Knowing I have one more night of sleep as a 33-year-old has me thinking about the last 365 days. What a trip. Let’s make the most of the last day, shall we?
• Since the Bears have 70 percent (give or take) of the NFL’s active tight ends on their roster, at least *ONE* of them should be on this list:
Who is this year's breakout tight end?https://t.co/l6cmeuPXjn
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) June 30, 2020
• SPOILER ALERT: Nope.
• My original thought was to frame this around the Bears’ tight end problem, which has been apparent since the team traded Martellus Bennett after the 2015 season. But instead, I want to focus on Chicago’s attempt at solutions.
• The Bears selected Cole Kmet with their first second-round pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Beyond being a local kid with a good story, Kmet was the draft’s top-ranked prospect at his position based on our composite rankings (which were based on opinions from PFF, ESPN, CBS Sports, and Walter Football). And while I have my issues with not getting absolute peak value where the Bears drafted, it’s not as if there isn’t value in getting the best player on the board at a given position. In short, Chicago addressed their biggest perceived offensive weakness (non-QB edition) with the top-ranked prospect in the class. That’s certainly one way to go about solving a problem.
• In addition to drafting Kmet, the Bears hit free agency to bring in some veteran know-how. The Jimmy Graham signing garnered a ton of attention this offseason, and understandably so. Graham is coming off two down years with the Packers and it’s not as if the Bears’ last splash free agent signings at the position (Dion Sims, Trey Burton) panned out. But perhaps there is a method to the Bears’ madness? Maybe there is a hope that a bounce-back year is on the horizon with a player hungry to get back to where he once was after being cut for cap savings, which represents the first time in a long time (maybe ever) that Graham was discarded from a football team without second thought in his life. That’s a heckuva risk to take, but it’s not as if Graham is without talent or skill. It’s just a matter if the coaching staff can make the most out of a player with diminishing abilities.
• Let’s not overlook the potential value in Demetrius Harris, the other free agent signing at the position this offseason. Harris has experience in Matt Nagy’s system dating back to when both were with the Chiefs. I imagine the Bears will lean on him to some extent in order to get Kmet and Graham up to speed with some of the finer points about the offense. If that turns out to be Harris’ main job, that would be a good thing because it likely will mean that Kmet and Graham are healthy and doing what they need to do in order to make the offense go. Should Harris get an extensive number of snaps, then there is a good chance we’re going to look at the position group getting another overhaul (again) next offseason.
• It’s wild to think about how Chicago has had 16 players who have played at least one game at the position. And it’s not like they haven’t tried to get the position right. They’ve spent money in free agency, attempted drafting possible solutions, and scoured the undrafted free agent market. So while the constant churn at the position suggests the Bears aren’t trying to sell old dog doo on a stick and call it fresh cuisine, how many times are you allowed to go to the market and come back with the wrong groceries?
• I can’t believe Allen Robinson, Davante Adams, and Adam Thielen retired without telling anyone:
Is Kenny Golladay the best WR in the NFC North? pic.twitter.com/aJq9UNxumE
— PFF (@PFF) June 29, 2020
• In case you didn’t know, Allen Robinson is the truth:
• Now that I’m thinking of it, I wish the Bears could have found the 2020 tight end version of what Robinson was in 2018. Back then, the Bears’ wide receiver position was a constant black hole of disappointment. But when Robinson signed, they backed it up with the additions of Taylor Gabriel (free agency) and Anthony Miller (draft) to round out the group. It’s possible the Bears think of Graham being in that light, but getting a player who still has untapped potential, while in his prime, would have been the preferred move.
• Then again, it’s not as if the Bears didn’t try to reel in Austin Hooper. Almost makes me wonder what would’ve happened had Chicago put in the high bid on Hooper. What happens with the rest of free agency? What do the Bears do with Leonard Floyd? Would Robert Quinn still have been an option?
• Memory cards, pool fun, binoculars, telescopes, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon today. #ad
• Darren Rovell tweets the Jets and Texans offered full refunds to season-ticket holders who would prefer to skip the 2020 season. ICYMI: The Bears are offering full refunds (with the option to renew for 2021).
• Obligatory update regarding Jay Cutler’s search for a chicken serial killer:
• Speaking of ex-Bears QBs, this blew my mind:
Let’s take it one step further: in his career the undrafted Chase Daniel has made more money than the 2nd overall pick of the 2012 draft… RG3 https://t.co/RpONPtbRC2
— trey wingo (@wingoz) June 29, 2020
• I like this:
ESPN will debut a new NFL Live in August.
— bill hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) June 30, 2020
• Tying up some loose ends from yesterday:
On Cam Newton, New England Patriot. https://t.co/pzSnXvrwvR
— Kevin Clark (@bykevinclark) June 29, 2020
• For all you runners out there:
A portion of your registration is automatically donated to Bears Care – go the extra mile by creating a personal or team fundraising page.
Info + register: https://t.co/5CGDIFfcNn pic.twitter.com/tI2Z0DVA86
— Chicago Bears (@BearsLocal) June 30, 2020
• Well, then:
Ron Rivera on if Redskins should change team name: "It's all about the moment and the timing. But I'm just somebody that's from a different era when football wasn't such a big part of the political scene … I've always wanted to keep that separate." https://t.co/jdYEKGfIsg pic.twitter.com/pQDKxtruzU
— 670 The Score (@670TheScore) June 29, 2020
• There is still time to vote in a very important poll in which the obvious answer is trailing with the fewest votes:
Which would you rather have happen? 🤔
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) June 29, 2020