Socking Dingers at Wrigley, Kyle Long Co-Signs QB1, Raiders Spending Bonanza, and Other Bears Bullets

This looks like one of those days where everyone is going to put up their “out of office” messages at 2 p.m. … and I wouldn’t blame ANYONE.

•   A nice reminder that there’s no fun like fun at the ol’ ballpark:

•   Here’s the thing about Justin Fields hitting monster dongs onto Waveland Avenue: It’s freaking awesome. The Bears have a fun quarterback. And that is so sweet!

•   Here’s some free money for the NFL: Play a Bears-Packers game at Wrigley Field. Just one. Make it a special occasion. Call it a throwback game. Just don’t make them wear hideous throwbacks or leather helmets. What will be lost in ticket sales will be made up by TV ratings and brands shelling out crazy money for advertising in the game. You’re welcome, NFL.

 

•   There was no denying that this Bears franchise was needing new energy coming into this season. And sometimes, it takes outside-of-the-box thinking to get to that place. To that end, I would say that using one of the team’s OTA days for a team-building activity at the best baseball stadium in the country is a creative way to bring guys together. Kudos to Head Coach Matt Eberflus, who said he had been planning this date for a while. Good thinking, coach.

•   Now, once the Cubs’ season is over, I fully expect the North Side Nine to play some flag football at Soldier Field. Or perhaps they can play at the Arlington Park property the Bears are purchasing. Good luck defending Jason Heyward’s 6-5, 240-pound frame in the slot. That guy pretty much catches everything — and has the Gold Gloves to prove it.

•   With that being said, I don’t want to take too many targets away from Darnell Mooney, who is on the cusp of WR1 status:

•   If you have the ability to exercise just a hint of patience, the payoff could be spectacular. Yet another way-too-early NFL mock draft has the Bears connected to Ohio State wide receiver prospect Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who Mark Schofield has going eighth overall to Chicago. For some perspective, the Falcons had the eighth pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and chose USC receiver Drake London. Atlanta made London the first receiver off the board in this class, which gives us an idea of what the Bears could be looking at value-wise when it comes to the pick. Also? Let’s keep in mind that the Falcons went 7-10 en route to getting the No. 8 pick. In other words, we could be in for some turbulence in the year to come. But the juice could be worth the squeeze.

•   Kyle Long – a former Bears standout with a baseball background – gave his stamp of approval for Chicago’s QB1:

•   While offensive linemen are on our mind, Brad Biggs (Tribune) reminds us that this game of musical chairs the Bears are playing in the trenches is part of an open competition ahead of the season to come. We’re far too familiar around here with coaches saying there will be open competitions, but not actually going through with them. And I think the Bears suffered with complacency in some areas. So, with that being said, I’m digging the willingness to give everyone a fair shot at winning a role on the team. Even still … I have my concerns about Teven Jenkins – a second-round pick last year who many were projecting to be a first-rounder – possibly falling out of favor. Then again, if he is as good as we think he can be, he’ll show it in practice and on the field.

•   As if the receiver market wasn’t already bananas, the Las Vegas Raiders gave Hunter Renfrow (not the Brewers OF with a similar name), a two-year extension featuring $21 million in guarantees and is worth up to $32 million. A nice chunk of change for a seventh-round pick who grew into a Pro Bowl talent. It’s been a wild offseason for the Raiders, who have a new coach and GM, brought in a new star receiver, poached some Bears along the way, and spent gobs of money in the process:

•   All this spending and the Raiders might be the third best team in that division? And that’s no knocking the Raiders. That figures to be a good ball club next year. It’s just that the Chiefs, Chargers, and Broncos will make that division hard to escape from with double-digit wins.

•   Some good perspective to keep in mind:

•   Ex-Bear in the CFL alert:

•   And here come the interviews:

•   Not cool, dude:

•   What a wild one in South Bend:

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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