Today was supposed to be baseball’s Opening Day. A day when I nerd out over the game I first loved with friends, family, and friends who might as well be family. Unfortunately, that isn’t happening. Not today, at least.
So long as we do our part in trying to stem the spread of COVID-19, I will maintain faith that Opening Day will still happen at some point this calendar year. Cubs fans will come together and rally around what’s left from the core of the 2016 World Series winner in hopes of having another summer of contention. White Sox fans will gather as they pin their hopes on a young core of rising star-caliber talents who could deliver the team’s first postseason berth since 2008. Baseball will be back, but we’ll need to be patient and show discipline through social distancing for it to happen.
Until then, we move on with this round of Bears Bullets.
- The Bears are *REALLY* into social distancing …
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 26, 2020
- … and so are Lions would-be tacklers.
- I have unearthed one thing I would describe as encouraging in this Bears offseason. Maybe I’m grasping at straws, but I am thoroughly intrigued by the trend of the Bears’ depth signings. Rolling the dice on change-of-scenery types (especially ones with first-round pedigrees) is something I can get behind. Barkevious Mingo, for example, was a top-10 pick in 2013. Germain Ifedi and Artie Burns were first-rounders in 2016. Will they live up to their full potential? They haven’t to this point, and I’m not sure there are enough signs to suggest they ever will. But one of the most beautiful things about football is that — without failure — every season produces a bounce-back story of someone discarded by their previous team who goes on to figure it out in a new home. The Bears have three such candidates, all of whom will be easy to root for this coming season.
- Even if none of the aforementioned players reach their ceiling, their presence on the roster should help the Bears create a sturdy floor. Chicago gets depth on special teams and defense with Burns and Mingo. The team gets offensive line depth with a player with experience at multiple positions with Ifedi. So even if he doesn’t start, there is some value in the signing. I realize these aren’t the flashiest additions, but every piece matters on a 55-man roster (remember, they’re bumping up roster sizes).
- Depth helped the Bears win the NFC North in 2018. It also kept the 2019 team from spiraling and bottoming out. I cannot stress enough the importance of depth in the grand scheme of things.
- Alex Ballentine (Bleacher Report) and Sean Wagner-McGough (CBS Sports) aren’t too fond of Chicago’s free agency efforts. The Bears get a “D” for their efforts from Ballentine, while picking up a “D+” from Wagner-McGough. Clearly, folks don’t get as much of a kick out of Chicago’s hoarding of post-hype sleepers as much as I do. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose.
- It’s tough to argue too hard against harsh grading right now. Sure, the Bears added competition to the quarterbacks room, but it was far from an inspiring move. Nick Foles could be good in a system he is familiar with and coaches who know and trust his work. But good might not be enough to go from being 8-8 to back to the postseason. The team still has holes at three starting spots (RG1, WR2, CB2) even after handing out big-ticket guarantees to tight end Jimmy Graham and pass-rusher Robert Quinn, as well as a modest deal for linebacker Danny Trevathan. But with the NFL Draft coming up in April, I’m going to withhold full offseason grades until that process goes in the books.
- Whenever Cam Newton comes back, whichever teams gets him will have one motivated dude:
- Pro Football Focus still views Chicago as a potential landing spot for Cam Newton. That is a bit surprising in the wake of the Nick Foles news, if only because it is nearly impossible to imagine fitting two high-priced salaries and Mitch Trubisky’s $9 million under one roof in the quarterbacks room. Maybe there is a scenario in which Foles works out a ridiculously team-friendly deal and Newton commands an incentive-filled one-year price tag. But for that to even work, I imagine Trubisky would have to be shipped out — if only to avoid the awkwardness of a situation where he would be replaced twice over. Perhaps there is a plausible scenario I’m not thinking about right now, but I still think the idea of Newton on the Bears is a stretch.
- Dave Wannstedt isn’t giving up on Mitch Trubisky just yet:
Mitchell Trubisky getting the first chance, then everyone screaming for Nick Foles as soon as Trubisky throws his first interception.
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) March 25, 2020
- Elsewhere for your listening pleasure:
- Ben Braunecker has a unique perspective in the fight against COVID-19 as someone who was a Molecular and Cellular Biology major at Harvard:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 25, 2020
- Way to go, Charles Leno Jr.:
Count 72 in for $7,200. If you’re able to in these times, check out the link below. https://t.co/C1qp8QCXZa
— Charles Leno Jr (@charleslenojr72) March 25, 2020
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Brittany and I are committing $5,000,000 to the State of Louisiana in 2020. The priority now is helping our communities get through this tough time. After considerable research and conversations with local organizations, we will be mobilizing our partnerships with Second Harvest Food Bank, Ochsner Health Systems, Walk-Ons, Jimmy Johns, Smalls Sliders and Waitr to prepare and deliver over 10,000 meals per day throughout Louisiana for as long as it takes to children on meal programs, seniors, and families in need. Let’s all do our part, maintain hope, and get through this together.
- Butler vs. Cutler: Who ya got?
📢 We need YOUR help determining who to feature in our upcoming photo gallery – Bears players & numbers: Who wore it best?
Vote on #6 below and others 👉: https://t.co/0rtU8SUR6c
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 25, 2020