Dropped by this morning for a fun phone visit with pals David Kaplan and David Haugh on their “Kap and Haugh Show” on 87 7 The Game, and if there was a free-agency topic we didn’t get to, I’m not sure what it was.
The obvious must-talk is what the Bears do next, having not been willing to keep throwing money at defensive end Michael Bennett in order to buy him out of Seattle. That made sense in the overall, if only because while Bennett is a good player, we are not looking at the Reggie White/Julius Peppers type end who comes along once in a decade if you’re lucky.
My suggestion for a what’s-next on the defensive line — which David, a former Ball State safety, and I agree on completely as still the priority — is a sleeper with a Phil Emery connection: Kansas City defensive end Tyson Jackson. Emery was the Chiefs’ director of college scouting when they used the No. 3-overall draft pick on LSU product Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound end who has been used situationally in a 3-4, meaning his sack numbers have been limited.
What I didn’t add at the time was how Emery has mentioned how certain players have utterly bloomed at their second stop. Jackson was an LSU and KC teammate of defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey, who was just average with the Chiefs but was a key at nose tackle with San Francisco last season, stepping in when Ian Williams was lost for the season in Week 2.
Could Emery look at Jackson as exactly that kind of pending impact player?
David also mentioned Robert Ayers, definitely a second-tier guy worth watching. He’s in the Bennett mold physically (6-foot-3, 274 pounds), was the No. 18 pick in 2009 by Denver, fits a 4-3 scheme, started three games last season and netted 5.5 sacks, and slides inside to tackle for nickel.
Kap was more intrigued by what is going on with Darrelle Revis, whom he rightly characterized as one of the elite defensive players in the NFL. Would you make a play for Revis in a trade, getting a lock-down corner who would be an upgrade over even Charles Tillman in his prime, and pair him with Tim Jennings for one of the NFL’s top CB tandems?
Kap would make the deal. I'm not so sure, given the cap realities and ignoring needs elsewhere to tie up macro-dollars in two cornerbacks. David questioned, why is Revis even available? How is it that Lovie Smith, the new head man in Tampa and a solid defensive coach, doesn't have Revis in his plan. A question worth considering, given the money and impact, but hard to argue with Kap’s general push for an elite player at a need and vital position.