What it Looks Like When New Eyes Are On Old Problems (And Other Bears Bullets)

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What it Looks Like When New Eyes Are On Old Problems (And Other Bears Bullets)

Chicago Bears

Is it just me, or are spiders infinitely more aggressive this year than they were at this time last year?

  • In a show of solidarity with Brett at the BN Blogathon, I plan on being on #HugWatch as the Bears set forth with their first practice with pads of the summer. Few things get my football juices going like that first padded practice at training camp. And nothing ushers in football season like the sound of pads clashing against each other. It’s a beautiful thing.
  • As for #HugWatch, that is an obvious reference to Teven Jenkins’ situation. In case you spent your Monday napping, the Bears are reportedly taking calls from teams with an interest in acquiring the 2021 second-round pick. This offseason saw Jenkins’ stock spiral on the surface, as he went from top left tackle on the depth chart before sliding over to right tackle … and eventually into a place where he was RT2 by the end of minicamp. It has been a wild ride, to say the least. And it could only get wilder if he ends up off this roster after a stint on the trade block.
  • You’re probably wondering how we got here. And that’s fair. This post provides a nifty timeline, while this thread from Da Bears Blog’s Jeff Hughes chips in with additional perspective:
  • I suppose this serves as a timely reminder that some prospect stock drops aren’t solely a product of subterfuge.
  • Cap numbers worth keeping in mind in the Jenkins situation:
  • The potential $1.04 million in cap savings is nice to add to the pile. But two years of dead cap money for a player who isn’t on your team anymore stings.
  • Oof. All of this reminds us how Charles Leno Jr. was taken for granted in some Bears circles. You never know what you got ’til it’s gone. And what the Bears had was a solid left tackle who didn’t miss games and wasn’t a detriment to your team’s attempts at winning football. Sigh. One last parting gift from Ryan Pace.
  • But hey … maybe there is a chance Jenkins and the Bears can kiss and make up at some point this summer. Part of me hopes they do. I hate the idea of giving up on a player with that size and skill. And I definitely am wary of the possibility of a Jenkins bounce back elsewhere in a situation where a team unlocks his potential. That would look ROUGH for the Bears’ new-look front office. And, frankly, the Bears aren’t in a place to discard a second-round pick who plays a position of need. I hope all parties have enough flexibility to have a willingness to work something out.
  • I suppose it could be worse: Tashan Reed (The Athletic) reports that Alex Leatherwood — a Raiders first-round from last year — is working with the third team. Leatherwood was one of college football’s best offensive linemen at Alabama two years ago. So to see him tumble down the depth chart like this is wild. The inexact art of unearthing quality offensive linemen is something else. It’s not like they grow on trees or anything.
  • This is the type of stuff that gets lost when folks steadily beat the drum for a new regime:
  • There was always a real chance that new eyes looking at things would reveal some things. Perhaps maybe we should take this as a sign that this regime really likes Justin Fields (despite their inability to add impact pieces around Justin Fields).
  • Bears Head Coach Matt Eberflus delivered a bummer of an update regarding cornerback Thomas Graham Jr., whose hamstring injury will keep him out a bit. “We thought it was less,” Eberflus said, via 670 The Score. “They’re saying it’s not progressing the way it is, so it’s going to be a little bit longer.” Graham is in the mix of players vying for playing time as the team’s top slot cornerback. The summertime competition was presumably going to be Graham against Tavon Young, but maybe Kyler Gordon makes sense in that spot. Then again, that still opens up a hole at the boundary corner.
  • With that in mind, it is worth noting that Xavier Rhodes (who was with Eberflus in Indy last year) remains a free agent. And as we’ve seen on the other side of the ball, the Bears aren’t afraid of a late-summer signing. I imagine if they don’t like what they see from the cornerback position over these next few weeks, we could hear about them kicking the tires on Rhodes or a number of other potential free agent fits. Not that there is a splash move coming down the pipeline, but this is the time to work around the edges.
  • I now have Super Mario Bros music playing in my head:
  • As we turn the page to Week 2 of camp, Josh Schrock (NBC Sports Chicago) shares what he has learned about the Bears to this point. Meanwhile, Alyssa Barbieri (Bears Wire) highlights seven Bears who were most impressive in Week 1.
  • Are we going to get another crosstown deal between the Cubs and Sox?
  • Bummer: None of the six Blackhawks prospects made Canada’s World Junior Championship Tournament roster. But Connor Bedard, who projects to be the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, made the cut. Perhaps Chicago’s hockey team will be lucky enough to add him next summer.
  • Offseason? What offseason? The Bulls continue to put in work:

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Author: Luis Medina

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