How an Eli Manning-Bears rumor came to be, and what's the truth


Well, if Eli Manning were having dinner with “The Bears” on Wednesday night in Chicago, it’d definitely be at a place with the four dollar signs on Google. 

This week’s runaway Bears quarterback rumor comes courtesy of an apparently trustworthy dog on Twitter (I’m a millennial, maybe I should get the joke, but I don’t, so can someone explain it to me?) and “amplification” from Marquee Sports Network’s Cole Wright. 

Before we begin: There's nothing to see here. If "The Bears" dined with Manning on Wednesday, it'd be news to "The Bears" inside Halas Hall. 

But since it's out there, here's how this train left the station:

How did we get Oriole out of this? Seems like it started with a guy with 186 followers who lives in Boca Raton, as it always does:

Anyways, Wright’s tweet was taken as evidence that The Internet Dog was on to something. Only that’s not what he was trying to do, as he quickly explained: 

And here we are. Let the freakout commence: Are the Bears considering a run at Eli Manning? Seriously?

Take a deep breath. They're not. 

There are about 50 different ways to explain why this reported dinner, if it even happened (and I was assured with a great degree of certainty it did not), doesn’t mean anything for the Bears' quarterback search. Let’s start here: The Bears would probably get hit with tampering charges, seeing as Manning — who retired in January — is still under contract with the New York Giants, and will be until the new league year begins March 18. 

Also: The notoriously clandestine Ryan Pace is really going to risk breaking league rules for…Eli Manning? An immobile, 39-year-old who just emotionally retired from the only franchise he’s ever played for a month and a half ago? The guy who limped to the end of his potential Hall of Fame career with a 9-26 record in his last 35 games? 

The Bears, instead, are spending their time researching other quarterbacks who didn't recently retire

Maybe Manning was in Chicago on Wednesday to try one of the city’s best restaurants. It would make sense! Chicago is a great city with great restaurants, and is a great place for anyone to visit, including a recently-retired, exceedingly wealthy 39-year-old who's probably only come here on Business Trips. 

Or maybe this whole thing is just another sign that we, collectively, just need it to be March 16 so we can finally get some concrete news on the Bears' quarterback search that doesn't involve tasting menus or cryptic Instagram posts. I’ll go with that. 

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