As I was sitting on my couch watching the end of the Xavier/DePaul game, enjoying an ice cold Yuengling as I counted my winnings from the noon slate of games, a Tweet flashed across my phone:
Per @moonmullinNBCS: rumors of Jarvis Landry and a third-round pick to the #Bears in exchange for Jordan Howard and a swap of the #Dolphins pick at No. 11 overall for the Bears’ at No. 8. https://t.co/Glu7CTb5Dw
— Slavko Bekovic (@SBekovic) March 3, 2018
Are the Bears about to really trade Jordan Howard for Jarvis Landry?
Per Moon Mullins, there are “whispers” that the Bears and the Dolphins have been discussing a deal that would send Jordan Howard along with a first round pick swap (No. 8 for No. 11) for Jarvis Landry and a third round pick.
Mullins goes on to say that Dolphins coach Adam Gase is “less than adamant” about Landry continuing on his career in Miami.
If Mullins is to be believed, perhaps new Bears coach Matt Nagy may have a similar feeling about Jordan Howard. And perhaps he should. Despite being very productive on a very cheap deal, there are ongoing questions about how Howard can fit under Nagy. Despite his nearly 2,500 yards rushing, the soon-to-be third year running back only has 52 catches on 82 targets in two seasons.
That’s not good enough. It wasn’t under John Fox. It’s definitely not under Matt Nagy.
I’ve seen a ton of negativity around the internet about this rumored deal (people really distrust Pace and really love Howard apparently). Despite the rumors validity (of which I am seriously questioning as well), I’m not sure I understand why nobody would want this trade to be made, even in a vacuum? Is Landry expensive this year? He is. Has Howard been the lone bright spot for two straight seasons on a terrible Bears offense? He has. But trading Howard now — arguably at his most valuable — for a 25-year old receiver that has never missed a game and a guaranteed 90+ receptions a year is a no-brainer despite the money for this one season (which the Bears have plenty of).
To me, the only thing that matters right now is putting players in place that can flourish in the West Coast system that Nagy and Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich are going to be instituting. I don’t care if that means the Bears have to trade for Landry or sign Allen Robinson or draft Calvin Ridley. We need players Nagy can work with and that he wants to be in Chicago.
Regardless of if this trade rumor is true or not (according to Ian Rapoport, it’s not), I still wonder if Howard is going to be able to continue his dominance under Nagy. I wonder if he’s so one sided that defenses will continue to be able to snuff out what the Bears are going to do when he’s out there — something they already did this past season.
It’s at least questionable, right? Doesn’t that make right now the perfect time to move him to an organization he’s already proven he can flourish in while simultaneously adding a weapon that can be immediately slotted into what Nagy is hoping to do?
I think so.
On top of that, wouldn’t moving Howard mean that both Nagy and Helfrich have some BIG plans for Tarik Cohen? You know, the guy we’ve all clamored to have more touches? The guy we wish was used more than just special teams and third down? The guy that Nagy has to be drooling over?
To me, this maybe fake, maybe real trade rumor is a win —and that’s before you add in the third round pick that Pace would recoup. A third round pick that so many Bears fans were SOOOOO upset he gave up for Mitch Trubisky (Why is it not good that he gets one back in a deal but the end of the world when he gives one up to get a QB, I’ll never know?).
If you just break this down to the moving parts, Landry/a guy like Tremaine Edmunds with the 11th pick/3rd round pick, to me, helps the Bears more than Howard and Denzel Ward with the 8th.
And that doesn’t include the addition of other guys like Albert Wilson or Dion Lewis in free agency or somebody like Sony Michel in the draft that can make up the production on the ground.
If this deal, or a deal like it presents itself, it’s a no brainer for the Bears. You have to bring in the weapons that fit your new coaches system and get rid of those that don’t.
We all love Howard, but his 1.7 catches for 13.6 yard per game average is not going to move the needle for Nagy. Is he a great rusher? Absolutely. But you can find that production in the third round of the draft.
Shit, Nagy just did it with Kareem Hunt last season.
All I’m saying is, if Pace has something in the works that means Howard is dealt, I’m all for it. Especially if it means we bring in a guy that averaged a 100 catches a year that can make our second year quarterback take one big leap.