As the 2015 NFL Draft starts approaching closer, a handful of NFL teams are beginning to narrow their interest on who they are going to draft. A lot of speculation has surrounded the quarterback position with top prospects QB Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston. Most sports analysts feel that Winston will be selected as the first overall pick by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After that, it’s fair game as to whichever team picks the Hawaiian prodigy.
Adam Schefter, an ESPN NFL insider, spoke on ESPN 1000’s “Waddle and Silvy Show“ Thursday morning to announce that Mariota was among the top prospects that traveled to Chicago, Ill. However, this visit wasn’t directly following the look-see he had with the Buccaneer officials in Eugene, Ore. Instead, that occasion occurred early last week near the end of March.
The Chicago Bears find themselves in a sticky situation already in the QB department in Jay Cutler. But, since his hiring as the general manager of the organization, Ryan Pace has repeatedly said that he’s a strong advocate of drafting or signing young QB’s and coaching them up until they’re NFL ready. He adopted this form of philosophy from Hall of Fame NFL executive Ron Wolf. Throughout the off-season, multiple reports have surfaced discussing how the Bears are still attempting to find ways to get rid of Cutler’s huge contract, which is a seven-year deal worth $126 million with $54 million being guaranteed.
Mariota’s link to other NFL teams has intensified what with the New York Jets, Tennessee Titans, Cleveland Browns, and Washington Redskins each trying to determine whether the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner is the right fit for them.
Three of these teams (Jets, Titans, and Redskins) sit with high picks in the draft. The Titans and Jets, however, seem like the most viable option due to their lack of having a true QB. The Redskins do have a QB in Robert Griffin III despite his poor performance with the team since his arrival.
Ultimately, the idea of Mariota in a Bears’ uniform does make sense on some levels. But the odds of the Bears finding a team that’s willing to take Cutler, despite his lucrative contract, are very slim. Currently, the Bears sit behind the Jets with the No. 7 selection in the draft.
Will they try to move up to get Mariota? Or will they just hang tight and see if Mariota falls below the No.6 selection?
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Top Photo by Kevin Cline