Any time we can share good news regarding Kyle Long’s road to recovery, we’ll do so.
The latest update comes from Long, himself, who tweeted the following on Tuesday morning:
Had neck surgery two months ago, today was my checkup. Doctor said I not only healed very well but my bones have turned into steel. On a steel spine I ride pic.twitter.com/a5CVTX2S5v
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) February 13, 2018
Long announced he had successful neck surgery and shared his injury timeline in December and revealed he was “feeling great” in late January even though he knew what obstacles were ahead of him.
In February, it sounded as if Long was done with offseason surgeries which would be great news for him. It definitely hasn’t been an easy few years for the three-time Pro Bowl lineman who has fought to play through injuries for some struggling teams. Long has proven to be a leader in the early years of his Bears career, so it would be nice to surround him with more winning players this offseason.
- The road to upgrading the roster might technically start with free agency in March, but the path to sustainable success starts on draft weekend. Over at Da Bears Brothers Blog, Chris Bocker explains why the Bears’ commitment to drafting the best player available should be more than just lip service. Drafting the most talented player, no matter the position, upgrades the overall talent level on the roster, could provide much-needed depth, and inject playmaking ability at various positions of the roster. With as many needs as the Bears have going into this offseason, GM Ryan Pace would be foolish to approach the draft with any other philosophy.
- HOWEVER, there is one position the Bears won’t be drafting early in 2018 and that’s quarterback. And yet, it’s possible the player Pro Football Focus believes should be the No. 1 overall pick will be available when Chicago goes on the clock. PFF’s Sam Monson makes a case for Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield as the draft’s top prospect and worthy of being the first player selected in the draft. Monson believes Mayfield has the stats and tape that back up his status as the No. 1 player in his class. If that’s the case and the Bears are still fully on board with Mitch Trubisky, then the Bears could position themselves to trade back with a team that values Mayfield as their top priority. And that would be a win-win for a team that could stand to add some picks in the upcoming draft.
- In another quarterback angle, John Mullin of NBC Sports believes the Mitch Trubisky-Deshaun Watson comparisons should take a back seat to the budding one between Trubisky and Jimmy Garoppolo – who signed that HUGE contract extension with the San Francisco 49ers last week. Remember, the Bears were searching far and wide for their next quarterback at this time last year and trading for Garoppolo was an option. The Bears’ organization was already facing scrutiny for passing on Watson after his hot start prior to his season-ending ACL injury, and unless Pace builds a winner with Trubisky as the centerpiece, Watson won’t be the only quarterback Bears fans will be thinking about if things don’t go as planned.
- Then again, it would have been tough to sell the idea of trading first and third round picks for Garoppolo, then sinking a ton of cap space to ensure he remains with the team. With as many needs as the Bears have across the board, the Trubisky strategy could turn out to be the Bears’ best strategy to build a sustainable winner.
- As for the actual roster-building component of the offseason, it’s worth pointing out the Bears could make an addition before the free agency period officially begins if they were to come to terms with cornerback David Amerson, who met with the team last week. Competition for the former Raiders standout will be stiff and you can add the San Francisco 49ers as a team in the mix for Amerson’s services. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports the 49ers are on a list of teams that have expressed an interest in his client since being released by Oakland as the first transaction of the new Jon Gruden era.
- Speaking of offseason transactions, here’s a minor one from within the division announced by a player’s agent:
G/C Josh Andrews who just finished his 4th season w/the Philadelphia Eagles will be signing with the Minnesota Vikings… Lots of interest elsewhere, but opportunity was too good to pass up and he'll be joining my other clients Mike Remmers & Rashod Hill on Minnesota's line.
— Brett Tessler (@TesslerSports) February 12, 2018
- As for the other free agency period, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune has an assessment of the 25 Bears players eligible for free agency. If you’ll recall, there are several types of categories free agents fall into and the Bears will have their work cut out for them as a new coaching staff self-scouts its own roster before parting ways with players already on their roster.
- Over at BearsWire, Bryan Perez highlights Boise State receiver Cedrick Wilson as a potential late-round sleeper pick that GM Ryan Pace should keep an eye on. The Bears are expected to address the position via free agency (Jarvis Landry and/or Allen Robinson?) and early in the draft (Calvin Ridley? Christian Kirk?) but it wouldn’t be the worst idea to double-up in the draft with a Day 3 selection. Wilson caught 83 passes for 1,511 yards as a senior and could be available in Rounds 4-6.
- There’s really no easy way to massage this into a Bullets post, but I think it’s neat that Trubisky has some new digs according to the Chicago Tribune. And that the place used to be owned by one-time Bears receiver Muhsin Muhammad makes it that much more interesting.