Burleson gives Bears bulletin-board material

Burleson gives Bears bulletin-board material

Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010
7:07 PM

By John Mullin
CSNChicago.com

Its not exactly Joe Namath calling his shot with the New York Jets in Super Bowl III but for an NFC North rivalry game, itll have to do.

Detroit wide receiver Nate Burleson, against whom the Bears played when he was a Seattle Seahawk and Minnesota Viking before he became a Lions last offseason, likes his new teams chances against the Bears, winners of four straight, even though the Lions are 2-9 and losers of four straight.

Burleson this week issued what is being construed as a guarantee of a Detroit victory Sunday.when he said on his local radio show, We will win on Sunday.

The Bears supposedly posted the guarantee on bulletin boards, which surprised Burleson, who clarified and tempered his comments substantially, which were hardly inflammatory in the first place.

You can take it as a guarantee, Chicago can take it as a guarantee, they can take it however they want, Burleson said, as reported on MLive.com. We play to win the game, we want to try to win on Sunday, and we think weve got a chance to win.

Not exactly something to start a war of words, and if that in fact does incense the Bears, that may be the bigger surprise.

Deep down every player, I would think you would guarantee a win every week you go into it, said linebacker Lance Briggs. Its good. It should fire them up. I know it definitely fires us up. Weve got it pinned up everywhere in our meeting rooms.

It was none other than Briggs who guaranteed a win in 2004 over Peyton Manning and the Indianapolis Colts. No record of whether that added anything to Indianapolis motivation, but the Colts left Soldier Field with a 41-10 win that day. Im not going to guarantee more wins, he guaranteed.

And guarantee that this will not be the last guarantee made somewhere by someone.

Ive heard it so many times in the last 11 years, said linebacker Brian Urlacher. Its locker room material. If you need to get fired up at this point in the season, somethings wrong with you, but it does add a little more fuel to the fire.

So does pundits and observers showing little or no respect for the Bears or their accomplishments. In fact that may be the one thing that does put some fuel to the Bears fire, and their coach sees to it that they know theyre being disrespected.

The no respect thing I think does provide motivation, Urlacher said. We play on that pretty well. Weve done a good job of it. Coach Smith hypes it up pretty good, and we kind of thrive on that.

"But other than that, if you cant get ready to play and get ready for a game at this point in the season or even at the beginning of the season, somethings wrong. You shouldnt be playing football. Because now they mean a lot unless youre 2-9 or so, then they dont mean as much. But our games mean a lot right now, so we need to be ready to play.

Sick bay

Chances increased Thursday for Nick Roach starting at strong-side linebacker for the third straight game as Pisa Tinoisamoa returned to practice but only on a limited basis. Whenever you have a guy who isnt able to practice on Thursday, theres some concern, said coach Lovie Smith.

The Lions officially lost kicker Jason Hanson to a right-knee injury that has raised questions about his career. Right tackle Gosder Cherilus was unable to practice as well because of a knee injury and defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch was out again with a neck injury.

John "Moon" Mullin is CSNChicago.com's Bears Insider, and appears regularly on Bears Postgame Live and Chicago Tribune Live. Follow Moon on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Bears information.

Bears face decisions on Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery and 2017 roster

Bears face decisions on Jay Cutler, Alshon Jeffery and 2017 roster

What we "knew" most about the 2016 Bears heading into the season is that, offensively, Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffery would be the straws that stirred the offensive drink. 

Thanks to injuries, suspension and a perfect storm that resulted in a 3-13 season, the straw had a hole in it, the team still couldn't collectively close out games and a fifth-round rookie (Jordan Howard) and a second-year undrafted free agent (Cam Meredith) turned into the greatest causes for optimism on that side of the ball. 

The news that the team is shopping Cutler is hardly news-bulletin worthy. We've written about Cutler Fatigue here and discussed it on CSN's BearsTalk Podcasts for some time now. A breakup has seemed inevitable after eight years of .500 ball when he's been behind center. The tricky part is finding an alternative that would be a marked improvement for a coaching staff that might need to finish .500 to continue on the job in 2018. Yet that's the gamble that must be taken for a franchise that almost needs to move on, for better or worse, in order to find a way out of the muddy ditch it's found itself in.

Cutler must first be deemed healthy enough after labrum surgery on his throwing shoulder - something similar to what Buffalo did with Tyron Taylor this week following groin surgery. But Taylor might be a safer bet to stay with the Bills than Cutler is here. Those medicals might be out there already around the league if shopping has truly begun. And while a new destination for Cutler might not earn him the same salary (roughly $15 million) he'd make here, the thinking here is he'd prefer a fresh start just as much as the Bears want one. 

So let's go shopping.

Cleveland? No. 

San Francisco as a stopgap starter? Maybe. There's tons of salary cap space while a successor is groomed, and there's the Shanahan (Kyle/Mike) Factor. But more losing. 

How about Jacksonville to push his young clone, Blake Bortles? Perhaps. There's still a loaded, talented young defense that has yet to reach a promising ceiling, and a couple of talented receivers. 

The Los Angeles Rams could provide a push for Jared Goff (though it's hard not to see Goff being the starter, for better or worse). But if something should happen, Cutler would be ready, with Todd Gurley, what should be a respectable defense and a location close to where wife Kristin Cavallari can return to actressing. 

Jay in Buffalo? Good one! 

Arizona has already shot down interest. 

We don't see Denver wanting him back as they await Paxton Lynch's maturity with Trevor Siemian as a bridge. 

Reuniting with Adam Gase in Miami could be an option with Ryan Tannehill's health still a mystery. 

Then there's always Houston. I'm looking for Tony Romo's ultimate destination impacting Jay's. 

But retiring, as some reports this week suggested? No. Despite the public perception, Jay is a competitor, and I truly believe that still runs through him. He may not get to prove his reputation wrong before he retires, but despite what body language experts feel, I believe he'd still like to prove something. But I'm also not counting on any team giving up a draft pick for him. Teams know the Bears will release him, but if a club lower on the waiver claim wire truly desires him, Ryan Pace has squeezed something out from teams for his players on the discard pile before.

As for Jeffery, all remains quiet on the franchise tag front. The seal remains tight at Halas Hall over whether there have been any negotiations this past week, and if so, whether they've moved in a positive, long-term direction. 

Two things to keep in mind: the Bears did not tag him last year until the day before the deadline to do so. That deadline this year is March 1. The other is the fact that other teams in similar situations (such as Washington with Kirk Cousins and Kansas City with Eric Berry and Dontari Poe) have yet to make moves either, as that deadline looms. If the Bears determine they'll cut ties with Cutler, Eddie Royal and Lamarr Houston, that will free up another $24 million in cap space on top of the $60 million-plus they have already. Perhaps that factors into the decision on Jeffery, who'd get paid $17 million in 2017 under a second straight franchise tag for a team that needs play-makers and a coaching staff that needs wins next season. Letting him go would require attention and a portion of those dollars to replace him in the draft and/or free agency.

We leave all our internet/talk radio caller GM's with this question: Would you REALLY want to be in Ryan Pace's shoes this offseason? Can you be as shrewd, wise and run the table to the extent he must, especially at the most important, franchise-shaping position (which, granted, he's put on the back-burner his first two years)? And "get it right" to build momentum moving forward for a franchise that's reached the playoffs just once in the past decade? The rebuild remains substantial. And so are the decisions he faces in a crucial offseason.

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

Jay Cutler is reportedly considering retirement

This is apparently the week of Jay Cutler news.

Reports surfaced earlier this week the Bears are pushing hard to find a trade partner for the enigmatic quarterback, though Ian Rapoport reported the organization informed Cutler in mid-January they were shopping him around.

It seems clear Cutler's time in Chicago has come to an end and an ensuing move is more of a formality at this point.

But apparently Cutler may not even suit up again...for ANY team.

Rapoport reported on NFL Network Wednesday night Cutler is mulling over retirement, even as he's healthy and working out now after shoulder surgery.

"There's no guarantee Cutler even plays in 2017, one of several veterans who are still considering whether they want to play or not play, retire, walk away. A lot of things at play here for Jay Cutler."

Host Dan Hellie immediately followed up, asking for clarification on the retirement part.

"It is a consideration; it's something he's confided in people," Rapoport said. "But Dan, I would say, it's not a surprise for quarterbacks this age. We've heard [Ben] Roethlisberger talk about it; we've heard Tony Romo talk about it. If it's not perfect, if he can't find the team he wants or the contract he wants, it's very easy for Jay Cutler to walk away."

Whoa.

Cutler, 33, has made more than $112 million in his 11-year career and is owed at least another $2 million in 2017, even if he's cut by the Bears.