Wild Predictions, Leatherwood Fit, Roster Upheaval, and Other Bears Bullets

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Wild Predictions, Leatherwood Fit, Roster Upheaval, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

If I’m not as around as you’re used to today, it’s because we’re hosting a funeral mass for my grandmother who died at age 94 in September. Gonna try and power through Bullets while I can, as I’ve got some stuff on my plate that I’ll be dealing with today.

  • Can you believe the NFL kicks off its regular season one week from today? We’ve made it through the offseason wilderness!
  • On September 1, 2018, we were celebrating the arrival of Khalil Mack via blockbuster trade with the Raiders. Four years later, we’re spending time dissecting the acquisition of another former Raiders player. It’s the circle of life: NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport notes the Bears were the only team to put a waiver claim on Alex Leatherwood, who was cut by the Raiders after just one year with the team. But it seems like a dice roll worth making considering the Bears’ need at the position:
  • Part of me is a little surprised the Bears claimed Leatherwood off waivers. But part of me should know better. Sure, the Bears are on the hook for the rest of Leatherwood’s rookie contract now. But the Raiders have already paid out 59 percent of that deal. And it’s not like the Bears are tight on cap space this year or in the ones that follow. This was a team that was $13.952 million ***UNDER*** the cap going into yesterday’s dealings. Let’s not pretend that this is some prohibitive contract.
  • Moreover, Chicago’s football team had a need to bolster the offensive line with an infusion of talent. And unlike other teams, the Bears are at a place in their competitive arc where they can take on a developmental project. This is definitely a swing for the fences for Ryan Poles’ regime. One that I’m definitely willing to co-sign. What’s the worst-case scenario? A few million dollars going to a player during rebuilding times who might not pan out? The reward far outshines the risk.
  • Let the kids play!
  • We’ll be watching his development with great interest:
  • In addition to their Leatherwood waiver claim, the Bears put in claims for a handful of players that other teams had interest in, too:
  • The only player they didn’t win a claim on was Nick McCloud, a cornerback who played collegiately at Notre Dame and North Carolina State. McCloud, 24, has previous pro experience with the Bills, Bengals, and Giants — although much of it has come with the practice squad or in preseason. Beating the Giants cost the Bears that waiver claim! Or something like that.
  • If there is one grand takeaway from this surge of roster movement from the Bears, it’s this: GM Ryan Poles and Head Coach Matt Eberflus were not satisfied with the roster. To me, that’s a good thing. As fans, how long have we been upset with how Ryan Pace put things together? Since coming on the scene, Pace’s replacement has brought in at least (by my count) 59 new players into Halas Hall. You wanted change? You got it.
  • There’s been a lotta love for Sterling Weatherford. And I’m here for the new guy climbing the depth chart and making plays for these Bears:
  • It sure sounds like the Colts will miss him:
  • When it comes to a more high-profile linebacker on Chicago’s defense, I’m ready to see Roquan Smith go to work:
  • My prediction is that SI will want Twitter’s edit button for these NFC North standings predictions when the dust settles and this season comes to its conclusion:
  • It is absolutely wild to me how the narrative went from “the Bears will be immediately better if they scrapped their current offensive line and got rid of their coach” to “they’re actually going to be worse off after doing things we wanted them to do in the offseason.”
  • An old friend might be finding a new home soon:
  • Ah, I see Baker Mayfield is walking back his I’m gonna [eff] the the Browns up commentary. (Pro Football Talk)
  • I can’t wait until the Bears have a QB who is worth giving this ind of contract to in the future:
  • If last year taught us anything, it’s that All-NBA caliber campaign is on deck for DeMar DeRozan this season:
  • An audible “OH JEEZ, PATRICK!” was heard coming from Ron Santo’s Force ghost after seeing this tweet:
  • Who’s hosting the prospect watch watch party?

Author: Luis Medina

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