The Tag Extension Deadline is Here, TE Madness, Rebuild Approach, and Other Bears Bullets

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The Tag Extension Deadline is Here, TE Madness, Rebuild Approach, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Part of me sees my recent trend of purchases as a falling into old habits I don’t like. But another part of me sees it as a weird week of circumstances that has me eating out more than I’d like to be this time of year. I’ll do better next week and correct course. And by typing it out here, I’ll give myself an extra reason to be accountable.

  • Another important crossroads date on the NFL calendar is here. The annual July 15 deadline to sign players who have been given Franchise or Transition Tags to long-term contracts is TODAY. But it doesn’t sound like we should be expecting any major signings:
  • On Thursday, we saw news that tight ends Dalton Schultz (Cowboys) and Mike Gesicki (Dolphins) signed their respective tags. Those two will report to their respective camps ready to rock out with fresh cash and ample motivation to show why they were deserving of long-term deals. Considering the value of a good tight end can have to the most productive offenses, I’ll be watching what Schultz and Gesicki do this season with great interest. Especially if their teams don’t sign them to extensions after the regular season ends or tags them next March. Business figures to be picking up either way, especially since David Njoku’s four-year, $54.75 million extension raised the bar for his fellow contract-seeking tight ends.
  • It came as a bit of a surprise to see Orlando Brown Jr. and the Chiefs fail to come to an agreement:
  • I mean, have you seen the collection of QB hasslers that will be bearing down on Patrick Mahomes this season? J.J. Watt (Cardinals), Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa (Chargers), Yannick Ngakoue (Colts), Shaquil Barrett (Bucs), Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones (Raiders) … and that’s just the first five weeks. Feels like Orlando Brown and his representation should have ample leverage.
  • I’m impressed with how many ways writers have found ways to say they weren’t fans of the Bears’ offseason. To be fair, I can’t blame them because there were plenty of things I would’ve done differently. Nevertheless, to re-write the same angle with different words and story titles is impressive. In the latest, Kristopher Knox (Bleacher Report) lists the Bears as one of the NFL teams that will regret how they went about attacking the 2022 offseason. On the one hand, sure. The Bears could’ve done sooooo much better in putting offensive pieces around quarterback Justin Fields. Their shortcomings there will be on full display, and whatever guff they get around the football landscape will be fair. But on the other hand, we need to not confuse action with progress. I can’t imagine how ticked I’d be if the Bears threw gobs of money at perceived “help” only for it to not move the needle at all. Y’know … kinda like the Jaguars’ offseason.
  • One move I don’t think they’ll regret is the N’Keal Harry trade, which Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago) sees as evident the Bears are taking a good approach in their rebuild. I was thinking about this type of angle while listening to Pat Hughes talk about the Mets during the Cubs’ Thursday night loss. Hughes made an astute observation about how the best teams always get production from surprise areas. Sure, your stars will carry you. But on days they’re off, that’s when the unheralded players can be game-changers. In other words, when the Bears are contenders again, there is a good chance they’ll be getting splash plays from unexpected areas. And perhaps, down the line, maybe we’ll look back at the Harry trade as one that brought such a player here.
  • I don’t think there is a Bears opponent I respected more than Barry Sanders. This dude was a treat … when he wasn’t playing the Bears:
  • I believe Braves OF Michael Harris II could beat out Marcus Mariota at Falcons camp based solely on this throw:
  • NBA offseasons were more fun when teams put out offer sheets on free agents, forcing teams to poop or get off the pot. And while the Suns quickly matched the Pacers’ offer sheet for Deandre Ayton, that brief “this could be fun” moment was worth it. More from Eli at BN Bulls.
  • Somebody has to step into a leadership role for the Blackhawks. Why not Alex Vlasic?


Author: Luis Medina

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