Talking Through the Cuts, HBD Mack, Depth Addition, and Other Bears Bullets

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Talking Through the Cuts, HBD Mack, Depth Addition, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

If a baseball gets hit, but it isn’t televised, did it really happen? I guess Cubs fans who aren’t subscribed to a television provider who offers Marquee Sports Network will find out the hard way.

  • When Gabriel was on the field, he was one of the most fun weapons to watch on the Bears offense. He had speed that could stretch the field vertically, short-area quickness that helped him elude would-be tacklers on quick routes, and nifty dance moves when he scored touchdowns. Fun players are fun, and the Bears haven’t had enough of them on offense over the years. So while Gabriel’s success (and time) with the Bears was limited, I was fond of his work.
  • More importantly, I hope Gabriel gets to full strength from a health perspective. Gabriel had two concussions in 2019 and missed seven games. Going through Pro Football Reference’s injury reports of past seasons of Gabriel’s career, he has at least four documented concussions. Head injuries are serious and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I hope he gets to full health soon, regardless of what team he plays for in the future.
  • Parting ways with Amukamara is tough to swallow. Quality starting cornerbacks are hard to find, and the Bears deserve credit for snagging Amukamara when they did. When he first signed with the Bears, some were worried about his durability and possible longevity. After his rookie year, Amukamara had signed a few one-year contracts, but never landed a multi-year deal until re-signing with the Bears in 2018. As it turned out, Amukamara rewarded the Bears’ dice roll in 2017 when he signed a one-year “prove it” deal, then made good on the first two years of what was a three-year deal signed in 2018. Amukamara missed just four games in three seasons, with his best year coming in 2018 — a season in which he landed among PFF’s best performers.
  • Minor housekeeping:

  • The real challenge is in replacing Amukamara and Gabriel with suitable players. It would be nice if the Bears added speed on offense as they go about replacing Gabriel. Whether it’s a free agent, the NFL Draft, or (ideally) both. Nine receivers landed among Daniel Jeremiah’s top-50 prospects, which is worth keeping an eye on when we get closer to draft time.
  • As for replacing Amukamara, the Bears appear willing to enter this offseason leaning on its depth. But that doesn’t mean they won’t be players in the free agent market. GM Ryan Pace has had some hits (Tracy Porter, Amukamara) and misses (Marcus Cooper) when targeting short-term fill-in options at cornerback during his time running the show in Chicago. So perhaps a combo plan in which the Bears sign a stop-gap option, then draft a long-term option via the draft.
  • Part of me has concerns about Pace’s draft history at cornerback. The only corners he has drafted since 2015 are Deiondre’ Hall (a 2016 fourth-rounder who didn’t make it through to the end of his rookie deal with the team), Duke Shelley (a 2019 sixth-rounder who played more on special teams than he did on defense) and Stephen Denmark (a 2019 seventh-rounder who spent the entire year on the practice squad). The Bears sure could use a hit in this upcoming draft at a rather important position.
  • Some popular sentiments in the wake of the cuts::

  • Khalil Mack doesn’t eat cake on his birthday. He eats quarterbacks:

  • Are you still as excited about having Mack on your favorite team as I am? I hope so, because the guy is still getting it done at a high level. No, Mack didn’t look like his dominant self. But his “down” year still had him as a top-50 player in the entire league by PFF’s standards.
  • I chuckled:

  • More on this addition later:

Author: Luis Medina

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