I didn’t fill out a bracket for the first time ever, and I confess I feel special for not being handcuffed to whatever picks I made on a whim. Let’s enjoy some more basketball?
• The 2021 NFL Draft order is locked in, so here’s where the Bears are picking:
Bears official 2021 draft picks
Round 1, Pick 20
Round 2, Pick 52
Round 3, Pick 83
Round 5, Pick 164
Round 6, Pick 204
Round 6, Pick 208 (via Shaheen trade with Miami)
Round 6, Pick 221 (compensatory)
Round 6, Pick 228 (compensatory)
— Kevin Fishbain (@kfishbain) March 19, 2021
• I can’t front. Yours truly let out a little “woo hoo!” and a fist pump when I saw the Adam Shaheen pick via the Dolphins was a sixth-rounder. That conditional pick could’ve been a seventh-round selection. It’s not much of an upgrade, but Shaheen did enough for the pick to vest into a sixth-rounder. Not quite what Chicago had in mind when it drafted him in the second round in 2017, but better than getting nothing. Now, onto your mock drafts!
• Finally, Lady Luck is shining on the Bears:
The Patriots were issued a third comp pick due to a correction by the NFL. Here’s the explanation from Michael Signora of NFL communications pic.twitter.com/67bbGvzv5z
— Mark Daniels (@MarkDanielsPJ) March 19, 2021
• A neat factoid from Larry Mayer, who notes the Bears’ third-round pick will be selection No. 19 (and not 20, as is the case in Rounds 1, 2, 5, 6 where they hold their original pick). Why? Because the Patriots’ third-round selection was taken as a result of getting caught illegally videotaping the Bengals’ sideline in a game against the Browns. You’d think watching Browns-Bengals would be punishment enough.
• On the other end of the spectrum, the Vikings are *LOSING* a draft pick because of a salary cap violation. No, seriously:
The #Vikings have to forfeit their seventh round draft pick because of a salary cap violation related to a practice squad player in 2019. Three executives also fined $10,000 each: https://t.co/hqkU5hTtiS
— Mark Craig (@markcraignfl) March 19, 2021
• Sometimes, I think the Vikings exist to make me feel better when the Bears are in their most glib hours.
• Something to keep an eye on:
The Bears have remained in the mix for free-agent WR Kenny Golladay, despite Allen Robinson signing his franchise tender—though that does complicate things a little. Meanwhile, the Giants had a long, positive day of meetings with Golladay.
Decision could come tomorrow.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 19, 2021
As of this tweet, the current plan is for WR Kenny Golladay to stay in town and continue his visit with the #Giants while talks continue. He has currently left the building, per source.
— IG: JosinaAnderson (@JosinaAnderson) March 19, 2021
• I wish the Bears were as committed to finding excellent quarterback play as they are to keeping secrets:
Reporters who cover the Bears asked Pace directly about his contract status on Jan 12 at the year-end press conf, but he deflected saying he wanted to keep the focus on the team.
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) March 19, 2021
For context: the sentence referencing his contract was changed sometime between Jan 12 and Jan 25, after Pace and team executives received multiple questions about the length of his contract. It had been due to expire at the end of the 2021 season. Now, it's unclear.
— Michele Steele (@MicheleSteele) March 19, 2021
• Admittedly, the following is a bit galaxy brained, but here goes nothing. What if the Bears are angling to let Ryan Pace go after the Draft? That’s not the type of thing this franchise does. But we’ve seen it in recent years. The Jets (Mike Maccagnan, 2019) and Bills (Doug Whaley, 2017) were fired shortly after drafts. We’ve also seen John Dorsey (Chiefs, 2017) and Dave Gettleman (Panthers, 2017) pushed out the door in the summer. Imagine drafting Patrick Mahomes, only to get fired months later. Tough break.
• I don’t want to fall too far down a rabbit hole, but I want to take a peek…
• Thinking about this put me on a path to remembering Jim Hendry’s swan song with the Cubs. The end of the Hendry era was rough, but he left a nice parting gift for the Theo Epstein administration with a solid MLB Draft. As I remember it, the Cubs retained Hendry through the draft-pick signing period in order to maintain continuity through that process, but also to give themselves a head-start on the process of finding his replacement that offseason. Essentially, that’s what the Bills, Jets, Chiefs, and Panthers did in the examples above. I suppose there is a non-zero chance of that happening with the Bears. Although, I wouldn’t hold my breath.
• Then again, for what it’s worth, the Bears have an in-house candidate in Champ Kelly who could be a better fit for the organization moving forward. Even if it is on an interim basis, Kelly could be the type of continuity play the Bears like making because they don’t like rocking the boat. Again, it’s a bit galaxy brained on my part. But because Bears fans are used to things going sideways, I think we should start thinking that way. Maybe it’ll help us understand things better.
• I’ve never been so called out in my life:
We’ll try and do better next time, Akiem. pic.twitter.com/aY1JCSn6Uh
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) March 19, 2021
• Coffee makers are among the Deals of the Day at Amazon today. Drink up.
• This week in Bears transactions has me so disheveled, I can’t even joke about this:
The #Browns are re-signing kicker Cody Parkey to a one-year deal, per source.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 19, 2021
• Sad … and potentially scary:
Miami Dolphins cut tackle Isaiah Wilson after efforts to help him failed, source says https://t.co/24W43LouxU
— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) March 20, 2021
Among the incidents that led to the #Dolphins waiving OT Isaiah Wilson, per sources:
– Hours late for his physical
– Late for his onboarding process
– Didn't show up for voluntary workouts he had committed to Thursday and Friday
Team tried to support him, but now moving on.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 20, 2021
From the NFL: The #Saints will forfeit their sixth-round selection in the 2022 NFL Draft and will be fined $700,000 for violations of the NFL-NFLPA COVID protocols during the 2020 season.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 20, 2021