Once again, the Chicago Bears were not awarded a compensatory pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
It has been eight years since the Bears received such a pick. The year was 2009, and the Bears were awarded three compensation picks in the draft. Unfortunately, those picks were squandered on Oklahoma wide receiver Juaquin Iglesias (99th), San Diego State guard Lance Louis (245th), and Pittsburgh wide receiver Derek Kinder (251st). Louis pieced together a serviceable professional career, but Iglesias survived only one year with the Bears, and Kinder never played a down in the NFL.
You can re-visit that entire draft here.
If there is one thing the lack of compensation picks going to the Bears suggests, it’s that the team needs to draft better. Because if the Bears draft better, players who leave via free agency will net the team a compensation pick. And then, the team can use said pick to re-stock the roster. It’s a net benefit of drafting well.
- This offseason has been deemed a critical one for the Bears, a team that simply can’t afford any more major missteps. Over at Bleacher Report, Chris Rosling lines up the best moves the Bears can make this offseason, while also listing the worst ones. Each move is well-argued and the piece is worth digging into and drawing your own conclusions. There is no secret some of the best moves would include addressing safety via free agency, and spending wisely altogether. While most would agree that some of the worst would be ignoring potential issues at linebacker, giving up on former first-round pick Kyle Fuller altogether, Rosling also offers that trading for Jimmy Garoppolo and allowing Jay Cutler to walk away for nothing would be mistakes. I bet there’s not consensus on those ones.
- Even though it appears as if the Bears are set at linebacker, things can change quickly – as they did last year. Jerrell Freeman, Danny Trevathan, and Leonard Floyd all missed significant time with injuries in 2016. So at minimum, the Bears should seek to improve their depth at the position. Bleacher Report ranks the outside linebackers of this free agent market, several of whom are suggested to be fits with the Bears. Among them are Bears free agent Sam Acho, Pittsburgh’s Jarvis Jones, and former Bear David Bass (who played for the team in 2013 and 2014) are potential fits for the Bears.
- Josh McCown, who still thinks Jay Cutler has what it takes to be a starting NFL quarterback, says he already has four or five suitors lined up inquiring about his services. McCown was released by the Browns in February, and could be a fit for a team looking for a reliable, proven NFL backup quarterback or a team in search of a bridge guy to hold it down while a developmental quarterback gets situated. There exists an argument for McCown to return to Chicago, but it is uncertain whether or not it is viable or not for the 37-year-old quarterback.
- Akiem Hicks had a breakout season with the Bears in 2016, earning the team’s Defensive Player of the Year award. The 27-year-old Hicks, who racked up career highs in sacks (seven) and tackles (38) in his first year with the Bears, has come a long way since the Combine, when he was performing after stints at Sacramento City College and the University of Regina:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 24, 2017
- There is uncertainty surrounding Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who missed the 2016 season with a gruesome knee injury and could miss time in 2017, too. Ian Rapoport’s video update notes that Minnesota’s front office is being very careful and cautious, so much so, the Vikings are anticipating going into 2017 with Sam Bradford as their starting quarterback.
- Further, Vikings GM Rick Spielman said that Bradford is in line to build on a record-setting year in the accuracy department as he enters the prime of his career. This is could be taken as a positive sign for Minnesota, especially considering that Spielman also said there is no timeline for Bridgewater’s return as of right now.
- In a move to add depth to their backfield, the Kansas City Chiefs signed running back C.J. Spiller, who is on his fourth team in five months. Spiller was picked ninth by the Buffalo Bills in the 2010 NFL Draft, and had a Pro Bowl season in 2012 when he rushed for 1,244 yards. However, Spiller has gained a total of 1,363 yards in 43 games (17 starts) over 322 carries in four years since.
- A free agent target along the defensive line is off the board as the San Francisco 49ers are expected to sign defensive tackle Earl Mitchell to a deal worth $16 million over four years. Mitchell was released by the Dolphins earlier in the week and received interest from the Broncos, Seahawks, and Falcons before settling on San Francisco.