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- With the Bears’ coaching staff and front office rolling deep at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, it’s time to turn our attention to the players who could be added to the roster via the NFL Draft. ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson writes wide receiver, cornerback, and linebacker are the three positions the Bears should focus on at the Combine. It makes sense considering the team’s long-standing need at receiver, possible needs at cornerback depending on what happens with Fuller, and the squad’s newly created need at outside linebacker upon the release of Pernell McPhee and Willie Young.
- If the Bears stand pat with the No. 8 pick, they’ll be in a position to draft an impact player at each of those positions. And depending on what happens ahead of them in the draft, things are lining up for the Bears to take the top player at their position in this class. Possibilities include Denzel Ward (cornerback, Ohio State), Tremaine Edmunds (linebacker, Virginia Tech), and Calvin Ridley (receiver, Alabama). In any case, it would be a fun way to start the draft weekend by adding a top-tier talent.
- JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago offers up five questions the Bears will start answering during this week’s Combine. If you think about the team’s needs, then the questions will present themselves. Draft questions surrounding the second-best pass rusher (assuming North Carolina State’s Bradley Chubb won’t be available) and if the eighth pick is too early to draft an interior lineman like Quenton Nelson will take center stage, especially among those who believe rushing the passer and protecting him are the two most important aspects of the game. And what will the impact be if four quarterbacks going before the Bears pick at No. 8? So many questions, but soon, the Combine will help us find our answers.
- Over at Pro Football Weekly, Bob LeGere writes about how the front office will start its quest toward building around Mitch Trubisky. Because no matter what happens ahead of them in the draft, just know the Bears’ belief in Trubisky allows the team to come into the Combine in a position to select the NFL Draft’s best available non-quarterback prospect. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t ignore what’s happening at the most important position on the field, but it’s a bit assuring not to be worried about who’s throwing at the Combine.
- The Bears have made so many roster cuts, it has left Kyle Long, age 29, as the team’s oldest player. No, seriously:
— Aaron Leming (@AaronLemingNFL) February 28, 2018
DAB DAB DAB MAMA WE MADE IT https://t.co/gTYLPDoR1I
— Kyle (@Ky1eLong) February 28, 2018
- One of those cuts could find a new home sooner than you might think:
Could potentially return to Bucs as backup QB … https://t.co/kfuALETh5C
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) February 28, 2018
- One is one of football’s brightest offensive minds and a coach believed to be the best coaching candidate to ever learn under Andy Reid. The other is Eagles coach Doug Pederson:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 28, 2018
- More Matt Forte highlights? Sure thing:
- The Green Bay Packers have had discussions with Aaron Rodgers’ representation regarding a possible extension, reports ESPN’s Rob Demovsky. The two sides are making progress toward a deal, according to Packers President Mark Murphy, who added new GM Brian Gutekunst and fellow executive Russ Ball are involved in talks. All things considered, I imagine Rodgers’ deal will surpass that of Jimmy Garoppolo – whose major payday might be dwarfed this offseason by a free agent quarterback.
- An update regarding Kirk Cousins and a potential match with the Minnesota Vikings comes from Matthew Paras of the Washington Times. “I know there have been a thousand reports out there on how we’re going to move forward,” Vikings GM Rick Spielman told reporters on Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “We’re going to continue to evolve this process. I’ll go through the meetings this week with agents. When we get back, I”ll circle around and finalize a game plan as we move forward.” According to OverTheCap.com, the Vikings have more than $48.4 million in available cap space. And if Minnesota moves on from Case Keenum, Teddy Bridgewater, and Sam Bradford, then Cousins might be a perfect long-term solution for the NFC North champs.
- The Bears aren’t the only team with a cornerback conundrum, though Chicago’s issues (as detailed here) could become magnified if starters Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara walk away. ESPN’s Michael Rothstein reports the Lions might try to solve their own problems with internal solutions. GM Bob Quinn suggests that rookies Teez Tabor and Jamal Agnew could step into roles previously filled by free-agents-to-be D.J. Hayden and Nevin Lawson. “We drafted those guys for a reason last year, and when we evaluated them in the postseason process, we liked what they did and their role,” Quinn said. Detroit has $27.1 million in cap space and could be in the market to acquire free agent Malcolm Butler and reunite him with former Patriots Defensive Coordinator Matt Patricia, who is now the Lions’ head coach.