ESPN Chicago host David Kaplan and former NFL general manager Mike Lombardi will not be exchanging holiday greetings cards this winter.
Before the NFL trade deadline, the Bears made a stunner of a move, trading away a second-round pick to the Commanders for star pass rusher Montez Sweat, a move that also necessitated giving him a big new contract worth up to $98 million over four years.
The move by Bears general manager Ryan Poles was met with widespread derision, as the team did not have playoff aspirations where Sweat could help them now, and could therefore have signed Sweat in free agency without relinquishing the draft pick.
There is another school of thought that the Bears organization has not hit on a lot of draft picks in recent years so parting with one of them for a known commodity may not be the worst thing in the world.
Moreover, the team is sitting on a mountain of cap space and now has Sweat locked up as a franchise building block for several years without the risk of losing him in an open bidding war after the season, or because another team traded for him and locked him up before reaching free agency.
It should come as no surprise Kaplan and Lombardi are clearly on different sides of this debate.
Last Friday, Kaplan’s cohost Jonathan Hood played a clip of Lombardi on “The Pat McAfee Show” in which Lombardi slammed Poles for the deal.
“I think that was the dumbest trade you could possibly make,” Lombardi said. “I don’t care what Ryan Poles tried to defend it with, he should not have done that.”
Hood proceeded to ask Kaplan if, after Sweat played a great first game for the Bears against the Panthers on Thursday night, the trade should already be considered a win for the Bears.
“I can’t live in that ‘First Take’ world — where it’s already a win,” Kaplan said, before rattling off Sweat’s stats against Carolina and general bona fides.
“He was excellent last night. Eight pressures — most since 2020 by Robert Quinn, great — he’s great against the run, he’s top five in the league at his position against the run, top five in the NFL at pressures …”
Kaplan added that the trade is “trending” to be a win, but Sweat has to stay healthy and productive.
The host would later put Lombardi in his cross-hairs.
He said that Lombardi got fired by the Browns after the team went 4-12, and that the VSIN host is a “jackass” and that you become “dumber” when you read his social media or listen to his content.
“So whatever this thick-headed idiot named Mike Lombardi continues to say, he shows you each day that he’s dumber than the day before,” Kaplan said, as covered by Awful Announcing.
“If he’s on VSiN and I’m burning that chip in my car so I can’t get that station anymore,” Kaplan continued. “’Cause if they’re that stupid to have that idiot on the air … he’s just dumb, he doesn’t think through what he says, and that’s why he’s not a freaking executive. He’s a gambling addict on the radio!”