Bringing Back O'Donnell, Brown Heads to the Jets, Free Agent Teases, and Other Bullets

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Bringing Back O’Donnell, Brown Heads to the Jets, Free Agent Teases, and Other Bullets

Chicago Bears

Because I’m waiting for the last minute to pack for my March Madness-fueled Vegas trip, I’m going to forget to pack something, aren’t I?

  • The Bears shared a tweet that made our hearts skip a beat for a moment:

  • Oh, you tease! Using an image of free agent pass-rusher Justin Houston (who we’ve talked about as a possible fit) with a wink-and-a-nod is deliciously evil.
  • And in what might be just a coincidence, the Bears *did* sign a free agent shortly after that post. In case you missed it, punter Pat O’Donnell is back in the mix after reportedly agreeing to a two-year contract.
  • It’s a deal that brings mixed feelings. On one hand, the Bears are bringing back a familiar face, someone who had a solid regular season, and was the best available free agent punter on the market (and it’s not as if an average annual salary of $2 million is prohibitive). On the other hand, O’Donnell’s last punt was a playoff shank-job that is still fresh in everyone’s memory. A better punt gives the Bears defense more of a fighting chance to stop the Eagles game-winning touchdown drive, thus keeping Cody Parkey away from being the goat because the game wouldn’t have come down to his 43-yard kick.
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
  • To be clear, two kicks did not cost the Bears a playoff win against the Eagles. But there was a point this offseason when Chicago didn’t have a kicker, punter, or long snapper, which could have allowed for a much-needed clean slate across the board. It’s possible the Bears could have found an O’Donnell replacement in the draft who could provide more production at a lower cost. That wouldn’t have been the worst thing in the world for a team with certain salary cap restraints.
  • I’m not sure how much the holder has to do with the kicker, but I suppose it’s worth sharing these numbers for the sake of conversation:

  • In the end, the punter won’t matter too much if the Bears offense does this on every possession:

  • Seriously, though. If you don’t want to put the game in the hands (or at the feet) of the special teams units, score touchdowns. It’s as simple as that!
  • More touchdowns, more swag. And the new guys are all about it:

  • It’s wild to think that it wasn’t all that long ago when the Bears weren’t viewed as a destination. As a public-facing head coach, Matt Nagy has led the charge in this change. And while we’re just one year into the Nagy era, it sure looks like GM Ryan Pace made a good hire.
  • Clear some time in your day to read Dan Wiederer’s free-agency storylines at the Chicago Tribune. The Bears weren’t as active in free agency as they had been in the past, but it allows for a deeper look at the few free agents they snagged off the market.
  • Another ex-Bear is off to New York:

  • Tight end Daniel Brown is signing with the Jets, where he’ll join wide receiver Joshua Bellamy, Head Coach Adam Gase, and Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains. Brown had a disappointing 2018, though he didn’t get much playing time to show off what he could bring to the offense. In 2017, the Bears used him as a receiving tight end (who might as well have been a receiver) who I thought could have potential in Nagy’s offense. But because Brown fell behind Ben Braunecker on the depth chart, it wasn’t happening.
  • Eric Kush held his own in pass-protection last year:

  • That left guard platoon worked out pretty well, didn’t it? Kush held it down while James Daniels sharpened his tools. And when the time was right, Daniels took over and never looked back. Onward!
  • Right there with you, #58:

  • LOL:

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.