The Chicago Bears have come out like gang-busters as they attempt to rebuild their offense into something resembling a modern NFL outfit.
They needed a certified No. 1 wide receiver and got it with Allen Robinson, who intends to sign with the team when the new league year begins on Wednesday.
Help at tight end? It’s coming in the form of Trey Burton, who is expected to sign a four-year deal that should lead him to an expanded role in the offense. Oh yeah, they are also expected to officially sign Cody Parkey, a Pro Bowl kicker who made 91.3 percent of his field goals in 2017. These three moves have improved an offense that desperately needed it and it all happened very quickly.
I love it when a plan comes together.
- Speaking of loving when a plan falls into place, check out what Allen Robinson – the Bears’ new No. 1 receiver – had to say about why he chose the Bears:
Last Nite: WR Allen Robinson to me on why he selected #CHI: “I like what coach (Matt) Nagy did from an offensive standpoint in Kansas City. Me being able to see what he did in KC, being able to know that he is an offensive-minded coach & seeing what he’s done before (helped me).” https://t.co/OFLqaGmqA5
— Josina Anderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 13, 2018
- Think of it this way: A top-flight free agent who is still in his prime chose to play for the Chicago Bears because of their offensive-minded head coach. It’s mind-blowing to think about where the Bears are now compared to where they were just a year ago at this time (when players were purposefully avoiding the city). We discussed more things Robinson said that hinted about how much he liked the Bears situation earlier today.
- You know what’s good, Mr. Robinson? You being on the Bears:
What’s good Chicago!!!? pic.twitter.com/DY11dfKxO1
— Allen Robinson II (@Thee_AR15) March 13, 2018
- Mitch Trubisky is the one-and-only selling point the Bears have, opines Steve Rosenbloom of the Chicago Tribune. My gut tells me that angle is going to change in the wake of the Bears’ spending spree and with Robinson’s comments (but it’s still a good thing). Obviously, money talks … but players are more willing to listen if there are other factors in play that can sway their feelings.
- JJ Stankevitz of NBC Sports Chicago has a more accurate pitch from a Bears perspective, and it turns out to be the one they’re selling best. With stability and upside in tow, it was due time for GM Ryan Pace to bring in the right kinds of free agents. So far, so good if you ask me.
- Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune sees cornerback Prince Amukamara and outside linebacker Sam Acho as players to keep an eye on that could be in the mix to return to Chicago or seek greener pastures. Amukamara was one of the team’s highest-graded corners by Pro Football Focus’ standards, and while he hasn’t come up with an interception since 2015, he was a reliable cover corner whose presence forced quarterbacks to throw to the other side of the field. Acho filled in admirably at outside linebacker after waves of injuries depleted the season, though he didn’t get much pressure on the quarterback. Acho also had a solid year as a run defender and has long been a core special teamer.
- While the Bears continue their quest to add playmakers, they will soon say goodbye to the quarterback who started in Week 1 last year. Per Kevin Patra: NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports the Arizona Cardinals have Mike Glennon their radar once he is officially released. Remember, the Bears can’t contractually release Glennon until the start of the new league year – which begins at 3 p.m. on Wednesday. From there, Glennon will be free to look for a backup job elsewhere.
- If Glennon lands in Arizona, he’ll cross paths with another quarterback who was a Week 1 starter in the NFC North. Albeit, one who was a bit more successful than Glennon. Kent Somers of AZCentral.com reports the Cardinals will sign Sam Bradford once Kirk Cousins’ deal with the Minnesota Vikings (yep, that happened today too) becomes official. ESPN’s Adam Schefter chimes in with the contractual stuff that everyone cares about, as he reports Bradford’s deal is a one-year pact worth $20 million that includes $15 million guaranteed, which also comes with a second-year option for $20 million. Bradford seemed to find himself in Minnesota, where he made 17 starts, completed 71.8 of his passes, and posted a robust 101.1 passer rating.
- Back to Somers, who lays out a plan of attack that featured Bradford and Josh McCown as the top two Plan B options after Cousins. But with Bradford seemingly in place, they can now move their focus to Plan C, which includes Glennon, Teddy Bridgewater, and A.J. McCarron. Bradford and Bridgewater probably have the most upside, though their injury histories will limit each until proven to be healthy. McCarron is a wild card in search of an opportunity with a new team.
- One free agent the Bears will need to replace is inside linebacker Christian Jones, who is reportedly headed to the Detroit Lions. Ian Rapoport reports that Jones, who has started 31 of 63 games he appeared in over the last four years, will receive a signing bonus of $2.8 million as part of a two-year deal worth $7.75 million. Jones signed as an undrafted free agent in 2014, successfully made the conversion from Mel Tucker’s 4-3 defense to Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme, and was a quality contributor as a reserve, spot starter, and on special teams. His presence will be missed on several levels and the Lions will get a defender versatile enough to play in several areas on Matt Patrcia’s defense.
- The Bears signing Trey Burton to a four-year deal probably puts them out of the market for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, who was rumored to be on the team’s radar. Seferian-Jenkins will likely move on to some other tight end-needy teams, which includes the Jaguars and Colts, whose interest was stated alongside that of the Bears.
- Even though the Bears signed a kicker, the team has at least two special teams jobs to fill this offseason. One of them is the long snapper, as Brad Biggs of the Tribune reports the team won’t tender a contract to Patrick Scales. He suffered an ACL injury during the preseason, but is expected to be healthy when football season resumes. The Bears’ other long snapper (Andrew DePaola) is a free agent.