DT OR DE

Discussion in 'Chicago Bears' started by BSBEARS, Mar 1, 2014.

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DT or DE in RD 1

  1. BSBEARS

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  2. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Donald is the more desirable player. A great penetrating inside pass rusher is high on every 4-3 teams list which is why I don't believe they'll be able to satisfy Melton with a one year "prove it deal". If the Bears aren't willing to offer him a multiple year contract with some guaranteed money I believe someone else will. If Melton goes then Donald is virtually a clone of him as far as his style of play and based on his Combine specs he's not all that much smaller then either Melton or Collins and we can probably re-sign both Collins and Ratliff to deals Melton probably won't consider and you have your versatility. Both can play NT and 3 tech.

    Here's my view on Melton. He already took the risk of playing on a one year tag and got injured. Chances are he won't want to do that again if he has other options and I think he will. Chances are also good that he's gonna want as much or more guaranteed money alone as it would cost for a younger player on a four year deal in total. Melton is gonna look at himself as an $8 mil per year guy where as Donald will cost around $2.5 to maybe $3 mil per year. The other issue I have is that Melton has had one very good year and that's it. Last year I thought Collins was actually outplaying him both in the preseason and before both got hurt.

    Emery has said it, and Lovie before him. What makes that defense cook is a great 3 tech DT and that's what Donald is. A pure 3 tech DT. One advantage the Bears have at #14 is that there are fewer teams drafting before them who have need to a 4-3 DT plus there are two or three OTs, couple of QBs, two WRs, and a couple of 3-4 DE/LB types that rate higher than Donald so I believe he'll be there at #14 and maybe even a bit longer. Because of his size he won't be a fit for many teams but he is a perfect fit for the Bears and if by some stroke of luck Emery can get Melton on a one year deal then I'd draft Donald anyway because one way or another Melton probably won't be around in 2015.

    It would be tough to lose Peppers but Ealy is a far cry from Pep. Clowney is the only one whose in that ball park and he won't get past the first two picks. Donald is the best pass rushing DT in this draft and if you're a 4-3 team you don't ignore those guys any more than we did with Tommie Harris ten years ago or so. The key to that line is on the inside and that's what they need to fix. They need to be stronger in the middle both against the run and pass rushing. That makes the DE jobs far easier. If we lose Pep, and that's not a certainty, signing Wootton should be a priority and they can move him to RDE and they also have Bass who can platoon with him. If McClellin is playing SLB they can protect him with a run stopping LDE and he becomes more of the outside pass rushing threat on that side like Rosie Colvin was years ago.

    This isn't perfect but I think it gets the job done and there's still an outside chance they can keep Pep another year at a much lower salary. I don't see anyone offering him any kind of a long term deal at his age and if we use Michael Bennett as an example the going rate for a one year deal like his is $5 mil. For that little we can afford to keep Pep and still add around $9 mil to the cap. This is how I'd go about it.
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  3. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    Cant argue with your logic but a DE putting pressure on the QB is desirable as well as Lovie always use to say, and this is true in any defense. Ealy can probably get 8 to 10 sacks and apply as much pressure as Donald. We need them both unfortunately will only get one.
  4. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    That's word for word my view of it too.

    Looking at the way the draft is likely to break down there's an excellent chance Donald makes it to the mid-1st. There's zero chance Clowney does and Ealy is shaping up as a late-1/early-2 guy. AD is the ideal and best 3t in this draft and perfectly suited to the Bears (and less so for many other teams). He's the #1 realistic target for the Bears draft IMO.

    Melton shouldn't be brought back except on a team friendly short term deal which as Soul points out is not likely to happen. Lets not forget that HM had only one standout season in 5 years, is coming off injury, and had a rep even before for disappearing for weeks at a stretch. Remember when Lovie had to call him out after being a no-show multiple weeks in a row? Remember also that even after his pro bowl year (in a contact season, hmmm) Emery had the chance to lock him up for a multi-year deal right off his rookie contract and chose instead to FT him for one season only. Obviously, the team isn't that sold on him as someone they couldn't let get away. Since then, there's been two injuries, an arrest, and questions about his rehab work ethic. I say pass...

    You could draft Donald and retain Collins + Ratliff for the same or less than it would cost to keep Melton and without the long term commitment to the latter two. You'd then have a pure 3t (Donald), a NT (Paea), and two rotational backups who can play either spot each. And all but one of them would be young.
  5. BSBEARS

    BSBEARS Pro-Bowler

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    I will be surprised if Ealy drops to bottom of first just based on DE position and typical draft positions. I like DT also so not opposed I still like the upside of Hageman and versatility but would be happy with Donald as well. Just seems DE is harder to come by, kinda like FS ____ got two good ones and a big drop off. Below are a few of the Big Boards updated since the combine. Shows pretty much depending on where you go they have differing opinions. Ealy has a wider range but a higher average ranking. I think most teams will take a DE over a DT more times than not so having a hard time with Donald is the more desirable player.




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  6. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree with all of that. I'd only add one minor point. Pep is already gone. He left after the 2012 season. The guy wearing #90 now, is not the Julius Peppers we've had here all of these years.
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  7. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Possibly but I also believe between Wootton and Bass platooning at RDE that position will produce at least 10 sacks between them the key is bringing back Wootton if Pep is released. So far there's no indication that he will be so that's still 50/50. Remember Wootton had 7.5 sacks in 2012 playing part time at LDE and another 3.5 last year out of position at DT. That kid is young, strong and fast enough to play RDE. Bass is a wild card as a situational rusher but he had stats in college that were better than Ealy's, he's fast and very athletic (reference his tip and return for a TD) and he's under contract. Now like I projected, get a great run stopping end in front of McClellin and you have your pass rush from that side and he's capable of double digit sacks if they can play him right. McClellin needs to be protected so he can do his thing and Wootton isn't that guy.

    What I like about Donald is his speed (the kid is as fast as McClellin and 30lbs heavier) and his motor. I watched the video of his 40 yard dash at the combine and the kid can motor. They superimposed other DTs and DEs running with him and he beat all of them but Clowney. With some like Jernigan it wasn't even close. You get him and McClellin chasing after QBs and not many will escape them or Wootton and Bass. Pep is a luxury we can't afford at his cap cost and there's no way to replace him with another like him so why try? It's gonna be a hell of a lot easier to find a LDE run stopper who can provide some rush than it will be to find a RDE like Pep. Hell maybe even Izzy could be brought back for a year if they can't find a better FA. Actually that's where I'd go for a LDE and then draft another or maybe Washington gets up to speed this year and puts on a few pounds.

    As crazy as it sounds there's also the chance that if by some stroke of luck they can keep Melton for another year somehow (and I doubt it) they could also use him at DE and DT like the did with Wootton. He was a DE when they drafted him and Trestman said his weight is down (although he didn't say how much) but if he's playing 10-15lbs lighter then he's at 280-285lbs and could easily play on the edge. I see all kinds of possibilities depending on what happens in FA but IMHO after Clowney I believe Donald is the next best pure DL in the draft and the he may well be the best player on the board at #14. Some mocks have Dixon going before that and Pryor maybe as well. That kid is a beast.

    I just have a good feeling about Donald. Pitt turns out some very good football players and we struck gold with two in the past, DaCoach and Jimbo Covert. Third time the charm. I just think this kid could be another John Randle. A DT that's so quick and so strong he's almost unblockable unless you double team him. If they do that inside it's gonna open opponents up to all kinds or blitzes and stunts and Tucker seems to use those far more than Lovie did. I may be 100% wrong but I really do think Donald is the guy.
  8. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    FWIW, Biggs wrote recently that he doesn't think it's likely the team is going to try all that hard to keep Wootton. That may change if/when Pep is released of course.
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  9. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Yes and no. Like Trestman said Pep had an 8-8 season too. He just can't bring it every game playing 85% of the defensive snaps like he used to but in the couple of games he did bring it he dominated again. If they can keep him he needs to be platooned and have his snaps cut way back. That alone says you can't pay the guys $14 mil as a rotational player and even he (and his agent) should realize that.

    You can bet his agent is out there getting a whiff or who might sign him if he's released and what they'd pay. IMHO what he's worth is around what Seattle paid Michael Bennett as a DT/DE playing in their rotation and that's $5 mil. That's about the top of the market for a guy like that and I doubt many teams would pay more. So of he'll play for $5 mil or a little less then we still save $9 mil or more in cap space and that can go towards paying Tillman a similar amount with money left over for a couple of the DL like Collins and Ratliff and maybe even Wootton on a long term deal with a minimal 1st year salary. I believe Pep's deal is the key to many things.
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  10. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    That's why I keep thinking that Pep's contract and what they do about it is key. If they have to release Pep then Wootton becomes more valuable as a RDE but if Pep stays they'll want a guy whose more of a run stuffer playing in front of McClellin and he becomes the rusher on the left side not the DE as it was with Izzy and Wootton. I can see a lot of scenarios MP the only trouble is I don't think any of us, Biggsy included, can see them very well through Emery's fog. He's a hell of a lot better poker player than JA was.
  11. BSBEARS

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    agreed
  12. MPbears68

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    Excellent points, Soul. I think of Biggs as pretty "in the know" but Phil is a skilled mis-director.
  13. soulman

    soulman Pro-Bowler SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Well guys all we know is that Peps cap hit is the elephant in the room in and it's not going away by ignoring it so I'm sure there's something going on behind the scenes. They don't just pull all this stuff out of their butts at quarter to midnight before the day FA begins.
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  14. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    I agree. And $5mil sounds better than the $18mil cap hit this year, and the $20-million dollar cap hit next year. That is a staggering amount of cap money, and obviously, the team could use that money, considering the team has so many needs. We're talking significant money here, that could be used to make the team better now - and beyond the 2014 season. We can invest that money into younger players with upside who will pay dividends for the future. Emery is in the midst of a major rebuilding effort on defense, and you don't pull that off by overpaying Pep by several millions of dollars while getting diminished returns on that investment.
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  15. MPbears68

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    JABF, I know of no one either here or analysts in the press who ever seriously discussed riding with Peppers in his current contract form. No idea where you got that idea. That was never the choice. Please stop hyperventilating about cap numbers that have no basis in reality.

    Peppers will have to renegotiate his contract to a much more manageable and realistic number (that reflects his true current market value) or he will be released with near 100% certainty. The Bears may not even attempt to renegotiate it if they make a replacement move in FA. No team will pay Peppers that kind of money as described above.

    Another point some don't seem to understand is that the "dead cap" portion of the $18-20m is already on the books and it doesn't go away no matter if he's retained or released. It is NOT future salary. It represents the accounting costs for past signing bonuses that have already been paid out and amortized over the life of his previously re-structured contract. The Bears eat that cost (as a cap deduction in effect) whether Julius Peppers is playing for Chicago, playing for another team, or retired sitting on a beach with a Corona.
  16. JustAnotherBearsFan99

    JustAnotherBearsFan99 Coordinator SuperFan DBS Writer

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    Maybe I'm not understanding this then. Can't we restructure him and save any of that money? If not, then I didn't understand the situation. I'm not very cap savvy at all. So the money is just "gone" now? That is pretty sad.

    I won't go on about it. But money is obviously a huge component to our off-season rebuilding of the defense. And what has me "going on" about this is probably the idea of paying a guy who seems to be loafing on us, fries my butt. If a player is old, or injured, I can certainly understand that - but I still don't like seeing the Bears overpay a guy in that situation. But if a guy is mailing it in......that gets me angry. But I'll try to let this go. I didn't mean to go on and on about it and tick people off.
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  17. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    NO!

    I'll try to explain the accounting here. I don't have the exact amounts in front of me so this is a reasonable approximation:

    Peppers is under contract this year scheduled to be paid about $14m in salary. His "cap cost" (note, cap cost not actual new dollar cost) is about $18.2 mill. That's because there is about $4.2m in extra cap cost also added into the calculation that represents previous signing bonus money already paid during previous restructures amortized yearly over the length of the deal. This $4.2m is what is referred to as "dead cap cost" if he were to be released or he retired (its called "dead" when it represents cap accounting charges a team incurs for a player who is no longer even on the roster). There is another $4.2m as described above on the books for next year (his current contract runs through 2015).

    The Bears incur these "costs" in '14 and '15 as counted against their salary cap no matter if Peppers is playing for them or not. They aren't "new money" still being to paid him. They're the accounting for previous signing bonus(es). For example, if player X signs a 5 year contract paying him a salary of $3m each year with an upfront signing bonus of $10m, his cap cost to the team is $5m/yr (10/5 + 3 each season). That extra $2m in cap cost every year beyond the base salary (10m/5yrs) becomes "dead cap" cost to the team should they release him before his contract is fully up.

    Peppers has already restructured twice with hefty signing bonuses to lower his initial cap cost and spread it out. That's why he now at the end of the contract has such substantial "dead cap" attached to him should he be released. It's the price you pay at the end of a contract to make the upfront cap charge lower. Every team does it to some extent. He's too old to extend a few more years so the only way to lower his costs is to ask him to renegotiate and take a salary reduction. The $4.2 times the next two years does NOT go away no matter what.
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  18. BSBEARS

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    The only thing to add is if he is cut after june 1, that is how it works. He can be declared a June 1 cap hit prior to that date but if you do not declare him as a June 1 cut his total cap hit would come into this year or $8.4 million. That is why there is no reason to be in a hurry with Peppers. Additionallly by declaring him a June 1 cap hit to spread it out to 4.2 m per year rather than the 8.4 m then you can not spend the money until June 1.
  19. weneedmorelinemen

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    I like Donald for a Lovie Tampa 2 UT. But is Tucker planning to run Lovie's scheme still, or is he going to implement his own 4-3 defense? If I remember from an article, doesn't Tucker like bigger DTs? Just asking, I don't know the answer.

    The way I read Emery is I take all the names of players people like in the first round on the message board, then I throw those out and take the most unlikely reach I can. He's quite the unpredictable chooser of draft picks.
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  20. MPbears68

    MPbears68 Pro-Bowler

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    Correct ^^^^

    Each team is allowed to designate up to two players per year as "June 1 cuts" even if they are released prior to that date. That allows the team to spread the dead cap remaining on the contract equally over two years. Or you can physically wait till June 1st to officially cut them to achieve the same thing. If you release the player prior to June 1 and don't use the designation, all the dead cap remaining "accelerates" into the current year. The designation option was added to the CBA because it helps both sides. The team gets the cap spread benefit and the player gets released earlier so he can seek work elsewhere while FA is still in full swing.

    If/when the Bears release Peppers they will almost certainly designate him as a June 1 cut and let him go well before then I would think,

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