Mark Sanchez’s playing time in 2017 was limited to six pass attempts in the preseason. His biggest contribution to the Chicago Bears last season might have been this moment as Mitch Trubisky’s hype man. So his four-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs comes as a bit of a surprise.
ESPN’s Josina Anderson has Sanchez’s full statement, which cites “supplement contamination” as a reason for the failed test.
A PED suspension for a glorified QBs Coach. Can’t say I saw that coming.
- Cameron Meredith’s departure doesn’t make me less excited about the future of the Bears’ wide receiver position because of the players who were brought into the mix are fresh faces who bring new things to the table. While Allen Robinson is the obvious headliner, Taylor Gabriel is an intriguing player with a fascinating skill set. To that end, Gabriel sounds excited to be apart of the group of playmakers that includes Robinson, Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, Jordan Howard, and Tarik Cohen. “Just to have all those guys in the same room, it’s great,” Gabriel said, via Larry Mayer of the Bears’ official website. “It’s like saying, ‘I have all these superheroes, which superhero do I want to use?’ You want to use all of them, so that’s a good problem to have; too many weapons.”
- Gabriel joined Bears All-Access on WSCR-AM 670, where he shared his optimism about the Bears offense under Mitch Trubisky. “I talked to him and told him I love his swag,” Gabriel said. “I love the things that he brings to a team.” You can hear Gabriel’s full interview and the entire All-Access program here.
- At least one of the superheroes Gabriel referred to isn’t getting as much love as others. ESPN’s Mike Sando surveys NFL GMs and other executives in an attempt to put together a list of the best values and overpays, and Bears tight end Trey Burton isn’t listed among the best values. At four-years, $32 million, Burton checks in as one of the top-5 worst overpays, citing Burton’s limited experience as an offensive contributor. The Bears are certainly rolling the dice on a player who caught just 23 passes and averaged 19 offensive snaps per game. Because the Bears aren’t in win-now mode or on the cusp of Super Bowl contention, However, these are the types of risks teams like the Bears take in free agency. Hopefully, this ends better than the investment the team made in Dion Sims, who never lived up to the offseason hype.
- If you pinned me in a corner and forced a prediction out of me, I would guess that free agent Dez Bryant won’t be joining Gabriel’s group of superheroes. Sure, the Bears have a need at the position, but it sounds like he wants to stay in the NFC East for the opportunity to stick it to his former employer twice a year. HOWEVER, that the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual as of this time. ESPN’s Chris Mortensen tweets: “It’s early but Dez Bryant’s goal to play in the NFC East is not being embraced at this moment by Redskins, Giants and Cowboys.” Of course, things could change, and could do so in short order. This still feels like the kind of splash signing Washington owner Dan Synder would love to make and has made in the past. That’s probably the NFC East squad I’d keep an eye on.
- For what it’s worth, the Bears don’t pop up on ESPN’s list of best fits for Bryant. Even though Bryant hasn’t posted a 1,000-yard receiving season since 2014, he still figures to get a ton of attention on the open market. ESPN polled each of its 32 NFL Nation writers and came up with the Bills, Ravens, Saints, and (ugh) Packers as the teams who make the most sense for the dynamic and polarizing receiver. Each of these teams has a need at the position, except the Saints, but they have been connected to many high-profile free agents (including Jimmy Graham and Jordy Nelson) so they could be looking to make a big splash before the draft.
- Where new free agent receiver Bennie Fowler fits into the offense remains to be seen, but he figures to be battling Joshua Bellamy for a role as back-end depth receiver and special teams contributor. Here are some Fowler highlights to enjoy this morning:
- You go, we go … right? Isn’t that how it’s supposed to work?
- Jarvis Landry, who was often connected to the Bears early in the offseason, has been rewarded with a big-money contract with the Cleveland Browns before he even took the field for the rebuilding franchise. Landry’s new deal with Cleveland is a five-year pact worth up to $75 million, which NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports includes $47 million. Landry’s guaranteed total represents the most given to a receiver, while the total value is the third most among receivers, trailing just Mike Evans ($82.5 million from the Buccaneers) and DeAndre Hopkins ($81 million from the Texans). Crazy money, indeed. At least, crazy enough to understand why the Dolphins felt the need to unload their top pass-catcher and why there was such a limited market for his services.
- On the other side of the ball, it’s not a surprise to see the Bears defense rank in the top half of the league in this category:
Ranking teams in the NFL by deep passing yards allowed pic.twitter.com/bnvybDtSvn
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 14, 2018
- No wonder the team was comfortable bringing back both of the starting corners from last year’s secondary.
- I hope you got the Bears at +10000 (or to put it another way, 100/1) when you had a chance:
Odds to win Super Bowl 53 (@BovadaLV):
— OddsShark (@OddsShark) April 14, 2018