Reasons for Optimism, Some More Mack Love, NFL and GMs Disagree About Draft, and Other Bears Bullets

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Reasons for Optimism, Some More Mack Love, NFL and GMs Disagree About Draft, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

The work-from-home set-up might need a bit of tweaking by the end of the week. Perhaps shifting spots will help shake me out of the slump I’ve had the last couple of mornings.

  • I am 100 percent here for the optimism, Kap:

  • The offseason is far from over. And the start of the regular season is even further in the distance. But there are reasons to think the Bears can win the division and make the playoffs in 2020. Much of the core of the 2018 NFC North champions is still hanging around, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. On offense, Allen Robinson is still hanging in there, while Javon Wims, Anthony Miller, and Riley Ridley still have growth to make in order to start reaching their potential. Running back David Montgomery showed flashes when he was given steady carries, but wasn’t given enough burn on a consistent basis to show out like he could. There is reason to be hopeful, and it doesn’t take much to get to a point where you’re telling yourself “Yeah, the Bears can do this thing!”
  • And if a first-place schedule in 2019 was reason enough for some to be pessimistic about the Bears’ chances to repeat as division champs, then a third-place schedule in 2020 should be ample reason to believe a bounce-back year is on the horizon. Or does that line of thought only work when it fits a particular narrative?
  • Of course, quarterback remains an issue. Mitch Trubisky took a step back last season and no one is sure what his future holds. Nor does anyone know how he will respond to an offseason in which the Bears were (1) connected to numerous high-profile names on the open market (including discussions with Teddy Bridgewater’s representation before he signed with the Panthers and conversations with the Panthers regarding Cam Newton before ultimately deciding to trade for Nick Foles). Life is less about falling down and more about how you bounce back up. And with Trubisky riding on the last year of his rookie deal, the bounce back has to be real from him. Otherwise, his days in Chicago will be numbered.
  • To be clear, the team still has work to do at some key starting spots. Artie Burns isn’t a clear-cut CB2. And the Bears have yet to address WR2 or RG1 spots on the field. Are we sure Deon Bush is a fully capable SS1 starting across from Eddie Jackson? It’s stuff like that which makes it difficult to get fully on board with the idea that the Bears are going to win the division and make the playoffs in 2020. And yet, it won’t take much to get there if you really think about it.
  • For what it’s worth, there are still plenty of free agents who are still un-signed, the NFL Draft is less than a month away from taking place, and you can never rule out a trade. Not when GM Ryan Pace is around. Pick up some thrifty free agents, have a good draft, supplement depth with undrafted free agent signings, and go out there and ball the heck out.
  • For those of you on the less optimistic side of the ledger, here’s something for you:

  • The gambler in me sees tremendous value in the Bears bottoming out, positioning themselves to presumably draft Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence, then shooting back to the top of the NFC North standings. But the fan in me fears the fall would coincide with another waste of the prime years of players on a stellar defense. Guh. These could be great times or trying ones. Buckle up.
  • Speaking of the draft, the league and its owners disagree about the timing:

  • The NFL, as a league, wants things to proceed as normal. It wants to stick with the April 23-25 dates as scheduled, even if the show must go on from another location that isn’t Las Vegas. HOWEVER, NFL general managers have recommended that the draft gets rescheduled. Response to the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown the sports world for a loop, but the NFL has kept chugging along with free agency and the new league year as planned. The draft is less than a month away, but I suppose general managers have good reason to want to push the draft back. Concerns regarding not having enough time for prospect meetings, physicals, and thorough vetting are valid, as far as I’m concerned. Then again, what is there that will be learned between now and April 23 that wasn’t already known?
  • I don’t think this is the last we’ll hear of draft-related changes.
  • Were you interested in the Bears making a run at Stephen Gostkowski? I can’t blame you. But Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets some clarifications as to why the Pats parted ways with their all-time leading scorer. “Releasing Gostkowski wan’t about the money or the cap space,” Volin tweeted. “Pats simply want a new kicker.” That’s certainly sobering. Cutting Gostkowski created less than $1 million in cap space, not $3.5 million as originally reported. So … yeah, that about sums it up. I hear Cody Parkey is available.
  • Watching this is good for the soul:

  • As if you needed an update, yes, the Khalil Mack trade is one every sensible Bears fan would make:

  • I’ve read about future Twitter changes that are aimed to kill the ratio, but I hope they never get around to making said changes. The ratio is good, healthy, and a reminder that you’re bound to get dunked on if you say something silly on the internet. It’s almost as if being thoughtful with the words you say and perspectives you provide matters. Heckuva concept.
  • In the end, acquiring good players for your football team is good business. Not everything has to be about cost-control and extreme values. Put elite talent on your team, supplement those guys with other good players, win football games, then profit.
  • Some perspective on what’s happening globally:

  • A former Bear checks in with story time:

  • Does anyone in this division like the moves their team has made?

  • Our friends at BN Bulls have an idea what to watch during these quarantine times:

Author: Luis Medina

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