Just when I thought it was smooth sailing to training camp, the Eddie Goldman situation presents a detour of sorts.
The Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs frames Goldman’s future with the Bears as a situation that seems murky. That’s because one league source suggests to Biggs that Goldman “could be weighing retirement.”
Ummm … wut?
This new twist comes nearly two weeks after a report surfaced suggesting that Goldman would come to Bears camp (and on time, too). Word of Goldman being set to report to training camp later this month came from SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Bill Zimmerman, who heard from a source close to the situation that Chicago’s nose tackle would be in the fold when training camp began. Much of the uncertainty here stems from Goldman not reporting to mandatory minicamp after opting out of playing in 2020 due to concerns regarding to COVID-19 pandemic. Tying those things together and adding the potential consideration of retirement truly complicates matters. At least, it complicates matters until Goldman (1) speaks out publicly and declares his intent or (2) shows up to camp on time ready to rock and/or roll.
For what it’s worth, Bill Zimmerman has his finger on the pulse of the Bears like few in the industry. He isn’t the type to throw stuff at the wall and hope it sticks. Nevertheless, Biggs presents an eye-opening new angle. And, hey, it’s possible that Goldman’s perspective/plans could have changed in the days since reports of his expected arrival to training camp came to light. Then again, the July 2 deadline to opt out for COVID-related reasons came and went without any opt-outs. So, at least that is one hurdle in our rearview mirror.
In any case, the Bears are in an interesting situation when it comes to Goldman. And, frankly, I wish it wasn’t this interesting. Goldman, 27, is an important piece of Chicago’s defense. When healthy and available, Goldman eats up space, devours running backs, pushes the pocket to disrupt quarterbacks, and more. No, Goldman doesn’t rack up a ton of stats. But he does the grunt work that allows others to flourish. The Bears still put together a top-10 defense in 2020 by DVOA’s standards. But in 2021, having Goldman in the middle would make the Bears’ efforts to repeat that feat a bit easier. All in all, we’ll be monitoring this situation closely as training camp opens later this month.