Tags Are Coming, Packers Moves, Free-Agents-To-Be, and Other Bears Bullets

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Tags Are Coming, Packers Moves, Free-Agents-To-Be, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Before we even get started with today’s bullets, I want to make sure you didn’t miss the big news: Aaron Rodgers is returning to Green Bay … for FOUR MORE YEARS (sigh …).


•  But maybe the Bears can snag one of the Packer receivers away? No not Davante Adams (he’s being tagged, now that Rodgers is back in town and saving cap space … more on that in a bit), this one:

•  Good enough consolation prize for Rodgers-Tuesday? Eh. Moving on.

•   Brace yourselves! The tags are coming with today’s 3 p.m. CT deadline coming in hot. As a reminder, there are three types teams can use this offseason:

⇒   Under the Exclusive Franchise Tag, players cannot negotiate contracts with any other teams in the offseason. Because, yes, that is how exclusivity works.

⇒   However, the Non-exclusive Franchise Tag allows players to negotiate terms with other teams. Neat-o! If given an offer sheet elsewhere, the original team could choose to match. And if they are unable (or unwilling) to do so, then that team gets two first-round draft picks from the signing team. That makes for a nice consolation prize for losing a tag-worthy player.

⇒   And then there is the Transition Tag, which works similarly to the Franchise Tag. Transition players can negotiate contracts with other teams, and original teams can still get a chance to match. But unlike the Non-exclusive tag, there is no compensation if a team is unwilling (or unable) to match.

•   Of course, the tags aren’t coming for everyone. *Lookin’ at you, Allen Robinson II*

•   Keep an eye on the Browns as a possible option for Robinson. The Athletic’s Jeff Howe and Zac Jackson report the team has an interest in Robinson, Mike Williams and Chris Godwin as Cleveland looks to beef up its pass-catching unit. With Williams and Godwin potentially about to get Franchise Tags (more on that momentarily), it shoots Robinson to the top of the board. From a Bears perspective, you should be rooting for Robinson to get a sizable contract. One that helps the Bears in the compensatory draft pick formula that could aid in adding draft capital in 2023. Every little bit helps.

•   Back to the tags:


•   Since sharing this at 8:20 a.m. CT, Cowboys TE Dalton Schultz (per Ian Rapoport) has been added to the list. Bucs WR Chris Godwin will join him, but only if a long-term extension isn’t hashed out before the deadline. Should the Bucs get a deal done, it will go a long way toward shaping what the receiver market will look like in free agency.

•   In a dream world, Bears fans would’ve loved to see a left tackle like Orlando Brown Jr. hit the market and be someone the team targets as Justin Fields’ blindside protector.

•   Considering where the Bears are at right now from a competitive standpoint, this offseason is looking more like one of transition and less like one where this front office is making major splashes. It isn’t as if there aren’t options if the team would choose to go that route. But with as many as 35 players set to hit free agency in some capacity this offseason, the Bears should focus on building internally and not act like they have in recent years treating free agency as if they were one player away. This is where it is nice to have a change in leadership at the top.

•   With that in mind, Alex Shapiro (NBC Sports Chicago) shares a list of five free-agents-to-be who could pique the new GM’s interest after the first wave of free agency clears the splashier names. One player who catches my eye here is Russell Gage, the Falcons receiver who appears ready to get a larger piece of the offensive pie. In 12 games after Calvin Ridley stepped away from football, Gage put up 61 catches, 742 receiving yards, and 4 touchdowns. Those are modest numbers, to be sure. But extrapolate them over a full 16-game season, and we’re looking at an 86-catch, 1,051-yard, 6-touchdown projection. Putting that type of production on the same field with Darnell Mooney could be helpful to Justin Fields’ development.

•   Let’s have fun with numbers. Using PFF’s free agent contract projections, the Bears could conceivably sign multiple players on Shapiro’s list for the same price Davante Adams projects to get ($25M AAV) as a free agent (Update: He’s being tagged by the Packers, but we can continue the exercise – more on that coming soon). They could sign Gage (4 yrs/$7.5M AAV), guard Laken Tomlinson (3 yrs/$9M AAV), and cornerback Sidney Jones (1 yr/$4.25M) with room to spare. It feels necessary to drive home the point that the Bears aren’t one player away from being what they want to be. But it doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be active. They’ll need to be creative as they build up, but it could make for some fascinating moves.

•   Yeah, I could be into Russell Gage:





•   An old friend finds a new home (conveniently enough, at an old home of his own):

•   In addition to coaching Bears receivers the lat four years, Mike Furrey was apparently in consideration to coach Jaguars receivers (per Adam Caplan).

•   After seeing the NFL hit Calvin Ridley with the one-year ban hammer for his gambling on football, what will the league do to an owner if it finds that they were trying to tank games:

•   OK, but this is NOT how I was expecting Ridley to react:

•   ‘Tis always wonderful to have options:

•   Evergreen Bulls content after another tough loss:

•   Today is tomorrow. So let’s get to cracking, MLB:

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Author: Luis Medina

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