Browns-o-centric happenings around the NFL

CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14: Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - OCTOBER 14: Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Cleveland Browns warms up prior to the game against the Los Angeles Chargers at FirstEnergy Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Cleveland Browns
Jun 9, 2021; Lake Forest, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterbacks Justin Fields (1) and Andy Dalton (14) talk to each other during organized team activities at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bears Buzz–What we’re hearing

We’re hearing all kinds of noise from the Chicago Bears. They are probably the most self-important franchise this side of New York City, but the world really does not revolve around Chicago. The synopsis is that David Montgomery is a really good running back, and it doesn’t matter much who plays quarterback because the rest of the team is not that good.

The Browns have faced the Red Rifle, Andy Dalton, every year and we know that he can perform, at least to a certain extent. He’s not going to the Hall of Fame, but that is not the point. If the Bears are terrible, it can only mean that something is really wrong with the Chicago Bear offense and it is not something that changing the quarterback will revolutionize.

Many Browns fans are also Ohio State fans and are interested in following the career of Justin Fields. Fields is fully prepared to take the reigns of an NFL team after three years of Power Five conference football, with two years as a starter. However, check out the public domain page for the Bears from Pro Football Focus and you will see that the Bears rate the offense 29th overall.

Subscribers can see the gory details, which confirm that there are no stars on the team except for David Montgomery at running back. That’s not enough for success. It doesn’t matter whether it is Dalton or Fields at quarterback. This is like the great debates the Browns used to have. Should we start Brandon Weeden or Colt McCoy?

Shouldn’t getting rid of Trubisky solve all problems?

I don’t think there was anything really wrong with deposed quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, for that matter. He made the Pro Bowl in his second year, and the Bears went 11-3. The Bears fan base has the same disease as the Browns fan base. They believe that they cannot win without a “Franchise Quarterback,” and of course they fail to realize that there is no such thing as a “Franchise Quarterback.”

That dude is a superhero made up by Stan Lee for Marvel Comics and he is simply not real. Real quarterbacks cannot fly through the air, are not invulnerable, and do not fire lasers and cannons with their arms. Trubisky is probably about the twentieth best quarterback in the NFL, and that is good enough to win with if you train him up to match your team for three years. However, if your front office cries and moans and continues to throw money at the position, team building grinds to a halt.

Similarly, our guy, Baker Mayfield, is about the 10th best quarterback in the NFL, but he has been on the team for four years and been with the same coach for two years, so is miles ahead of any other quarterback that you might get to come to Cleveland. If you were to fire Mayfield and sign any other available quarterback for $40 million dollars per season, he would not play as well as Mayfield in the first year (and maybe never) and the damage to the salary cap would be enormous. Find some other ways to improve the team!

What can you expect from Andy Dalton?

Dalton has been set back by moving to a new team but at least he is an NFL veteran and will adjust faster than Fields. Had he stayed in Cincinnati, he could probably play at the level of the 20th best quarterback in the NFL, say.

With Chicago, he will be at the bottom of the league, and Fields will scarcely be better. The Bears, of course, have also signed Nick Foles (three years, $24 million) on top of Dalton’s $10 million contract. Fields cost them a first and fifth-round pick, plus next year’s first and fourth-round picks.

What’s that worth?

Fields’ contract is $19 million over four years, plus a fifth-year option which will bump that to something like $40 million over five years if the team exercises it. However, if you were allowed to auction all those draft picks off on the open market, a team would probably be willing to spend $50 million, say, $10 million per year for five years.

Bear fans, there is no such thing as a franchise quarterback. I don’t know what you think Justin Fields is going to do for you, but I flat out guarantee he will fall short of meeting your insatiable expectations because your front office is spending too much cap and too much draft capital on quarterbacks. You’ll be ready for another one in about two years. Hopefully the new coach will be tough enough to not listen to you and actually let Fields develop.

Is Khalil Mack still Khalil Mack?

Check out Parker Hurley‘s commentary in Bear Goggles On, analyzing Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears defense, or lack of it. The Bears need Mack to be their answer to Myles Garrett, the total disruptor on defense.

Instead, if Garrett is nicknamed “Superman,” Mack was more like Clark Kent in the first game. You never know if a lineman was playing hurt and might be a totally different player the next game. The Bears’ secondary was torched by Matthew Stafford and the Rams, though Hurley’s analysis is that the lack of pressure had a lot to do with it. The Bears have a lot of salary cap money tied up in Mack and the defensive line.

Next. 3 Matchups to watch vs. Texans in Week 2. dark

Mack was listed as questionable last week with a groin injury, so let’s continue to watch him to see if he bounces back or not.