Depending on when you read this, I’m either at (or on my way to) Bears training camp at Halas Hall. I’ll be wearing a bright orange hat with a bear on it and probably trying to figure out how to Jedi-mind trick the Bears into trading for another receiver. But don’t be afraid to say “hi” if you see me.
*Hangs “Gone Campin'” sign in window*
- The folks at BearsWire have a complete summer schedule (which includes breaks, off days, game days, and more). There is also a six-pack of things to keep an eye on during the early going of camp. And if you can’t be at camp, there is also a collection of writers, reporters, content creators, and others who make following the Bears fun. Give them follows and be friendly.
- In the latest episode of 1920 Football Drive, Rod Marinelli pulls through with a speech that’ll get you geared up for football:
- Or, at minimum, get you ready to watch football practice.
- I’m not sure how much he’ll practice, but I’ll be glad to see Robert Quinn suiting up for the Bears. For how long remains to be seen, so this could be one of those “enjoy it while you can” situations. And I’ll do just that. Remember, Quinn’s record-breaking 2021 came on the heels of a woeful first year in Chicago. As much as I loved Quinn’s comeback story last year, I’m down to see what an encore performance looks like.
- Yep, I felt this:
- And found myself relating to this:
- Who among us hasn’t thought about paying a small fine to avoid a work event we had minimal interest in attending?
- ICYMI: Quinn shared his first words after a lengthy offseason in which his status was up-in-the-air. He insists he doesn’t want to be traded, but going back and re-watching Quinn’s press conference makes me feel as if there is something off. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t believe Quinn is misleading with his words saying he wants to be in Chicago and doesn’t want to be dealt. But going over his words again made me feel as if he had more to say, but didn’t want to haggle publicly. And if that’s the case, how can you not respect it?
- Back in June, when rumors were hot, Quinn was skipping out on mandatory minicamp, and a trade felt inevitable, part of me wondered if there was a financial component driving the chatter. Especially when Head Coach Matt Eberflus said Poles would be handling the matter. What could that have meant? Was Poles actively working the trade market? Fielding calls before quickly hanging up? Holding off suitors with a stick? Or perhaps he was angling to re-work Quinn’s contract. Here’s what I had to say back in June:
Could this all be a ploy from Quinn for more security in terms of contract? Quinn has three years left on his deal that will take him through the 2024 season, so it’s not as if contract length is a high concern. Even though Quinn has no more roster boss money coming this way, he has base salaries of $12.8M, $13.9M, and $12.9M coming to him if he sticks around. Then again, trading Quinn could clear up $12.9M in salary cap space for the Bears (at the cost of $4.2375M in dead money). And a team inheriting Quinn in 2022 could dump him next offseason and clear $9.7625M worth of cap space in the process. In other words, the crux of this thing could be in Quinn wanting more security moving forward — whether it’s with the Bears (or another team).
- It wouldn’t be surprising if Quinn was asking for a pay bump after his performance last year. Everyone wants a little bit more job security. And with the Bears having more than $18.168 million in space under the cap, there is room to accommodate Quinn (assuming that is something both sides want).
- The first interception of camp went to Jack Sanborn:
- On the one hand, good for Sanborn. The Wisconsin rookie needs to make splash plays as a UDFA if he is going to make this team. And if he makes the cut, I wouldn’t bet against him playing his way into a contributing role early. An inside linebacker by trade, I think Sanborn might fit this defense in a strong-side linebacker role. If he continues to make plays at camp, reaching that achievement is possible.
- Throwing an interception to a linebacker isn’t ideal, but that’ll happen from time to time. Now is the time for Justin Fields to sling it and see what happens. Test that arm strength and accuracy in low-leverage situations. Do it while you can’t hurt your fantasy stock, which looks pretty good for now:
- Watch Bears rookies Kyler Gordon and Jaquan Brisker react to their Madden grades:
- Speaking of the second-round rookies, it turns out third-year guarantees are apparently what’s hot in contract negotiation these days. And it’s keeping the Eagles from locking in a second-round pick:
- No, I’m not a fancy, big city NFL scout. But this clip definitely had me reacting like “uhhh … is this seriously how he throws?”
- And I’m not trying to be a jerk about it either. Think about it. When was the lat time Trey Lance had a full QB1 workload? And when was the lat time we got an extended look at the young quarterback? I’ve seriously forgotten what his throwing motion looked like because he’s been off our radar. Guess we’ll see what it looks like in person 45 days from now when the Bears and Niners square off.
- I’ll be *REALLY* annoyed if someone comes out of nowhere to become a legitimate WR1 in Green Bay:
- Sure, I’m happy for Allen Robinson II. But I also wish I was set to watch him catch passes from Justin Fields later today:
- It’s all good because N’Keal Harry is making the most of that clean slate, right?
- I freaking miss this guy:
- Bears 🤝 Blackhawks 🤝 asking questions about what the “D” will look like in 2022:
- It is never too early to look into the future:
- One of the prospects the Cubs were able to reel in during their summer sell-off continues to rake: