The Calm Before the Storm (And Other Bears Bullets)

Nothing says “spring is coming” like experiencing an early March snowfall.

•   If you’re looking for a well-rounded primer for what is coming down the pipeline, look no further than what is beneath this sentence:

•   ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler and Dan Graziano cover ground all over the NFL landscape like peak era Brian Urlacher. It is an ESPN+ piece, so I won’t shell out too much of the reporting because there is so much to soak in. And while there aren’t any specific Bears rumors, there are plenty of loose connections worth noting. Be honest. You have an interest in Mitchell Trubisky getting a deal north of $10 million. If not, perhaps center Ryan Jensen potentially setting the market at $15 million per year grabs your attention. Let’s not forget the effects of a depleted quarterback market. All in all, there is so much that is piquing our interest as fans as we approach transaction action season.

•   While all eyes are on next week’s turning over to a new league year, let us not lose sight of how important of a week this around the NFL. For starters, Tuesday’s deadline (3 p.m. CT)  to designate Franchise/Transition Tag players figures to give us clarity about the offseason ahead. We’ll watch to see what happens with Davante Adams in Green Bay for obvious reasons. But that isn’t the only tag-worthy deal worth keeping eyes on over the next 30 hours or so.

•   Take for example Mike Williams, the Chargers receiver who Tyler Dragon (USA Today) tweets is someone the team is ready to use the Franchise Tag to keep. That tag number being in the $19 million range helps the top of the receiver market. The same can be said about Orlando Brown Jr., the Chiefs left tackle who ESPN reports will be the first free-agent-to-be this offseason to officially get the tag. Estimates have the OL tag at $16.698 million, which gives us an idea of what the top of the tackle market will look like. All in all, these are important numbers to keep in mind in an offseason where the Bears’ two biggest needs are at wide receiver and along the offensive line.

•   Speaking of the offensive line, it will be interesting to see how things end up with James Daniels. The 24-year-old offensive lineman has been a starter at three different positions and probably should be a priority. But nailing down what the Bears should do and what they will do with Daniels is a challenge. The guard market has been exploding in free agency. And with needs elsewhere, I can see where re-signing Daniels isn’t the highest priority. But considering the needs along the line, Daniels seems like the type of player Chicago should be trying to retain.

•   Daniels is just one of 35 Bears who could be hitting free agency in days:

•   I wouldn’t bet on Allen Robinson II as a free-agent-to-be who gets tag status from the Bears:

•   Circling back to the tag stuff. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets Bucs WR Chris Godwin, Bengals S Jessie Bates III, Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz, Dolphins TE Mike Gesicki, and Titans pass-rusher Harold Landry III will join the aforementioned Adams and Williams as “prime candidates” to be tagged by their respective teams. Once again, we’re looking at a handful of players at positions I’d consider to be needs for the Bears. To be clear, it isn’t as if Chicago’s football team would be going full steam ahead after all of these free-agents-to-be had they hit the market. But their pending tag status has an unavoidable trickle-down effect.

•   In addition to tag candidates, teams around the league will use the next six days of exclusivity to lock down any possible extensions. Take Odell Beckham Jr. as an example. Pro Football Network’s Aaron Wilson reports the Rams are expected to re-sign Beckham, who was coming into his own in Los Angeles before tearing his ACL in the Super Bowl. Because at this time next week, teams will be able to talk to representatives of free agents. The legal tampering period of NFL free agency opening is always a free-for-all. Blink and you’ll miss something important.

•   I see Adam Hoge is wasting no time making waves at his new home for content:

•   Cookware, supplements, and more are your Deals of the Day at Amazon. #ad

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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