

Another thing a lot of fans forget about is player development, yes, players like Greg Olsen, Kevin Payne, Marcus Harrison, Corey Graham, and Josh Beekman aren't pro bowlers, but they are young up and coming players, that with time, could turn out to be pretty good players, and Angelo drafted all of them. At receiver there really wasn't much out there free agency wise, the same people that cry about Angelo not signing Houshmanzedah would have been the same peole crying when Housh turns out like Moose. I say give the Bears young talent like Hester and Bennett a chance to develop, they might turn out better than a lot of people think. Seems to me with the receivers we had this season, before Orton's ankle injury, receiver wasn't even an issue. I remember reading about how the fact the Bears don't have a #1 receiver was why Orton was having a little success in the passing game earlier in the season avg 250 yds a game, when the ankle went, so did the receiver play. I think with a healthy Kyle Orton, the receivers will be good to go.

The offensive line problem was due to signing a couple stop gap types to get the offensive line right to make a Super Bowl run. Replacing guys like Fred Miller, John Tait, and Rueben Brown can't be done over night, but Angelo is currently fixing the problem with the offensive line. Chris Williams should be a big piece of the puzzle at tackle, and Chicago is in a good position to land a right tackle in the draft or they could go with newly acquired lineman Frank Omiyale. At guard the Bears got Josh Beekman, Dan Buenning, and maybe Omiyale to man the guard position for Chicago, I think there gonna be alright. I know a lot of people [other fans] won't agree with me, but with the young talent Angelo has on this team, could turn out making the Bears a better team than a lot of people think they are GO BEARS!!

There are a couple good things that I guess might come out of this:

1.) Jerry is right and the coaching staff leads the team to the playoffs, HOWEVER it is only a considered a success if they advance past the wild card round

2.) Jerry is wrong, the Bears stumble to a sub .500 season, the coaching staff and GM get canned and we get Mike Shanahan or Bill Cower in to coach.

3.) The McCaskey's realize what cheap @$$!$ they are, feel a bit embarrased about how they sold their staff down the Chicago River and start paying for talent.

Much like the economy, things will get worse before they get better. Let's hope we are nearing the upward swing of this whole deal.

Alot of people rag on Kyle, but look at what he has to work with! I feel sorry for the guy. True, he's not the greatest QB out there, but he has no help! The WR are possibly the worst in the NFL, the line is old and so-so, and management is doing nothing to improve the offense! Good luck, Kyle!

Bring back Henry Burris!!!!!
http://www.henryburris.com/

Moses: "Who's gonna play free safety? Who's gonna play WR? Who's gonna back up Orton? Who's gonna rush the passer? Who's gonna play right tackle? You can't do all this in one draft!"

He hasn't done it in 8 drafts why would he think he could do it in one?!?

Bill Holland: (blah-blah-blah-Jerry and me have sleepovers-blah-blah-blah) "Think of this, if St. Clair does sign and we get Darren Sharper by the end of this week, all of a sudden our flexibility changes a bit heading into the draft. Now if Kevin Jones does not re-sign than we would also need to look at a complementary back, but if we pick up a 3rd round compensatory pick than we could fill that void with one of those third rounders. I think Jerry would love to see one of the fast playmaking receivers fall to us at 18, (maybe Hayward-Bay) and that would give us a nice trio with Hester and Bennett. All in all we certainly would start to get a little more flexibility heading into the draft if St.Clair and Sharper came on board at right tackle and free safety."

That's some great GM'ing strategy there Bill. I mean top-notch! Your plan involves about a dozen IFs that - if they would come to fruition - would result in getting Heyward-Bey at #18 (a fast, straight-line receiver, who won't go over the middle and has very suspect route-running). You know before I thought you were full of crap when you talked about Jerry Angelo and all of the "close friends" you have in Bear management but the more I read the more I'm convinced: YOU are calling the shots at Halas Hall.

Do you know why we'd need to use a "3rd round compensatory pick" on a complimentary back for Forte? Well it's because we ran Thomas Jones out of town (I sure hope you gave Jerry a good talking too), used a 1st-rounder on Cedric Benson, used a 3rd-rounder on Garret Wolfe (a guy projected as 6th-rounder to FA), and finally struck gold with a 2nd-rounder on Matt Forte. Despite having TJ Jerry has now spent a 1st, 2nd, and 3rd rounder trying to replace a guy who just went to the Pro-Bowl (not to mention is a veteran leader) for the Jets. He was locked up and on the roster. That's special right there.

Also, all of the above counts on Hester continuing to improve and Earl Bennet (yet another 3rd-rounder soon to join the likes of Mike Okwo and Dusty Dvoracek) teaming with a rookie draft pick to become "a nice trio" ... For what? Are they going to start a rap group or something? Who the hell are you crapping?

Angelo forgets the fans when he looks at the "economics". Maybe Dan Snyder overspends when he decides he wants a free agent like Haynesworth, but he gives his fan base hope that they actually have filled some holes on the team that will make them better. Angelo does nothing like that. Angel and Lovie keep saying "we're close" but do nothing to fill the obvious deficiencies in personnel. With holes at free safety, offensive tackle, backup quarterback, wide receiver, and backup running back, no one really believes that they're close. Especially when they do nothing to justify their comments. It's been too many years where "economics" have driven the decisions of the franchise. Normally, when teams think they're "close", they vigorously fill holes with talent to put them over the top. The Bears do nothing but sign second tier players who come cheap. It's actually an insult to the Bears' fans, but won't stop happening until the fans stop spending money on them (see Chicago Blackhawks).

So....

There was a free-agent WR out there who is (at age 32) BETTER than any WR you have on your roster. Yes Houshmandzadeh was a #2 in Cincinnati, but there is not a #2 in Chicago. Common sense says if you dont have something and that one something you dont have is available, YOU GO ACQUIRE THAT SOMETHING. Yes this free agent class is weak, but so is the current Chicago Bears roster, and doing nothing to improve the roster (outside of signing the OL last week) should be grounds for dismissal.

Falling in love with your draft picks, and not acquiring free agents that could help, will get you canned. Everyone knows what Angelo has on his roster........except for Angelo.

JA gets lucky now and then drafting players. He continually misses on 1st round picks..period! Plus he has no sense in terms of how he feels regarding drafted players vs. free agents. He kept Benson over Jones!?!?! There were rumors that Jones was asking for a pay raise.. which he deserved. But we trade Jones and get nothing in the return from the jets. Benson flames out and we have to re-build the RB spot quickly. Then he trades Chris Harris for what??? Harris was a great SS. He had a nose for the ball and was great at creating turnovers. JA has shown us nothing. Every GM gets lucky with a couple picks. JA has blown entire drafts. The 2007 class killed us. Due to his failure to upgrade the O-Line, we are a mess. 2007 should have had at least 2 O-Linemen in the first 4 picks. Buzuin??? Okwo???? What is that all about??? As I said before..JA and Lovie are a terrible combo to have running a team. You all watch.. the first 3 picks will be defensive players.. DE, FS, CB.... I can just smell it coming... Then JA will say, "But they were value picks". Until JA and Lovie go away or get canned, we will not go back to the playoffs. 8-8 if we are lucky...

If the Bears are looking for cheap options with high yield at WR, they should take a look at someone like Lance Moore. A 25 year old unrestricted free agent WR who caugt 70+ passes for over 900 yards and 10 TDs last year and only started 5 games! They're obviously not looking at older players with big price tags so this sounds like a good fit at a very low price. He'll definitely improve the receiving corps.

The Bears have budget constraints???? BFD.

Everybody has budget constraints. The Bears try not spend more on a player than the player's value to the team on the field. Teams that overpay players are snowballs rolling uphill. They get a short term high, but it is not something that will last. When the snowball turns and rolls down, it goes all the way to the bottom and stays awhile. Can you spell 49ers? Dolphins? Rams?

The only good reason for overspending on a player is if you think that player will put you over the hump to a championship right NOW. You sign that player knowing it will cost you down the road, but you don't care because you plan to have a trophy by then.

Name me that one player for the Chicago Bears who is, or was available that you KNOW would have put them in the Super Bowl this year.

Kevin Armstead, you're just dead wrong about angelo's drafts. you cite 4 players that have made pro bowls. a few problems with that: angelo has drafted 63 players, 28 of which are still on the roster, 2 out of 7 of his first round picks are still on the roster, 0 offensive players have made a pro bowl.

angelo has hit here and there on defensive picks, but his offensive picks with the exception of olsen and forte have been flat out bad, leaving this team with a perennial bottom 7 nfl offense (the bears have ranked above #26 in total offense ONCE the 8 years angelo has been here).

he's built an incomplete roster in 8 years time. not sure how you think that's something worth defending.

Sign TO. Build the playbook around him. For example:

Kyle hands the ball to Devin Hester, then picks him up, and throws Devin and said ball to TO. I call that play The Wild Bear.

Your welcome.

Angelos biggest mistake is not drafting Flacco. All these years without a QB and Flacco is on the board to be drafted and we pass. Unbelievable

The Cowboys are close to releasing veteran safety Roy Williams, according to the team’s blog, True Blue, coming on the heels of reports on WR Terrell Owens‘ release. Williams has two years remaining on a five-year, $25.2 million extension that he signed.

Adam Schefter NFL Network

What do you guys think of these fellas or simply Williams joining the Bears?

We need something to bolster our team and certainly us fans' hopes in OUR team!!!!

Ish, roy williams is a LB disguised as a bad SS. the bears need a FS. end any/all conversations about roy williams.

please realize that not only will Angleo trade our first round pick for more picks, but that these extra picks will almost all be exclusively defensive players...great just what we need. Let's not mention that our good friend JA cut Mark Bradley, who miraculously did well on the effing Chiefs. Did we cut him so that we could keep our superstar in waiting Earl Bennett who played 2 stinking snaps this year? Then there is our little friend Rashied Davis, who played and played and played and did nothing...well let's just leave it at that. Listen, Peyton Manning wouldnt even consider playing QB for the Bears with the players we have on offense, so here's to drafting a bunch of defensive players in April and two of them having an impact.

Cheers JA and stick it up your terd cutter.

PS...the next person who mentions Roy Williams as a possibility of helping us, probably thought Walt "toast" Harris was the best Bears CB in the team's history. Yes, toast would indicate he got burnt alot for those that cant read between the lines. Maybe you should change teams and root for the Packers.

I have been a Bears Fan for 20 years. I have watched all the games because the Bears are a Chicago team. Its about being a Chicagoan and being proud of our team. I think the time has come to start thinking twice about supporting the Bears. Especially since they can't seem to change. I too think its Jerry Angelo and his staff that makes this team no not to be proud of. Here are 2 things I propose (to myself - if not to my fellow fans) - 1. Stop going to the games. I usually buy tickets each year and this year I will not buy one ticket. The owners and Jerry think no matter what they do - the revenue keeps flowing in so why change? Why bring in better players and advance the team when the fans are obviously content - they buy tickets every year. There is a 10 year backlog for season tickets. They are the "oil cartels" of football. when you can charge what you want for a product why make it better? STOP BUYING TICKETS. 2. I propose we call for a second NFL team in Chicago. Studies have shown that the market can support 2 teams. I say lets support our new team - The Chicago Ogres (BIG BAD & UGLY)! Yes Ugly - cause I'd rather take that than the current state of the Bears - HORRIBLE! That will introduce competition, reduce ticket prices and maybe teach the McCasky's a lesson. This is a democracy and you've lost your chance! Lets all write in to mayor Daley in support for a 2nd Team.

Chatt is right! Hit them where it hurts, stop going to games, buying jerseys, etc. if you don't, NOTHING will change.

I'll repeat the formula:

$127M salary cap limit
-salary of actual roster
+TV/ticket/concessions/NFL gear revenues*
=McCaskey profit

*the only line item you can influence! What other business you can think of starts off its balance sheet with a fixed revenue streams of millions from the TV/cable contracts and has an imposed limit on labor? A trained monkey could make money as CEO of that business. All you have to do is control spending (the thrust of this article) and rely on the sucker fans to continue supporting you.

Holy Crap Dan in wicker park knows what he is talking about, you even know who Mckay is. Dan sorry but your in the wrong place, you actually seem to know football and understand the team, you stick around here to long and your gonna want to blow your brains out. Forget trying to make Kevin see your point, he is a nice kid but the term fanboy would be understatement, he has never met a Bears player he didn't love. With some people the glass is half empty, with some the glass is half full, Kevin is an open fire hydrant. His heart is in the right place, but he is one of those guys that think Orton is Better than P. Manning, J Cutler, P. Rivers, combined. I have been trying to convince Kevin for almost a year that it was a bad idea to draft a LT with a herniated disk, and that bad back ond Oline don't mix. He thinks I am crazy and is convinced Williams is best LT in all of football.

DaCoach, he's at it again man, he's at it again. Bills off his medication and has left the reservation. Bill take your pills man and be glad Mike is not around cause this would be going south for you real fast.

Angelo probably can't spend any money this year because last year he signed and extended a lot of bad contracts, so he has been cut off for sucking at that. Why he is still drafting, is beyond me.

Almost forgot nice pic Brad, do you think you could find a picture of Angelo that doesn't make people want to punch him in the face.

If Pat K. is correct and the reason Jerry is sitting on his hands during F.A. is because the McCaskeys won't spend the money, then perhaps it's time to SELL THE DAMN TEAM !!!!! Chicago is a proud city and DESERVES better than the crap this organization shovels our way year after year. How long did it take Bill Parcells to "fix" the Dolphins ? Jerry has had 8 years and smart money say's the "Fins" will make it to the Super Bowl before this team. Jerry's ineptitude in the draft would be funny if it were'nt so sad. I agree w/ Chatt on one thing, stop buying tickets, hats, jerseys,ect... Let the McCaskeys lose some money , Then perhaps a new owner will produce the kind of product we all hope for.

The Bears should just trade all there High priced players like urlacher, lance briggs, alex brown, brandon loyd,and other high priced players and just draft unkown cheap players becouse the bears dont need to win to make money. They can go 0-16 every year and fans would still show up. cut the team salarie to under $30,000,000 and the owners could make alot more money. Just throw in the towl and give up.here is the player they should draft to save money
round 1 Pick 18 joel Bell Ot Ferman
round 2 pick 49 jacob visser dt Ferris st
round 3 pick 84 chostopher dowbell de Mars Hill
round 4 pick 115 charles pierre rb Florida Atlantic
round 5 pick 146 jermy gilchrist wr Hampton
round 6 pick 178 ryan greiser s Liberty
round 7 pick 209 mike Reilly Qb C. Washigton

Really the worst thing that happened was that they went 9-7 last season. Why, that's a winning record! We're "close."

I think we can agree with Jim McMahon that the McCaskeys are a major problem, but disagree that they're just about the only major problem as he seemed to imply. The other major problem is a way-too-large contingent of the fan base that'll show up to cheer for any crap team put out there for consumption. But really, if a boycott were successful, Mikey McCaskey could move the team. That might not be so bad if he left behind the name and logo and later, a la Cleveland, the Bears were recreated in Chicago under a different owner.

dan in wicker park, how am I dead wrong, is it because I have a different opinion than you do?? I name some of the core players that Angelo brought in through the draft, and my whole point was Jerry Angelo can bring in talent, which he has. Hit and miss in the draft????? What are you talking about as far as defensive players, thats any NFL GM, you can't seriously think there are GM's out there that hit on every single draft pick...do you?? The defense that Jerry Angelo built won two NFC north titles, an NFC championship, and made a Super Bowl apperance for the Bears, how is this bad???? This season the Bears weren't that far from making another play-off run, they missed the play-offs by one game. Chicago could have won another NFC north title had they come away in the Panthers game lost by 3, the Buccaneers game lost by 3, and the Falcons game lost by 2, thats a combined 8 points, Chicago could have easily won any three of these games so it isn't like the team is that bad. I think injuries killed this team, especially to core players like Tommis Harris, Brian Urlacher [who I don't think was playing at 100% this season], Charles Tillman played banged up for most the season, and Kyle Orton, after the ankle injury the Bears offense went south. I say if Urlacher, Tillman, and Harris were healthy early on in the season, the Bears probably would have beat the Panthers, Buccaneers, and Falcons. Then the Bears lost to the mighty Titans by 7 points, if Orton had been in that game healthy, I think the Bears could have won that one also.

As far as Jerry Angelo's offensive picks while he's been here, yeah he missed on players like Grossman and Cedric Benson, but Angelo has built the offense mostly through free agency, especially for the Super Bowl run and the two NFC north titles, so to say he hasn't brought in any pro bowl offensive players through the draft is a moot point. Angelo brought in John Tait, Ruben Brown, Roberto Garza, Fred Miller, Desmond Clark, Muhsin Muhammad, and Thomas Jones to help the Bears make their Super Bowl run. So mostly through the draft Angelo built the defense, and built his offense through free agency. The players Angelo plugged in on offense did help the Bears for awhile, but since the Super Bowl season, I think Angelo has begun rebuilding the offense through the draft since 2006 with players like Greg Olsen, Matt Forte, Devin Hester, Josh Beekman, Chris Williams, Earl Bennett, and Kyle Orton who Angelo brought in before 2006, but has been the Bears QB for the most part since then. My point was give Angelo's young players a chance before saying all hope is lost. I realize tackle Chris Williams and receiver Earl Bennett are not yet proven, but instead of bashing them and hoping the worst, support them, I think their gonna be pretty good. The other players like Orton, Forte, Olsen, and Beekman should only get better with experience. Angelo brought in free agent offensive lineman Frank Omiyale, who I realize is not yet proven either, but he did look good when he did get to play and has had a chance to develop. Also, the fact 10 other teams were after him shows there must be something to the guy. He's should help our line at either guard or right tackle. In the first Angelo could bring in another lineman like Eben Britton in the first at #18 to help solidify the line, or I see no reason Omiyale couldn't man the right tackle position for Chicago. I say give the Bear a chance, Angelo is putting together a team via the draft with young players like Orton, Forte, Olsen, Beekman, Williams, Bennett, Payne, Harrison, Hester, and Graham to name a few. With another good draft, health to key players like Harris, Urlacher, Tillman, Orton, and some of the younger guys getting better with experience, and the Bears might not be so bad GO BEARS!!

I'm with u Don

`Angelo brought in John Tait, Ruben Brown, Roberto Garza, Fred Miller, Desmond Clark, Muhsin Muhammad, and Thomas Jones to help the Bears make their Super Bowl run.'
Very good point Kevin, Angelo deserves alot of credit for that.
That's pretty much the entire offensive line right there, I am wondering why he didn't do that again last year though?

I just kinda felt he would do that again, bring in some quality Free Agents (not stars but quality) to fill the holes on this team and take us back to the SB asap, but it is not looking that way to me.

The main thing that worries me is Url/Harris/Tillman are never healthy again? (and a few other players are getting up in yesrs as well) They might just have all gotten too banged up over the last 2-3 years. This is the last year any of them really have to prove they still have it, I am hoping for a comeback from these Bears but the possibility exists they can't overcome their injury's.

Ozzie Newsome seems to hit on an aweful lot of picks...because he can recognise talent. The only legitimate bust I can think of Ozzie drafting for the Ravens was Kyle Boller, and I'll give Newsome the benefit of the doubt on that one and assume it was Billick's call.

Brad,
Have you been monitoring the L.T. situation in San Diego? Could you see him joining Da Bears teaming up with Matt Forte?

Kevin Armstead keep on plugging. Guys, I can tell you first hand that Kevin and I have had our disagreements in the past. Some of the things I was telling him went the way I said they would and some of the free agents he was big on that we signed didn't pan out. But I don't spend every response to him trying to make him see what I was seeing. Not everyone has to shatter his opinions just so they can say they are right all the time. Fact of the matter is that some things we argued about he was on the money about. He's not saying that he is right all the time. He's just trying not to be a person who rags on Angelo all the time. He doesn't have to show that he's GM material. He's a fan of the team and some of us should be grateful that not everyone is down on this team. Another fact of the matter is that since free agency began some 20 years ago the Bears have not been major players. They have never signed a marquee player and that goes back since Angelo was a Gofer and water-boy for some college team. Why keep acting like it's Angelo who is holding the team back? We have never signed anyone big to do anything in any capacity for the team. Who thought that Bryan Cox was the answer? Or any other guy who signed but failed to live up to the contract?If Halas was alive today he would be doing the same exact thing and maybe meddling cheap as an owner. The Bears big time ended when they were forced to pay their players. Todd Bell and Al Harris would've left before 85 if they could. Who knows who else would've left before that and not been here to help us win the Super Bowl. They were forced to sit instead of being free to sign with other teams. You can't keep crying about this organization not being like Dallas and Washington who have spent well and don't have anything to show for all that money spent. I'd like to see where we compare with them in ticket prices. One guy mentioned that they give their fans hope, but what is hope when they finish no better than we have. We've actually gone to a Super Bowl while they have spent and dashed hope doing it? Do you feel that Washington and Dallas are that much closer to going to the Super Bowl any more than us? You used to think that they had a QB who could take them there but they are as ragged and more dysfuctional than we are. It's a shame that with all the GMs out there only one can be said to never miss. But if that was a Chicago GM fans here would never let him forget it.

I've finally got it. I've been wondering for some time now, 'How does Jerry Angelo have a job?' The veil has been lifted from my eyes. Angelo's perfomance as GM is a well documented failure. An F grade would be charitable. He has a job not based on his perfomance as a talent evaluator/procuror for the organization, he has a job based on his willingness to throw the Chicago Bears Fans under the bus in favor of protecting the McCaskey's family fortune and adding to it. Just as Ted Phillips will always have a job for having put together the stadium deal that enhanced the value of the franchise for the McCaskeys, Angelo keeps his job by keeping the Bear's payroll down thus producing profits for the McCaskeys. As fans we all assumed that winning was what the organization existed for. We are all wrong. This is a "for profit" organization and the McCaskeys are all about MAXIMUM profit. Winning will not stand in the way of that goal. Winning isn't even a thought.

Kevin A,

What a spot on comment. These folks who say "fire Angelo", "fire Lovie", and "fire Phillips" and "fire the McCaskeys" somehow ignore the points you make.

To me, I am going to hold the entire lot to the words spoken by Lovie Smith the day he was hired. He said he would do three things: 1) Beat the Packers; 2) Win the Division; and 3) go to the SB.

In the five years of the Smith-Angelo-Phillips-McCaskey run the record on those three points are: 1) They are 7-3 in the last ten meetings vs. 2-8 in the years 1999-2003; 2) They have won the Division, which is tied for the most with the Packers. BTW, their record over the 5 yrs has been 45-35 for .562 winning percentage; and 3) They made it to the SB.

Again I live in the land of Redskins and they have now won the offseason FA signing championship in 3 of the past 6 years and they are older than the Bears, no draft picks, at or near the salary cap so if someone gets injured as two DE did on the very first day of training camp they are forced to go out and trade for DEs (Taylor and some other guy) and it cost them 4 draft picks -- 3 this year and 1 next year.

Somehow these pesky facts get in the way of their arguments when discussing how bad the Bears are. The Bears are not among the elite of the league but they are also not nearly as bad this message board would let you to believe.

Kevin A, I love your tag line: GO BEARS!

The only thing is -
If you are going to cite the Redskins and Cowboys as examples of teams that spent well and have nothing to show for it...

Dallas = 8 Super Bowl appearances
Washington = 5 Super Bowl Appearances
Chicago = 2 Super Bowl Appearances
So maybe those teams do have something to show for it, and I figure you will try the argument of `lately' well the Bears have some catching up to do before we can talk about lately as I figure their teams fans can argue that lately thing with their SB appearances total.
Maybe comparing the Bears to a different team would help, maybe try the Lions or ??
I am not sure why so many people want to compare the Bears to different teams as the Bears are the Bears and I personally could care less what other teams do, lets get the Bears to the Super Bowl and win the dang thing more than once in 40 some years ok?

But I do enjoy reading Kevin's comments as he does make some good points...it just gets frustrating watching the Bears do nothing in FA with all the holes even Jerry admitted we have.
and with our Super Bowl record - it is proof that the Bears owners have alot to learn about owning a Winning National Footbal League Team. (and betting they will never learn) $$$

It's ridiculous to argue about `other teams' accomplishments try listing the Super Bowl wins by the Bears and go with that. Just 1 win...nuff said....

I look at the Wide Receiver position as the Bears most glaring need. If there is another team with less production from Wide Receivers in 2008 I'm having a tough time finding who that team is. That being said, why does Jerry Angelo feel that the Wide Receiver position can be fixed in the draft?

I don't buy it.

I don't believe it can be fixed through the draft. And with so many big name WR's names being thrown around out there I'm seriously disappointed nothing has been done to help Kyle Orton and the offense.

Jerry & Lovie declared Mark Bradley was the #1 last year and our leading pass catcher ends up being a rookie running back. They released Moose essentially for Marty Booker. They tried Devin Hester at corner first. They've missed on Earl Bennett to date.

Why should we trust their perceived arrogance that the WR position will be fine?

I don't buy it.

It's becasue JA cant evaluate offensive talent to save his life...yeah Mark Bradley was going ot be our number one, they bench huim, release him, and he thrives with the Chiefs...great job by the front office and the coaching staff on that one. Idiots!

Maybe you can say that the Cowboys have won a few Super Bowls since free agency but Washington has not. When you compare championships along with the Super Bowl the Bears are up there just by the fact that have won quite a few championships. Now that we have the super Bowl to erase that the NFL existed before then people want to forget that the organization was on par with other teams. And Dallas won Super Bowls by drafting players and plugging in a free agent here and there. Fact is that their core players were the ones who won it. But since they haven't fleesed The Vikes out of few first round picks for Hershel Walker they haven't done much. Spending big has not got Washington a Super Bowl. Have they won one since they pried Wilbur Marshall away from the Bears in the first free agency signing of the modern era? Paid him all that money and he didn't do it for them what he did for us. Six million dollar man?

Yes, but the championships mean nothing anymore as you said, the Super Bowl has changed everything about the NFL, If you don't win the Super Bowl you are not a winner, We can not turn the clock back, it is what it is, and the fact does remain the Bears have won 1 SB since it's inception and that is what defines a Team nowadays, not Championships, no one writes or cares about Championships, sorry but thats the writing on the wall, and the Bears have failed at winning the Super Bowl and with the market they are in and the sellouts they have - how is it possible the McCaskeys have not put a better team on the field for the Bears Fans?
and you said it...`Dallas won Super Bowls' but they did win those Super Bowls - I could care less how they did it, as the Bears have NOT done it period, never, 2 appearances to 8? Thats absurd that a ONCE great franchise could let some miserly owners destroy everything the Bears used to mean. The Monsters of the Midway? Where have we all been since 1985? Maybe once since then could we be called that, once! and we didn't win anything then.
Now getting back to Jerry Angelo, he has been better than the GM's since Hatley or Finks, but that is not saying much there as we have had some pretty ppoor ones since then, and he did take us to the Super Bowl, So I am not too mad at him but, I feel he dropped the ball this year in Free Agency (and last year in upgrading the oline) and he created his own problems with his failings in the draft, (see offense needs the last 2 years that were not addressed for years while the D self destructed)and SOMEONE let Ron Riviera go, and hired these terrible D Coaches. Now if the McCaskeys took the handcuffs off Jerry he might actually get some top Free Agents, but we don't know that as that is speculation.
My opinion is the McCaskeys are the reason the team has fallen into mediocrity, and we would be better off if they sold the team.
The Bears - (in my opinion)) need to change the way they do business as the method they have been using has not worked except once in 40 years.
How many times has Virginia stood up there and accepted the NFC trophy since the Super Bowl started?
Pre Super Bowl Championships mean nothing if you have not accomplished anything in 24 years. (and another 20 years prior to that)
Get rid of Jerry? Maybe not as he is the best GM we have had in a long time, and the alternative is not a good thought.

Bears GM - `When the Best you have is not good enough, but he's the best you have had'

fyi, I mentioned Hatley out of some respect, but the fact is (in my opinion) that Finks was the only great GM we have had in a long long time.
I really like Jerry untill last year when I saw the way he handled our Offensive holes and this year as well. We needed Ofense fixed last year and he still went Defense in the draft and resigned the Defense and then what happened?
sorry bout the long rant William, but I along with alot of fans nowadays look at Super Bowl wins only, we have been 'media'ised.

lolol
That IS a nice pic of JA, almost missed that. Perfect!


I like that rant Randy. You hit on quite a few points so I have to respect that. And you are right that no one cares about anything but the Super Bowl. But the players and everyone else in these organizations care only about money and Super Bowls are an after thought in my opinion. When you can get more money from winning then you do just that. But I've seen too many teams sell after winning because part of it is paying the ones who got you there. That is what happened to the Bears. That's what they avoided after 86. But,do Dallas fans keep bringing up the fact that they haven't won in the playoffs since 1996 or do you think they are bragging about what they've won prior to that? They are complaining just like us. Who in Kansas is still blowing off the seasons because they won when the Super Bowl started and haven't won since. Denver and all those guys who won a few don't care about the ones they did win they care that they haven't won in a decade. Everyone is up in arms about what is going on right now. No one is hanging their hat on the fact that they've at least won more than Chicago. Just like we don't sit and say that at least we won one and Detroit hasn't won jack. Fans all around the league are complaining about what they haven't won lately. Even Patriot fans are complaining. I think complaining doesn't get you anywhere. You can vent but don't expect that they is going to bring about any change. Not going to the games (that also means don't pay for the tickets in then not go)will bring about some change. But like I've said before fans are waiting in line to take the place of others who don't want to attend games any longer. The Bears organization messed up royally when they gave concession and parking revenue and much more to the city of Chicago. That's where they blew their money-maker. Most teams get money from everything that has to do with attending games. The Bears were so mom and pop that they didn't get anything. Anyway, guys can't just complain about everything like we have guys doing. And I am a true Finks believer and feel that he had the biggest imput of anyone of winning that Super Bowl for us. He does not get the respect I feel he deserves. I hear about everyone but him being a big contributer to the Super Bowl win. When players get discarded and recycled in the way they do you have to see their point in just chasing the mighty dollar. When Reggie White said that God told him to go to Green Bay he didn't see Super Bowls in the future. God didn't tell him that part. The fact that Green Bay broke to bank for him said it all. Since then I haven't seen one big free agent signing taking a team to the Super Bowl. Even Randy Moss signing with the Patriots didn't get them a win in the Super Bowl.

Wow, lots of comments here, but that's to be expected with story claiming that an inside source says Angelo's hands are tied by ownership when it comes to buying free agents. And, unfortunately, there's no reason to doubt the story. McKaskey knows and cares far more about money than he does about winning football games. Angelo and Smith certainly have some blame also for the fall since the '06 season -- which, for those of you who don't understand why we're angry, is the reason; these idiots ruined a Super Bowl team -- but without ownership that prioritizes winning at all costs, no team can compete consistently.

Refusing to even consider superior players where the Bears have major deficiencies -- pass rushers, safety, offensive line, wide receiver, at the very least -- is infuriating and there's no excuse for it in a major market like Chicago. If this team were in Indianapolis or Charlotte it could legitimately cry that it can't afford free agents, but no Chicago team can credibly make that claim. Once again, for those of you who live in Chicago, I say hound the McKaskey's out of town. Make their lives so miserable that they sell the team!

The best GM I ever saw (excluding Jim Finks as I am a Bears fan)
Bill Polian, Colts
The Irsays struck gold with him - he built the Panthers and the Colts saw that and grabbed him and they have not looked back since, good for the Colts as they were one of the worst teams before Bill showed up.

From Wik:
Bill Polian is the President of the Indianapolis Colts NFL team. He rose to league prominence as the General Manager of the Buffalo Bills, building a team that participated in four straight Super Bowls. Following his stint in Buffalo, Polian went on to become the General Manager of the expansion Carolina Panthers, where his initial success in building what was arguably the most rapidly successful expansion team in NFL history led to his moving on to the Colts. He has won the NFL's Executive of the Year award 5 times (1988, 1991, 1995, 1996, and 1999).

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This page contains a single entry by Brad Biggs published on March 5, 2009 12:11 AM.

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