After figuring out the logistics, I’m prepared to have movie night in the yard on Saturday. The only thing left for me to figure out is what we’ll watch. If it’s left up to me, it’ll be a Star Wars movie. But because I want it to be an inclusive process, I’ll text my neighbors later and ask what they want to see. I’m thoughtful like that.
• This date is an important one on the football calendar, as a 3 p.m. CT deadline looms for players to opt out of participating in the 2020 NFL season. More than 60 players have opted out of playing this upcoming season, doing so while citing concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. When speaking to the media on Wednesday, Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy said he supports players who make the difficult decision to opt out. And he will also back those who decide to play. Chicago has already heard from one defensive starter (Eddie Goldman) and one projected core special teams member (Jordan Lucas)
• Goldman is one of the higher profile opt-outs to this point. But one star seems to be weighing his options thoroughly:
Crazy that me choosing my family’s wellbeing over a game comes with so called fans attacking and questioning me and saying I’m selfish. No you guys are selfish for thinking that football is bigger than life. Oh by the way my girl’s grandfather passed from COVID. U understand now?
— Tre'Davious White (@TakeAwayTre_) August 6, 2020
• Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White is considering opting out. But after seeing fans give him a hard time about the process, the All-Pro cornerback took to Twitter to voice his concerns. Clearly, Davis has a lot on his mind. And he isn’t taking this decision lightly. Much like when Goldman opted out, I’ll accept and respect whatever decision Davis (or any other player) makes in this process.
• Mike Jones (USA Today) cites a report from the NFLPA that says 56 players have tested positive for coronavirus since July 21. If you’ll recall, July 21 was the date rookies started reporting to camp. Fifty-six positive tests would represent about 2 percent of the league’s player population. It would be nice to see that number shrink down to zero, but I’m not sure that’s possible without a bubble. And since that isn’t happening, the NFL will need to push hard at eery turn to keep players safe and minimize the risk of having a team-wide outbreak like we have seen with the MLB’s Marlins and Cardinals.
• Once we get past COVID-related, I’m reminded that the Bears have on-field concerns. Among them, seeing how position battles shake out:
How about No. 3 WR?
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) August 5, 2020
• Ahhhh … yes! The non-QB position battles of camp. We’ll spend plenty of time debating Coward-Ifedi and Johnson-Toliver. But Ridley-Wims? That’s one that probably needs a closer look. Wims was a seventh-round pick in 2018, but a prospect some projected to go higher than where he ultimately did in that draft. As for Ridley, he was a fourth-round pick in 2019. And like Wims, some thought Ridley would have been taken before the Bears were drafting. If you’ll recall, PFF ranked Ridley as its 71st overall prospect in the draft. Chicago chose Ridley with pick No. 126. Getting a top-75 prospect with the 126th pick seems like a good value.
• Handicapping a Wims-Ridley camp battle isn’t easy. Ridley and Wims both have talent, prospect pedigree, and good football frames. However, neither has done anything to stand out in the regular season. Wims’ most notable efforts came in the 2018 preseason. Although, I won’t totally discount the big catches he made in the 2018 regular-season finale that ultimately eliminated the Vikings from playoff contention. Ridley suffered a hamstring injury during camp in 2019, which limited his playing time and helped keep him from growing the way he should. Right now, this one seems too close to call.
• Matt Nagy has some love for the big fella:
• Some heavy hitters here:
BREAKING: Maryland coach Michael Locksley forms new minority football coaches collation to identity and groom candidates for advancement in college & NFL. Powerful board of directors includes Ozzie Newsome, Nick Saban, Mike Tomlin and Debbie Yow. https://t.co/Y1h9FTzFXb
— Jim Trotter (@JimTrotter_NFL) August 6, 2020
• This looks like a bargain for a starting caliber interior offensive lineman:
The #Bills officially signed veteran G Brian Winters, who gets a 1-year deal worth $3M with $2M guaranteed. Not bad for this economic environment.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 6, 2020
• If they play college football this season, this is how it will look in the ACC:
The wait is over.
— ACC Football (@ACCFootball) August 6, 2020
• Notre Dame with a pseudo conference affiliation? What a time to be alive!
• Elsewhere on the college landscape:
NCAA Division III fall sports championships are canceled
— Brett McMurphy (@Brett_McMurphy) August 5, 2020
DII Presidents Council has canceled fall 2020 championships.
— Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB) August 5, 2020
• An ex-Bear has landed a new gig:
The #AZCardinals are expected to sign FA S Kentrell Brice, pending physical and COVID-19 test, per source. Brice, who has played for the #Packers and #Bucs, was recently waived by the #Bears. Now he gets a 1-year deal in AZ.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 5, 2020
• I can’t escape this Mahomes guy even while watching baseball:
— Taylor McGregor (@Taylor_McGregor) August 6, 2020
• The NFL’s latest move in raising awareness for societal initiatives: