I’m going to be spending a few days in Las Vegas coming up. Here’s hoping I can get the Bears at a good number before they go nuts in free agency and build a Super Bowl contender over night.
Speaking of which, here are the latest Super Bowl odds, which still have the Bears among the longest long-shots:
— Covers (@Covers) March 6, 2018
- An interesting nugget from NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport highlighting the Bears’ belief that better days were ahead for Kyle Fuller despite the challenges that were standing in his way:
Kyle Fuller didn't play a snap in 2016 and I talked to teams who wanted to trade for him. The #Bears resisted, believing in the player. This is a cool success story, with GM Ryan Pace saying they will “continue to work on a long-term deal." https://t.co/lcNNmf0x2g
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 6, 2018
- Just because Fuller is about to get a pretty hefty pay raise doesn’t mean we should lose sight of how far he’s come in the last year. He was coming off a season lost to injury that followed two inconsistent years before that, which put him on the cusp of being buried on the depth chart after free agency. And yet, the Bears resisted the urge to give up on Fuller and trade him. Instead, they let it play out and that’s how we got to where we are today. It truly is a great success story that hopefully has more chapters to come.
- The official list of players who were tagged (other than Fuller, of course) is as followed: receiver Jarvis Landry (Dolphins), defensive end Ezekiel Ansah (Lions), defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (Cowboys), safety Lemarcus Joyner (Rams), and running back Le’Veon Bell (Steelers). That’s it.
- Because the Rams decided to tag Joyner and the Jaguars refrained from giving the tag to Allen Robinson, the wide receiver market looks better today than it figured to earlier this offseason. And while it’ll cost a pretty penny (or two) to sign Robinson away from the Jaguars or Sammy Watkins from the Rams, both are clearly at the top of the free agent receiver pecking order.
- Even though Landry received the franchise tag, his days with the Miami Dolphins are limited. With that in mind, it’s clear that Palm Beach Post columnist Dave George is disappointed in this development. George believes the Dolphins will regret trading Landry, assuming that’s what it will come to at some point before the new league year begins. Citing spending sprees in prior seasons that resulted in the additions of players who haven’t produced to what their contracts were, George offers up Landry as the kind of player Miami *should* be trying to sign to a big payday. No argument here. The Dolphins-Landry situation is playing out publicly how I imagine the Bears-Alshon Jeffery struggle would have looked had the Bears not done what they did in not extending the tag offer. In the end, someone is going to get a good receiver, thanks in part to the drafting and development done by the Dolphins.
- The alternatives to Landry are plenty. Over at FanRag Sports, Kyle Posey lists the Bears among the three best fits for Falcons free agent receiver Taylor Gabriel. Posey believes the offensive braintrust of Matt Nagy and Mark Helfrich could carve out a role for the speedy receiver who would be an upgrade from what the Bears rolled out as pass catchers onto the gridiron last season. Adding a burner like Gabriel would certainly add a new dimension to the Bears’ offense, but I can’t imagine him as a top option for the Bears until the likes of Landry, Robinson, Watkins, and Albert Wilson are officially off the board.
- I suppose this is a good time to point out the Bears are going to be in on every free agent receiver. Having the Bears “in the market” for as many possible targets as possible will drive up player interest and probably salaries, too. Which brings us back to something tweeted at this time last year:
Either the Bears are either interested in EVERY free agent or agents know the Bears won't refute fake news regarding their interest.
— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) March 7, 2017
"Well you know who IS interested in my client?"
/lights a cigar
– Every Agent in Football https://t.co/K9u9hDtm6P
— Luis M. (@lcm1986) March 7, 2017
- All due credit to Mauricio Rubio for gifting that wonderful tweet to the Internet once upon a time on Baseball Twitter.
- Anyway, the Bears don’t have to be married to using free agency to find receiver help. The NFL Draft order is now set and the Bears have the following picks: 8, 39, 105, 115 (via the Arizona Cardinals), 145, 181, 224. If you’ll recall, the Bears don’t have a third-round pick because they sent it to the San Francisco 49ers as part of the Mitch Trubisky deal. And while it’s on our mind, let’s ask a question: Would you rather have the third-round pick, but be in the market for a quarterback or have Trubisky, but be without a third-round selection in a draft where quality players at positions of need will be available in Round 3.
- It’s worth repeating, but Bears GM Ryan Pace deserves a pat on the back for acquiring receiver Dontrelle Inman for nothing as the conditional pick that could have gone to the Los Angeles Chargers never even left the Bears’ possession.
- Over at the Detroit Lions’ official website, Senior Writer Tim Twentyman compiles a list of the players who were the most impressive at the Scouting Combine. It’s no surprise that Penn State running back Saquon Barkley is at the top of the list, but teammate Mike Gesicki (tight end) is among the few outside-the-box prospects I haven’t had my eye on. Now that these players are on the radar of a division rival, it’s about time we pay better attention to other teams in the Bears’ division.
- Speaking of tight ends, I imagine this number would be bigger for the Bears if they were out in patterns more often:
Missed tackles forced by TEs for each team during the 2017 season pic.twitter.com/J6c5BC7Wvh
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 6, 2018