Nov 3, 2021

Five reasons the Bears stood pat at the NFL trade deadline

Five reasons the Bears stood pat at the NFL trade deadline

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Good morning, frents!

How did you celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Cubs winning the World Series? Jorge Soler hit a monstrous three-run homer and was named World Series MVP for the Braves while earning his second ring.

I think he wins.

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Reminder: I'm holding a drawing for your choice of a Justin Fields shirt from BreakingT for anyone who successfully refers at least one new Midway Minute reader before Friday, November 12.

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The whys of the Bears doing nothing

Ryan Pace Chciago Bears
(USA Today Sports)

It seems everything the NFL does nowadays is filled with fanfare and goes over the top. Free agency, the combine, the draft, even the schedule release! Of course the games themselves capture everyone's attention, but for all that the league does well, the trade deadline always falls flat.

This year was no different. Only a couple of marquee moves were made in the days leading up to the deadline. None of which involved the Chicago Bears. Ryan Pace's "aggressive mindset?" Yeah, that apparently was all in his head as the team was neither buyers nor sellers.

But why was that case? Here are five reasons.

1. The Bears believe they can still compete for a playoff spot

Nobody wants to hear it, but Pace and the front office believe they can still compete for a playoff spot. They don't want to sell off their assets just to make a move when they can potentially go on a run and steal the last playoff seed, just like they did last year.

Entering the halfway point of the season, the Bears are two games out from the final playoff spot, but are ahead of just three teams in the NFC. They would really need to go on a run to gain ground on other teams. It's not probable, but it's possible, and that apparently might be good enough for Pace and Co.

2. Compensatory picks loom large

Had the Bears traded Allen Robinson or Akiem Hicks, both of whom are free agents at the end of the year, would they have been better than the potential compensatory picks they could have received in 2023? There are quite a few free agents on this team and the Bears can't sign everyone. They could be looking at 2023, when those picks would be awarded, as a chance to restock their team with young talent while still building around Justin Fields.

The formula for compensatory picks is tricky, but it boils down to if a team loses certain free agents and they don't replace them with similar-tiered players, they will receive extra draft picks in the following NFL Draft. It's a plausible theory, though it could indicate Pace's job is not in jeopardy like some think.

3. NFL trades just aren't common

This isn't the NBA, NHL, and definitely not MLB. Fans love to get hyped up for the NFL trade deadline, thinking there will be a bevy of moves, but rarely does it happen. There isn't a minor league system and draft picks are more valuable than ever, considering how cost-controlled they can be. We simply don't see the moves that fans of other sports see.

Wait for the offseason when it's easier to make trades. Players can spend time learning a new system, instead of coming in on the fly and trying to catch up with just a handful of games to go.

4. Injuries can happen at any point

Let's face it, aside from quarterback, defensive end, and outside linebacker, the Bears aren't really deep at any position. They're already being impacted by injuries, so do they really want to move players for picks, then have a problem at the position a week later if someone goes down? Although Robinson hasn't had the season we all expected, the receiving corps would be decimated if he was dealt and Darnell Mooney went down with an injury.

5. The Bears put a high value on their players

This isn't something that just pertains to the Bears. Every team sets their price for their own players and often times, it's way too high for others to afford. There are plenty of conversations that go on with executives calling about specific players to "check in" only to hang up when they find out the price is simply too high.

Like I said earlier, Pace won't trade guys just to get them out of Halas Hall. That would be an automatic net loss if they sent Hicks away for a seventh-round pick if that's all that was offered. These guys are still valuable on the field and in the locker room. They don't get traded for just anything.

Bulls: Scottie Pippen is mad and making headlines again

The first excerpt from Scottie Pippen's "Unguarded" is out and it contains the lobbed grenades we suspected after Pippen took aim at Phil Jackson and Kevin Durant over the summer.

In this initial round of headlines:

  • He's miffed The Last Dance contained so much Michael Jordan footage. Which is pretty much like complaining there's too much Moses in The 10 Commandments, but ok.
  • He's mad that MJ made $10 million from The Last Dance and he made nothing: I suspect he's more mad about this thing than the first thing, which is his right. It's a lot easier to get paid for talking than selling bourbon to suburbanites at a Mariano's.
  • He wanted a bigger role in the Bulls basektball organization than being a token ambassador. And he allegedly made John Paxson cry when he called him out on it. Getting shut out in this capacity is relatable, but gets lost among his pettier claims.

The book will be released next Tuesday and the only real question is if Pippen realizes he's hurting his legacy much more with all this ax-grinding than whatever he thinks The Last Dance did.

Hawks: Marian Hossa night postponed

Originally planned for next Tuesday, the ceremony is off. Hossa, who will be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame on November 15, also released a statement about Kyle Beach and said he was "unaware of any of the details disclosed in the report, which I told the investigators during my interview with them." Here's the full statement.

1. Here's what Kyle Schwarber remembers most from Game 7 of the World Series. NBC Sports Chicago

2. An interesting look at Hugh Fullerton, the baseball writer who covered the 1919 Black Sox and was actually an early proponent of analytics. BBC Sport

3. World Series 2022 odds are starting to come out. Sox rank fifth-best at most books ~+1200 while the Cubs are near the bottom at +6600. Bet Online

4. Jets GM Kevin Cheveldayoff also said he didn't know the full details of Kyle Beach's assault when he was the Hawks' assistant GM in 2010. ESPN

5. Best link of the year! Christmas music starts on 93.9 at 4 p.m. today. WGN

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