April Optimism, Darnold Chatter, Money Matters, What's Up With Fields? And Other Bears Bullets

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April Optimism, Darnold Chatter, Money Matters, What’s Up With Fields? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Throw me the ball and watch what I do with it…

Here’s the thing about baseball: It’s always there for you. From April through September, it’s there. And if you’re lucky, it’s there in October, too. Through highs and lows, triumphs and trying times, heartache and happiness … baseball is there to lean on for a large swath of the calendar year. Rain? Sleet? Snow? Cold? No problem. It gets made up later, often on a day with better weather. Nothing else and no one else provides that option.

So, soak it in. Baseball is back.

•   April is full of excitement on the sports calendar. As you can tell, I’m geeked up about baseball (and with good reason). The Bulls have a shiny new toy in All-Star center Nikola Vučević. Hockey is still kicking with the Blackhawks in the mix for a playoff spot. And the Bears have a first-round pick for the first time since 2018. If you’re a dreamer, then this is the time of year that gets you going.

•   Quarterback is the thing we’re still obsessing over in these parts. And if any of you dare to create a fake RapSheet or Schefty account to “jokingly” break news of the Bears making a Russell Wilson trade, I’m going to drive a golden spike where your Union meets the Pacific. Then, you will be immediately reported to the authorities. FBI. CIA. ATF. The works.

•   As for draft-eligible quarterbacks, I’m surprised there’s a narrative building against Justin Fields:

•   If Justin Fields being the lead advocate for playing college football during a pandemic when he could’ve sat out and still been the No. 2 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft doesn’t count as showing desire to be a great quarterback, then I’m not sure what else he can do to change that.

•   Maybe it’s smoke. Perhaps it’s teams going behind the scenes to submarine a player’s draft status so he can fall to them. But whatever it is, I’m not digging it. Fields is a superb athlete and a wonderful performer. Does he have kinks to work out? Absolutely. All of the quarterbacks in this class do. I can say that about every quarterback in each class. Yes, even Trevor Lawrence. But somehow, Fields’ stock seems to be taking the biggest hit. I don’t get it.

•   But seriously, where do I sign up?


•   I see we’re still trying to make Fetch happen with Sam Darnold. Over at PFN, Troy Pauline name-checks the Bears as a possible trade partner for the Jets’ current quarterback:

“Obviously, the market is shrinking. It’s probably going to be a third-round type pick. The Colts are out; the 49ers are now out. Maybe you’re looking at Washington; maybe you’re looking at Chicago. I guess the sleeper would be the Carolina Panthers. That is the sleeper team unless they want to move up and get a quarterback.”

•   However, Trey Wingo also says there haven’t been a bunch of teams calling about Darnold. And based on last year’s production, I can’t imagine why they would be calling…

•   I just don’t understand how Darnold makes any logical sense as a Bears option. Maybe folks keep throwing him out as a possibility because the Bears don’t tend to do logical things. If that’s the case. But referring to him as “a young, low-risk option” isn’t wholly accurate. Young? Yes. Darnold won’t turn 24 until June. Low-risk? Hardly. Darnold is entering the final year of his rookie deal and an acquiring team will need to make the decision on his fifth-year option before they even see him take a snap in their uniform. By the way, Darnold’s fifth-year option will cost a team $18.8 million in fully guaranteed money if it’s picked up. That’s not a small risk for a team bringing on a player who threw more interceptions (11) than touchdowns (9) last year, and saw career-worsts in TD%, yards/attempt, yards/completion, and passer rating.

•   Contract updates for the Bears’ depth signings, per Aaron Leming:

•   OverTheCap.com has the Bears’ projected rookie pool at $8,095,344. And the site has the Bears at just $254,928 in available cap space. In other words, they’ll still need to clear some room in order to squeeze in their picks. Maybe they’ll trade some of those picks? Perhaps a restructuring of Robert Quinn’s contract can help matters. There is cap space to be created by moving Charles Leno Jr. ($6.2M), Jimmy Graham ($7M), or gulp Akiem Hicks ($10.5M). Ryan Pace sure has his work cut out for him!

•   Another day, another David Montgomery workout video:


•   I’ll be looking forward to this:

•   Ah, yes, this is what successful football should look like:


•   Football is coming:

Author: Luis Medina

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