Free Agency’s Slow Pace Fits Poles, Chef Morrow, Let Herbert Eat, and Other Bears Bullets

Chocolate chip banana bread with a coffee glaze sounds like a delightful weekend mid-morning snack. You should check out the recipe and give it a shot in the kitchen. What else do you have going on today?

•   Maybe I’ll be able to successfully make the point to myself if I keep hammering it out on my keyboard. And if it doesn’t work, I can go down knowing that at least I was trying. So, here goes nothing. Because Ryan Poles is different from Ryan Pace, and the Bears are in a different place now than where they have been in recent years with Pace trying to squeeze out what he could from whatever competitive window he had, the offseason is going to look different. Which means free agency won’t look as it did in previous years. That is probably a good thing. After all, how many times can you do the same thing, fail, and decide to keep doing that thing that keeps not working? (Please don’t answer this.)

•   Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) gives it depth in his mailbag, framing how much work the Bears still have to do this offseason:

⇒   The Bears have 55 players on their roster, while the NFLPA noting they have 53 under contract — which is the lowest number in the league.

⇒   If we’re generous and give the Bears 55 players, they still have 35 available roster spots for the offseason roster. You could sign one player at each position in a starting lineup, on both sides of the ball, and still have still have 10+ spots to fill.

⇒   Ultimately, Fishbain concludes the Bears still have 15-20 veteran players to sign before they eventually round out their 90-player roster.

•   In other words, expect more signings like Dakota Dozier, an offensive lineman who provides depth with starting experience on his résumé (best-case scenario) or is nothing more than a training camp/preseason body (worst-case scenario). Let’s keep it real. Not every player the Bears will sign is starting caliber. Even if they went hard in the draft with six picks and 15 UDFA signings, there still is a ton of heavy lifting to do. Teams gotta get to 90 somehow.

•   Bears fans aren’t the only ones playing the waiting game when it comes to free agency:

•   While I don’t think the Bears are in the market for a splash signing like Tyrann Mathieu, we do know Poles likes players who come in with a chip on their shoulder. And if the free agent market doesn’t shake out for some the way they want, re-establishing yourself on a one-year deal in Chicago wouldn’t be the worst idea a player would have.

•   Because the waiting game is a thing on multiple fronts, we’re still in that stage when it comes to restricted free agent Ryan Bates. The Bills offensive lineman signed an offer sheet to join the Bears on Thursday, which means Buffalo has until Tuesday to match. Teams tend to let this drag out, so don’t expect an immediate answer from the Bills here. However, there is a feeling that Buffalo will match. Depending on the contract structure, it might be tough for the Bills to bring Bates back. If the Bears were creative with a front-loaded deal, it might be difficult for Buffalo to match a contract that pays starter caliber money for a player who doesn’t have a starting role to fall into right away. Let’s keep tabs on this, as the Bears’ offensive line room could be getting some much-needed help.

•   I thought the phrasing from Associated Press reporter John Wawrow in his story on Bates signing the Bears’ offer sheet was interesting:

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Bills stand to lose Ryan Bates after the offensive lineman agreed to sign an offer sheet to play for the Chicago Bears, a person with direct knowledge of the decision confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday.

•   If you’re not careful reading this, you might think that this is fait accompli and Bates will be a Bear. But not so fast, my friend. Sentence structuring matters. And the way this sentence is structured, it feels more like Wawrow is confirming only that Bates signed the offer sheet. Although, I will say it sure seems like Buffalo is bracing itself to lose Bates at the end of this process.

•   Improving the offensive line has an obvious impact on how a quarterback could perform moving forward. But let’s not forget about the running game:

•   Provided that Poles doesn’t deal David Montgomery as he enters the final year of his rookie contract like Pace did with Jordan Howard, a Herbert-Montgomery backfield tag team could be a strength of this offense. At minimum, it would keep Justin Fields from having to shoulder the load and do too much heavy lifting with a receivers room that features Darnell Mooney and two free agents on one-year “prove it” deals starting along side him.

•   Remembering the time when the new Bears QB hit up a former Bears WR for a nice pitch-and-catch in a win against Tom Brady and the Bucs:


•   The people need a Chef Lu/Nicholas Morrow collaboration. You know where to find me, Bears:

•   Marquez Valdes-Scantling gave a descriptive, heart-felt answer when asked about why he hyphenates his last name:

•   Watching Deshaun Watson’s first press conference with the Browns was as uncomfortable as you might expect. However, Jake Trotter brought the heat with his line of questioning:

•   For a full perspective on the afternoon, I’d nudge you toward reading Trotter’s piece at ESPN.

•   The Bulls haven’t been the same since Jackson Mahomes showed up on TikTok wearing their gear:


•   This is my type of weird:

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.

more bears news

Yes, We Saw That Brandon Aiyuk-Jayden Daniels Video

Brandon Aiyuk and the San Francisco 49ers seem to be at a contractual stalemate. That might explain why there is a TikTok video of Aiyuk from his account sharing a FaceTime conversation with Washington Commanders rookie quarterback Jayden Daniels. In...

The Vikings QB1 Decision Is In (For Now)

When the Minnesota Vikings wrapped up OTAs, they did so with a clear message for their quarterback room. Sam Darnold will begin this summer's training camp as the Vikings starting quarterback. "We haven't had to put out a depth chart...

How Confident Are You in Tyson Bagent as QB2?

For as long as I can remember, Chicago Bears fans have had a special relationship with the backup quarterback. So much so that fans have long joked about the second-most-popular player on Chicago's football team is whichever backup QB is...

The Entire AFC North Will Be Featured On HBO’s “Hard Knocks” in 2024

At this time last year, there was a vocal segment of Chicago Bears fans hoping they'd see Justin Fields on HBO's "Hard Knocks" series. One year later, they'll get their wish. Kinda. The HBO cameras will follow all four teams...

Bears Give Back, Lions Turn to UFL For Help, 83 Nation Day, and Other Bears Bullets

Mondays during summer break as an adult aren't the same as they were when I was growing up. We're 83 days away from the Chicago Bears opening the 2024 NFL regular season with their Week 1 matchup against the Tennessee...

Happy Father’s Day! Sunday Ticket, Kevin Warren’s New Gig, and Other Bears Bullets

I spent Saturday doing cool Chicago summer things like emo brunch, record-store shopping, and celebrating 15 years of Daisy Cutter at Half Acre. Today, I'll spend time flushing all of the bad stuff from my system. But first, some Bears...

Kmet, Pace, Cunningham, Poles, Bagent, and Other Bears Bullets

A brief and random collection of scatter-brained Bears thoughts for your Saturday morning because my head is all over the place. I still can't believe the Atlanta Falcons turned down a fourth-round pick from the Bears to move back one...

Here We Go Again: Aurora Wants to be the Next Home of Chicago Bears Football

The latest in the Chicago Bears stadium watch has us looking outside of city limits for a possible landing spot for a stadium to be built later. In a recent op-ed in the Chicago Tribune co-authored by Aurora Mayor Richard...

WATCH: New Behind the Scenes Footage of NFL Draft Night Shows How Close We Were to a Bears-Falcons Trade

On Night 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft, Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles told the story of how Assistant General Manager Ian Cunningham kept him from making a trade-up he might've regretted. And now, we know how close the...

Jayden Daniels Becomes the Latest Rookie QB to Sign His Rookie Deal

Two of the top three picks in the 2024 NFL Draft have signed their rookie contracts. Sorry, Chicago Bears quarterback Caleb Williams is not one of them — yet. Jayden Daniels, the No. 2 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, has...

Latest News

Tuesday’s MLB Computer Picks & Best Bets – June 18

The MLB's 15-game slate on Tuesday is not one to miss, and we offer best bets for each game here. The matchups include the Baltimore Orioles playing the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium.MLB picks todaySt. Louis Cardinals at Miami...

France vs. Netherlands Euros Odds, Match Time and Preview – June 21

On June 21 at 3:00 PM ET, France and the Netherlands collide at Red Bull Arena in their second match of the 2024 UEFA European Championship (Group D).France's game versus the Netherlands will be available on FOX. Sportsbooks have given...

Chile vs. Peru Copa America Odds, Match Time and Preview – June 21

Chile opens its 2024 Copa America campaign with a match against Peru at 8:00 PM ET on June 21.Chile's matchup versus Peru will be available on Fox Sports 1. Chile is +101 to win this group-stage game, Peru is +320,...

Austria vs. Poland Euros Odds, Match Time and Preview – June 21

On June 21 at 12:00 PM ET, Austria and Poland meet at Olympiastadion in their second match of the 2024 UEFA European Championship (Group D).You should head to Fox Sports 1 in order to watch this match. The three-way moneyline...

Red Sox vs. Blue Jays: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Jarren Duran and the Boston Red Sox (37-35) visit Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays (35-36) on Tuesday, with first pitch at 7:07 PM ET.Keep reading to find out how to watch the Boston-Toronto matchup in the article...

How to Watch Braves vs. Tigers: Live Stream or on TV

On Tuesday, Spencer Schwellenbach will start for the Atlanta Braves (38-31) against Casey Mize and the Detroit Tigers (34-37), with first pitch scheduled for 7:20 PM ET at Truist Park.The article below will provide you with everything you need to...

Mike Tauchman Has to Leave the Game in the Third Inning with a Groin Issue

[ankin_law] After legging out an infield single in the bottom of the third tonight, Mike Tauchman immediately - and aggressively - signaled for the athletic trainer to join him on the field. Tauchman tried to stretch out a bit, but...

How to Watch Cardinals vs. Marlins: Live Stream or on TV

The St. Louis Cardinals (35-35), led by Brendan Donovan, visit Jazz Chisholm and the Miami Marlins (23-48) at 6:10 PM ET on Tuesday in a series opener.Keep reading to find out all the details on how to watch St. Louis...

How to Watch Reds vs. Pirates: Live Stream or on TV

On Tuesday, Nick Lodolo will take the mound for the Cincinnati Reds (34-37) versus Bailey Falter and the Pittsburgh Pirates (34-37), with first pitch scheduled for 6:40 PM ET at PNC Park.The article below will give you everything you need...

Phillies vs. Padres: Start Time, Streaming Live, TV Channel, How to Watch

Aaron Nola takes the mound for the Philadelphia Phillies (47-24) when they host starting pitcher Michael King and the San Diego Padres (37-38) at 6:40 PM ET on Tuesday.The article below will provide you with everything you need to know...

more bears news