If you’re going to Bears-Raiders in Vegas, I hope you’ve made your plans already. The third installment of the Fury-Wilder fight series is taking place at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Oct. 9. In other words, good luck if you’ve been waiting it out (as I have).
• Bears fans are unlike any other:
— Kevin Kaduk (@KevinKaduk) July 15, 2021
• A snippet like that reminds me of three things. Firstly, the resolve of people. Secondly, the otherworldly connection Bears fans have to their team. And thirdly, how *badly* fans are starving to see an honest-to-goodness star quarterback on their favorite team’s roster.
• On the other side of the coin, they don’t call it the No Fun League for nothin’:
• I love how Matt Eurich of CBS Sports phrases this:
We are still a bit of a ways out from the start of preseason, but which Bears player(s) not named Justin Fields are you most looking forward to watching?
— Matt Eurich (@MattEurich) July 15, 2021
• In the non-Justin Fields division, I’ll want my eyes on so many of the new guys. Khalil Herbert, Dazz Newsome, Teven Jenkins, Thomas Graham Jr., and Desmond Trufant are at the top of mind right now (Michael: For me, it’s Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. The extent to which either/both reaches his offensive upside can dramatically change life for Justin Fields and the Bears over the next few years).
• Team paying more for Franchise player because it misread the market is a concept that should look familiar to Bears fans following the Allen Robinson II situation:
Panthers waited unnecessarily long and it cost them big time.
Last offseason this would have been in the 4y, $60m range with $35-$40m guaranteed like Dawkins, Humphries & Decker.
Good move to bring him back. He's a stud. But they missed on the value in a big way. https://t.co/AEAwDXHUIP
— Joe Marino (@TheJoeMarino) July 15, 2021
• GM Ryan Pace, who previously did well in being ahead of the market in terms of landing extensions for his players, fumbled the bag in not doing something last year before the receiver market kicked up. It began with Amari Cooper changing the landscape with a $20 million per year deal. Then we saw others – Keenan Allen, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp – get nifty deals. Now, Robinson’s asking price has gone up at least $2 million since the sides talked last entered earnest negotiations last September. And in the end, the Bears failed in their attempts to reach Robinson’s asking price (now, a reported $20M AAV) on a contact extension before Thursday’s deadline.
• This means Robinson will play the 2021 season under the Franchise Tag. It is disappointing that a franchise with little success in finding superb receivers and a player who has said he wants to retire a Bear can’t find a middle ground on a long-term deal. If it’s any consolation, at least Robinson is willing to play on the Tag. Ball out for 17 games (and hopefully, some playoff contests), then see where the chips fall next offseason.
• Here’s some good news, as it appears as if the incentives connected to the NFL’s COVID-19 policies for 2021 seem to be working:
NFL player vaccination update:
– 13 teams are over the 85% threshold
– 73.8% of players have at least one shot
– 2 teams are below 50%
Most teams report to training camp in 11 days …
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) July 16, 2021
• One of the Bears’ greatest rivals is celebrating a birthday today. Let’s tip our cap to a Hall of Famer and enjoy some of his old-school highlights:
— Pro Football Hall of Fame (@ProFootballHOF) July 16, 2021
• It’s always nice to give back to the community:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) July 16, 2021
• Some info on the newest member of Chicago’s hockey team:
Here’s What the Blackhawks Are Getting in Caleb Joneshttps://t.co/GYADbLoE1j
— Bleacher Nation Blackhawks (@BN_Blackhawks) July 15, 2021
• Speaking of trades, the Chicago Cubs are sellers:
— Bleacher Nation (@BleacherNation) July 16, 2021