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Bears Screw Matthews


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this is what happens when a player so publicly shows an interest in playing for another team while under contract.

the Bears could have dealt Matthews to Washington anytime after they signed Chandler more than a week before the draft.

but they waited until draft day and AFTER the Skins took Patrick Ramsey to resurrect the deal and by then the Skins were no longer interested.

so there goes Matthews' best shot to get a starting job or top backup job for 2002.

and the Bears keeping him twisting in the wind occurred AFTER Jerry Angelo and the team noted that Matthews had been a 'good soldier' for the organization and that they would try and accommodate his trade request.

What a joke. The way this went down it was almost purposeful the way the Bears ensured that Matthews would NOT be attractive to the Redskins.

They waited past the minicamp and then until after the Skins had already taken Ramsey in round 1.

They did Matthews no favors. And this was even more evident from his release this week, right after the draft.

Not even an invite to camp to compete for a job.

That's when you know you have just been screwed.

The Bears got even with Washington and Matthews for showing public attraction for one another and in the process ensured Shane would not be a Redskin.

Of course the Bears also cost themselves a draft choice along the way, but when you are trying to make a political statement that is often not as important a consideration.

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I don't know, I think I have a slightly different perspective on this.

At first, the Bears were using the only leverage they had (and I can't blame them), hoping to get a nice pick (4th or 5th) our of the Skins. The leverage was not allowing the Skins to have Matthews in advance of the first mini-camp or the Draft.

However, in the days before the draft, the rumor is that the Bears significantly reduced their trade demand, and only asked for a swap in the order of very late round picks. But the Skins said no.

And even now, why can't we sign him to a minimum? The Skins still could sign Matthews today, and have him in Ashburn in time for the start of this weekend's mini-camp.

I don't buy this crap about loyalty to our 4 QB's. The Loyalty goes to the organization, and if that means cutting the lesser talents (Craig and Weurfell) then so be it. I'll understand if the Skins want to accellerate Ramsey's development and start him early, but that still doesn't explain not pulling in Matthews as a back-up option.

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That's just one of a few major gaffes the Bears organization is guilty of this offseason.

1) They really stretched on their 1st round pick of Marc Columbo. They sign Olin Kreutz to one of the largest contracts ever given to a center... and they draft a center from Boston College to play LT?!?!? Especially after signing Brockemeyer to a huge contract only 2 years ago.

2) They also messed up with D'Wayne Bates tender offer which would allow him to leave without compensation if the Bears didn't match any offers by other teams. He was subsequently lost to the Vikings.

3) Again, the same clerical error would've allowed LB Warrick Holdman to go without compensation. Fortunately, the Bears elected to match the Chiefs contract offer and retain him... but I don't think they really had a choice... and they probably paid more than they wanted to in the process.

4) They prolonged extending the widely popular Dick Jauron's contract without cause it seems. In the end... it worked out. But they looked very unprofessional and it could've caused some resentment.

I really can't figure out what the heck Jerry Angelo is trying to do out there. But in one season... he doesn't inspire much confidence in me.

43 to go...

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This might shed a little light. From the Sun-Times:

Shane Matthews got what he requested several weeks ago when the Bears granted his release Wednesday.

The veteran quarterback was expendable after Chris Chandler was signed. He hopes to join his college coach, Steve Spurrier, with the Washington Redskins, but that might not happen after a trade fell apart last weekend. Washington was going to send the Bears a seventh-round draft pick for Matthews on the condition he extended his contract, which had one season remaining, by another year. But Matthews balked when the Redskins refused to give him any money up front.

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Sounds like Spurrier played a little poker with the Bears and Matthews, and won in the game of Bluff.

The Bears cut him, making it so we can sign him for the minimum (cap value of $450K) rather than $750.

And we called Bluff on Matthews who said he won't take a 2 year contract.

After Mini-camp, I wonder if Matthews will sign on for vet minimum this year and modest $100K raise the following year.

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thanks for the additional info.

Matthews was a fool to quibble over what he doesn't have already, upfront money.

he is a street free agent with no prospects for entering another system where he would be as ready to put up good numbers and thus earn a better future for himself.

Blake ended up signing on in Baltimore for peanuts and he is a lot more talented than Matthews.

Shane is going to end up being a #2 somewhere in the NFL but it is likely to be for the $563K minimum offer.

So he gave up $750K for perhaps a job for $190K less if he can find it.

don't take any stock picks from this guy folks :laugh:

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This is actually a very interesting situation. Who would accept a minimum deal for more than one year with no signing bonus? It's never a good deal for the player. If it turns out he's worth more than that in year 2, the team won't hand him a new contract and he can't release himself. If he's worth less, he'd get cut anyway.

I'm not sure why the Skins thought Matthews would go for it.

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because Matthews at 31 has about ZERO chance of starting the 2002 season as the quarterback of any of the other 31 teams.

yes, he can get a job as a backup but that will be for even less money at $563K.

and if he doesn't get on the field as the #2 whatever incentives he has in his contract he won't reach.

so, what it comes down to is Matthews is a lot like Kent Graham also in his early 30's who has been a journeyman around the NFL.

Graham is going to start the season ahead of Carr but will give way somewhere down the line when the time is right.

Matthews will end up in much the same situation. He will either end up behind a Mark Brunell and end up holding for extra points or will end up somewhere like the Raiders as the #3.

Perhaps veteran players don't like the idea of playing for $750K for two years with no bonus to back them up, but it is better than HOPING to play for $563K with no bonus on a team where the coach looks at you as water boy material :D

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You ask who would take a 2 year contract at the minimum?

Answer, someone who's not good enough to command the job by just giving a 1 year committment.

I remember applying for a meager paying clerkship position fresh out of law school. I'm interviewing with the Judge and after a while, he gets painfully candid. He says, "Look, you seem capable, but I have a plethera of more qualified candidates lined up for the job, what can you give me that they can't?"

I told him I'd commit to staying on for 2 years, where as the other guys will run off to the big firms after one. He hired me right there.

I think Matthews is in the same boat. If he wants a shot at real minutes, he's going to have to give something up on the back-end. Otherwise, he'll never get in the door.

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I would feel alot better knowing he was on the roster. How could Spurrier say he made a commitment to Craig. Three weeks ago he wanted Mathews knowing they were going to try to draft a QB. Craig had to be the odd man out at that point. I would like to know if the 2 year deal the skins offered him had any performance bonuses.

Bulldog is right. Da Bears where sending a message to there players. I feel bad for Mathews if he doesn't end up with the Skins. We are going to go thru some serious growing pains the next few years with Sage or Patrick. Mathews would be a valuable asset as a back-up with the Skins. Can one of the cap guys give me some numbers on average salary for 2nd and 3rd string back-up Qb's?

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