There are 16 spring training games scheduled to be played today. SIXTEEN. So if you’re looking for something to keep you occupied on a Saturday afternoon, America’s pastime could keep you company and allow you to kick the can down the road on the housework you don’t want to do today.
- In case you missed it, Bears kicker Cody Parkey is to be released at the start of the new league year. It’s a fresh start for a kicker who never found his footing in Chicago. And most important of all, it’s a clean slate for a team that needs to get this position right in order to maintain its position as contenders in this competitive window created by GM Ryan Pace. The easy part is over. Now the Bears are left to find a kicker who doesn’t double-doink the big ones. No pressure, folks.
- We still don’t know the terms of release, but the folks at spotrac give us an idea of an option that could be on the table:
Cody Parkey currently holds $5.1875M of dead cap w/ the #Bears, including $3.5M of guaranteed salary. Assuming he’s designated a Post 6/1 release, he’ll leave behind cap hits of $4.0625M in 2019 & $1.125M in 2020. https://t.co/qhr32GgJrc
— Spotrac (@spotrac) February 23, 2019
- He’s all yours, Vikings fans:
It will be interesting to see if the Vikings make a run at kicker Cody Parkey after he is released from the Bears. He had a top season with Miami in 2017 when new Vikings special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf was with the Dolphins.
— Chris Tomasson (@christomasson) February 23, 2019
- OK, so it’s Robbie Gould time … right? Not so fast, my friends. The expectation remains that the best free agent kicker on the market won’t even make it there because the 49ers could place the Franchise or Transition tag on him if the two sides don’t come to an agreement on the long-term deal he wants. NBC Chicago’s Grizzly Detail Bears blog caught up with Gould at the Chicago Golf Show, where Gould explained that he understood where Bears fans were coming from when it comes to the speculation regarding a possible return home.
- If you want to hold out hope for the storybook ending, then go ahead. I encourage dreamers to think big, shoot for the moon, and all that jazz. By no means am I a dream-killer. There is a non-zero chance Gould gets tagged. I mean, there was a time last year when Graham Gano was expected to get the Franchise tag from the Panthers. Heck, Le’Veon Bell was expected to be tagged earlier this week. Situations are fluid, and since you can’t script this stuff, I’m looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
- Speaking of Bell, his trainer strongly disputes the claims that his client has ballooned into a blimp during his time off. “It’s so untrue it’s laughable and ridiculous,” Pete Bommarito said, via Fansided’s Jason Cole and Matt Verderame. “He has stuck to the plan and stayed in shape all year. It’s ridiculous. Where does this stuff come from? Who says this? Nobody asked me.”
- Maybe the Bell weight-gain thing has been blown out of proportion. After all, Bell isn’t suiting up to play until September. It’s not like Bell doesn’t have OTAs, minicamps, training camp, and the preseason to get into game shape.
- On a more positive note, I can’t get enough Khalil Mack infused hype vids:
- The Bears have the nicest tight end in the division:
2018's highest-graded tight ends in the NFC North pic.twitter.com/y2Gf10EfiF
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) February 22, 2019
- The Jimmy Graham fall-off is eye-opening. Not only did he not look like the player he once was, Graham looked like a shell of himself. Graham struggled in his first year with the Seahawks, too. Eventually, he bounced back from it. But bouncing back at age 33 doesn’t figure to be any easier than it was at age 30.
- Something for Mitch Trubisky to work on in the offseason:
You didn't need a chart to know this, but Mahomes' deep numbers and accuracy are far ahead of Watson and Trubisky's. pic.twitter.com/o3jKOey4tv
— Johnny Kinsley (@Brickwallblitz) February 22, 2019
- Seeing these numbers isn’t much of a surprise. However, they remind me of how much time Trubisky spent after practice working on his deep throws. Perhaps that should have been a tell that it was something that needed to be worked on. Frankly, the deep passing game wasn’t often part of the game plan in Dowell Loggains’ offense or while Trubisky was at North Carolina. Trubisky has referred to himself as a rhythm passer, which seems to check out because he clearly improved as he received more reps in the offense. But still … he isn’t where he needs to be just yet. I’m looking forward to see how much he can grow.
- Some clarity on where the Bears’ other seventh-round pick has landed:
For those who were wondering about the conditional Eagles 7th round pick coming back to the #Bears in the Deiondre' Hall trade… Well the #Bears get it and it's Denver's pick owned by Philadelphia. 8th pick in 7th round, 222nd overall).
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) February 23, 2019
- This is a fun look at what the Bears have done with picks in the same slot before:
Here are the 2019 Bears draft picks, and more importantly, the last player they drafted at each slot (Round-overall pick):
3-87 (Dustin Lyman, 2000)
4-126 (Jay Wilkinson, 1964)
5-162 (Ken Miller, 1954)
7-222 (Chester Adams, 2008)
7-238 (Nick Buonamici, 1977)
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) February 22, 2019
- Peanut Tillman was that dude! Celebrate his contributions to Bears football by wishing him a happy birthday:
- Congratulations to Zac Robinson on becoming the next hot NFL coaching candidate:
Sean McVay is hiring Zac Robinson as Zac Taylor’s successor in LA and the Rams’ new assistant QB coach, per source. Robinson is a former NFL practice squad QB, PFF analyst, and QB trainer. The two finalists were him and former NFL QB Bruce Gradkowski.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 23, 2019