SportsNet - July 2012
The biggest question of the Chicago Bears' offseason was answered on Monday, when the team nailed down a four-year, $31.5 million deal for star running back Matt Forte (as reported by the Chicago Tribune). Forte's signing was a source of elation for most Bears fans, but there are plenty of players celebrating the deal as well...and not just in Chicago.
This quartet of players will see the biggest rewards from Forte's windfall:
1. Jay Cutler
The much-maligned Bears quarterback has made good progress, but losing Forte would've required rebuilding the entire offense from scratch. Now, Cutler has a dependable running game for the long haul (and a happy Forte for 2012).
There is no way anyone can confidently say who the best passer in the World is. However a top 5 is possible to produce. The one thing that makes all of the following players great is their vision. It sets apart the average midfielders and the truly great playmakers.
He's been a vital part of Spain's three successive major tournament wins. Some say they've been the best international to grace the world of football. He's also been one of Barcelona's best players over the clubs very successful period under Pep Guardiola. He's iconic to the beautiful game as everyone knows his qualities. Critics seem to give him a tag that he's too old now and can't produce a level of football that Iniesta produces. But there are dozens of players that are older than Xavi and still producing quality football. His game might have dropped slightly but he's still one of the best players in the World.
Theo Walcott is the latest player to be linked with a move to Liverpool.
The 23-year-old currently plays for Arsenal and is meeting the Arsenal top brass this week in an attempt to discuss issues relating to his long term future at the club.
The last time a senior Arsenal player (Robin Van Persie) held such a discussion it ended up in an announcement that heralded the parting of ways between player and club. Many Arsenal fans will be hoping that this scenario will not replicate itself in Walcott's case as well.
Liverpool are keenly monitoring the discussions and seem ready to pounce if there is a stalemate. It is rumoured that the club may be willing to part with as much as 15 million pounds for Walcott's signature. Judging by past experiences this offer may be too much for Arsene Wenger to ignore. Chelsea are also in the frame having indicated that they would enter into a bidding war for the player with Liverpool if he decides to leave Arsenal.
Olympic basketball should take a page out of soccer's book and place an age restriction on players intending to participate in the event.
In the Olympic men's soccer tournament, teams are only allowed to have three players over the age of 23 on the roster.
That way players who want to represent their country can still do so up to the age of 23, at a time in their careers when their bodies are still fresh and presumably healthy.
However, the Olymics can also also add a soccer-stye over age player provision that allows a certain number of players older than 23. There are three in Olympic soccer,
And, with the over-age player provision, guys who blossom later in their careers can be rewarded with a spot on the Olympic roster and add some of their veteran leadership to the mix.
Houston Rockets News: Jeremy Lin And Dwight Howard Pursuit Shows Daryl Morey has Lost His Beautiful Mind
These are strange times in the NBA. Ray Allen has gone from Jesus Shuttlesworth to Judas in the eyes of Celtics fans, Stave Nash is a Laker. Meanwhile Drake and Chris Brown nearly knocked Tony Parker out of the Olympics and the Orlando Magic hired a 30-year-old away from the Oklahoma City Thunder's nursery to negotiate their 26-year old superstar's exit strategy,
However, the Houston Rockets lead the league in baffling offseason decisions and renowned general manager Daryl Morey has stood at the head of the asylum.
In December, Morey appeared ready to build around Pau Gasol, Kevin Martin and Kyle Lowry. In an unforeseen twist, the Gasol-Paul-Odom trade was rejected by David Stern. As odd as the Odom trade saga was, this summer has matched December's post-lockout unpredictability.
Morey, earned his bachelors in computer science and MBA from MIT's Sloan School of Management, is perceived to be one of the brightest executives in professional sports.