Let us begin this article by cautioning you that this piece might as well be a dream sequence, as the chances of Jerry Angelo trading draft picks to obtain much needed help for a horrendous offensive line are about as good as my becoming president.
Well, hail to the chief, Bears fans, because if Angelo doesn’t go out and fix this mess, it’s just not going to get any better with the guys we have now, and nothing scheme-wise that Mike Tice does will help this train wreck.
Angelo is very reluctant to trade future draft picks for two main reasons:
- He got burned in the Jay Cutler trade.
- Draft picks represent cost certainty and that is something every team strives for.
So why not instead trade an established player for an available lineman? OK, smart guy, but whom?
You couldn’t get a bag of used balls for Tommie Harris right now, and Greg Olsen won’t be moved because in Angelo’s mind, he is one of his draft success stories.
But all that is in Angelo’s fertile imagination, my friends. For Olsen really has no place in this offense. A tight end in the Mike Martz system has to block, period. And while Olsen has, at times, blocked better this year, it is not his strong point.
But it is a strong point of Desmond Clark. Not to digress here, but speaking of Clark, why the heck he is not out there?
To compound matters, Olsen is too slow to be a receiver and is error-prone. I would trade him in a New York minute; not that you could get Mankins for him anyway, mind you.
Meanwhile, who is Mankins? He is a holdout with the New England Patriots. He also happens to be a Pro Bowl guard who would instantly help the Bears line, assuming he is in shape.
The Pats would probably consider trading him, as they have some depth at the guard position and he’s not doing them any good on the street.
New England has already shown they are willing to move high-priced talent as we saw as recently as a year ago with Richard Seymour.
But they would want the Bears' first-round draft pick.
A Jerry Angelo pick, especially a first rounder, is nothing but fool’s gold. To expect that Angelo would be able to draft a Pro Bowl player with that selection in next year’s draft is unwarranted optimism, so why not trade it away?
Well, because the Bears don’t want to pay the 28-year-old Mankins, that’s why.
So what about the other guy, San Diego Chargers LT Marcus McNeill? I know he recently signed his tender with the Bolts, but that doesn’t preclude them from trading him to the Bears.
Since McNeill was placed on the roster exempt list, he cannot play until Week 6. Though McNeill is far less likely to be available compared to Mankins, Angelo may as well try, as desperate times call for desperate measures.
Be bold and think big, Jerry. You did it when you traded for Cutler, you can do it again.