If You Can't Beat 'Em, Sign 'Em? And Other Bears Bullets

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If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Sign ‘Em? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Here’s the Twitter thread you didn’t know you needed until right now:

•   The 2021 NFL salary cap has been set at $182.5 million. We’ve come a long way since our first cap-centric post, in which the number was officially set at $167 million.

•   Back to the present day. The situation isn’t as dire as it would’ve been had the league been forced to settle on a cap around its original $175 million projection. But after seven straight years of $10 million increases to the cap, ultimately falling at $182.5 million is a far cry from what could’ve been a $208 million cap in 2021. Despite playing a full season, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the NFL hard.

•   From a Bears-first perspective, the timing of it all really kicked them in the junk:

 

•   All things considered, it’s a bad year to be in win-now mode without a quarterback.

•   Here’s 6 minutes of Cole Kmet highlights on his 22nd birthday:

•   With so much uncertainty behind Kmet on the depth chart, the Notre Dame product could be featured more in the offense in 2021. And if Allen Robinson II departs, then Chicago’s offense will be heavily reliant on two second-year players (Kmet, Darnell Mooney) and a third-year rusher (David Montgomery). Or in other words, three skill position players on their respective rookie deals. Oh, if only they had a top-tier QB who can tie it all together.

•   I got a kick out of Tag Watch yesterday. In part, because there were a few players who went un-tagged and gave me that if you can’t beat ’em, sign ’em thought. At the top of the list was Packers running back Aaron Jones. Make no mistake. Aaron Rodgers is the best and most valuable player in that offense. But Jones’ excellence out of the backfield shouldn’t be overlooked. Maybe Green Bay can replicate what it did last year with A.J. Dillon. But that’s quite a roll of the dice while operating in Rodgers’ window of contention.

•   For what it’s worth, Patrik Walker (CBS Sports) lists the Bears as a sleeper candidate to sign Jones in the offseason. Walker doesn’t see Montgomery’s breakout 2020 campaign as something that should deter the Bears’ pursuit of Jones, noting that the Bears should be looking to add high-power offensive assets all over the place. I understand the perspective. In fact, I’d co-sign the idea of adding to the backfield to aid the Bears’ rushing attack. But I’d be hard-pressed to build an argument to spend significant cap dollars on a running back. Yes, that includes one as talented as Jones.

•   An untagged Packers standout who makes more sense as a fit than Jones? How about center Corey Linsley. The Bears might like what Sam Mustipher has to offer. But perhaps Linsley could be enough of an upgrade to consider signing this offseason.

•   I’d also be intrigued by the idea of Kenny Golladay catching passes in Chicago. The St. Rita product who played his college ball at NIU put up back-to-back 1,000-yard receiving seasons before injuries hobbled him in 2020. It doesn’t take much of a stretch to imagine a bounce-back season in 2021.

•   A more realistic if you can’t beat ’em, sign ’em candidate might be tight end Jonnu Smith. The Bears got a first-hand look at Smith in 2020 when they lost to the Titans. Better yet, Chicago’s front office had eyes on Smith as early as 2017. If you’ll recall, the Bears were one of the teams coaching up the Senior Bowl. And on John Fox’s roster was Smith, a tight end with talent (but some baggage). As noted in a post we did highlighting possible Bears fits, Smith had to answer questions stemming from an incident in which his pregnant girlfriend poured boiling water on him (resulting in burns to his neck, back, shoulder, arm, and head). Again, with questions looming around the players being Kmet, checking in on the tight end market isn’t the worst idea.

•   Here’s a breakdown of how the tag situations went down around the league:

•   The Bears were rolling deep at Northwestern’s pro day. And I imagine they liked what they saw from Wildcats OL Rashawn Slater:

https://twitter.com/AdamHoge/status/1369504844088807428

•   Slater might be off the board by the time the Bears go on the clock on Draft day. But it never hurts to put in that work.

•   Athletic gear, sleep aids, and smart robots are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad


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Author: Luis Medina

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