How I was feeling on Friday…
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 2, 2021
… and how I’m feeling today:
When the long weekend is over pic.twitter.com/t1xL9tsUBt
— Bleacher Nation Bears (@BN_Bears) July 5, 2021
Ahhh, the end of a long weekend. I’ve never been much of a fan of fireworks pictures. But maybe it’s the advancement in technology, but I thoroughly enjoyed taking (and seeing) pictures last night.
• He’s in:
More deal details:
🏈Signing bonus paid within 15 business days.
🏈No offset language.
🏈Majority of compensation in 2022, ‘23, ‘24 in Roster Bonus. Earned if on 90-man roster on 3rd day after mandatory camp reporting date.
🏈Earns roster bonus even if on active NFI. https://t.co/EOxzF3RJTN
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 5, 2021
• NFL Network insider Tom Pelissero describes the deal as having “unprecedented language and payment structure” because of course it does. These NFL rookie deals are pretty standard. But in recent years, it feels as if there has been an increase in reports like this one, citing contract language. I’m no fancy, big-city lawyer, but I can’t help but give kudos to these agents who can draw up deals to maximize whatever they can for their client. Bring on the contract oddities, friends.
• ICYMI: The Bears have all of their draft picks signed and ready to roll for training camp. And, yes, that includes Justin Fields.
• Part of me wonders how much some of these college football standouts could’ve made had these new NIL laws previously been in place. But moving forward, Chase Goodbread (NFL Media) hears from agents that it could help convince some prospects to stay in school. I’m not certain the top prospects would return. However, fringe ballplayers who could use some extra seasoning that could help boost their draft stock and get a better rookie deal among arrival to the pros could be beneficiaries here. It’s something to watch as this thing evolves.
• I’d like to see more BOOM from Khalil Mack next year:
More BOOM than a 🎆. pic.twitter.com/L0RHIdfZY6
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 4, 2021
• Don’t get me wrong. I won’t take for granted a 9.0-sack season. But it would be neat to see Mack rack up another double-digit sack campaign. Mack has seen his sack totals, tackles-for-loss, and QB Hits level off. Again, Mack still plays at a high level. And between Pro Bowl nominations, All-Pro consideration, and PFF’s recognition of Mack’s excellence, this isn’t just me being a homer. Well, not totally. Anyway, the loss of two starting cornerbacks puts the onus on the pass-rush to get home quicker in an attempt to help the secondary fight its battles. If Mack can put together another superb year, it will go a long way toward making magic happen on defense.
• To be clear, I’m not asking for Mack to do something he hasn’t done before. Instead, my hope is he reaches (and continues to maintain) the high level of play we have grown to love since coming to Chicago. Mack has that rare combination of talent and work ethic that makes me think we’re in store for another awesome year.
• It would also help if this Robert Quinn came to play early and often in 2021:
• Last year was a clunky one for Quinn. He didn’t play in Week 1 because of a bothersome ankle injury that was lingering throughout the summer. And in December, a previously undisclosed foot injury was believed to be giving Quinn problems. Perhaps that could help explain why Quinn was in on just 51 percent of defensive snaps last year. Whatever the reason, I hope Quinn can put it in his rearview mirror and round back into form. Quinn still has some juice, but he needs to show it with more consistency.
• It’s hard to imagine Andy Dalton making it through the whole year as QB1 if he doesn’t improve on this number:
Highest average depth of target on 1st and 2nd down throws last year (red-zone excluded):
1. Tom Brady (10.4)
2. Deshaun Watson (9.9)
3. Josh Allen (9.8)
4. Matthew Stafford (9.7)
24. Justin Herbert (7.5)
25. Andy Dalton (7.1)
26. Jared Goff (6.3)
27. Drew Brees (5.9)
— Graham Barfield (@GrahamBarfield) July 1, 2021
• Time keeps ticking:
Only two weeks remain to sign franchise-tagged players to multi-year extensions.
Marcus Williams (S, NO)
Marcus Maye (S, NYJ)
Brandon Scherff (OG, WAS)
Allen Robinson (WR, CHI)
Chris Godwin (WR, TB)
Cam Robinson (OT, JAX)
Taylor Moton (OT, CAR)https://t.co/5XzjeE9QJZ
— Spotrac (@spotrac) July 1, 2021
• Game developers should crowdsource its home-field advantage angle for Madden ’23 when Justin Fields is on the cover:
Soldier Field literally has a turf monster. https://t.co/Gy1Zuj4Zj9
— Michael Piff (@Mike_PiFF03) July 2, 2021