Free Agency Dreams, Fields’ Return, Kmet is Ready, Get Gipson Going, and Other Bears Bullets

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Free Agency Dreams, Fields’ Return, Kmet is Ready, Get Gipson Going, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

With the NFL’s bye week coming after the Bears take care of the Packers on Sunday, I thought I’d get a head start on taking some downtime for myself by skipping town early for California. I should probably lock down a place to take in the game. My DMs are open if anyone has suggestions. Bonus points for oceanfront viewing of football.

  • I’ve grown to love the wild-west nature of the NFL offseason. Free agent signings one after the other? Love it. Schefty and Rap Sheet dropping unexpected trade bombs? I dig it. That build-up to the NFL Draft? There is nothing like it. And while it has made me groan at MLB’s offseason, the random splash in what is otherwise a slow burn always gets me. The Jacob deGrom signing is just the latest example:
  • A moment like this has me dreaming about what will happen in March with the Bears, who estimates will be $124,435,758 under the projected 2023 NFL salary cap.
  • When was the last time the Bears made a surprise splash in the free-agent market? I suppose their last big, unexpected splash was the Justin Fields draft trade-up. However, there were inklings that a desperate Bears management that failed in its previous free agency and trade pursuits would try to swing a deal to draft a QB. The Khalil Mack trade was a stunner, for sure. But that was a trade. What was the last big free agent splash you didn’t see coming? Was it Julius Peppers? Because I think it was the Peppers signing that had me like whoa.
  • I want to take some time and dive into PFF’s free agency rankings during the bye. There are some names in here we need to discuss and share some expanded thoughts. But, in brief, seeing nine players who do work on the offensive or defensive line checking in among Brad Spielberger’s top 25 has me thinking that is an area where the Bears can flex their financial muscle in rebuilding the team. No, GM Ryan Poles isn’t going to rebuild Rome in a day. But he could certainly use free agency to target certain areas of need. Then he could move on to other areas that weren’t addressed when the draft rolls around. Don’t get it twisted. It will take some heavy lifting to get this thing going.
  • Here’s hoping Poles and his crew are better prepared for free agency this time around. I think there were some missed opportunities and market misreads that I’d like to chalk up to first-year GM missteps. It wasn’t anything tragic. And there weren’t moves that weren’t made that would’ve been franchise-altering. But with as much work as the Bears did around the edges, it could’ve been better. Ah, well, there is no crying over spilled milk.
  • As for what is in our immediate future, quarterback Justin Fields looks clear for takeoff. Fields was off the injury report after a second full practice. Ultimately, the best news here is that Fields’ shoulder is healthy. And, frankly, this is all I needed to read:
  • Whether you want him to play or not is irrelevant. What matters is that an injury that was serious enough to knock him out last week isn’t lingering and problematic a week later. Bears fans have lived through too many situations where an injury wasn’t deemed too bad until you’re waking up to a push notification to someone getting an IR stint. Take the minor victories while you can.
  • Fields’ return this week could be a seminal moment in a rivalry that hasn’t felt much like a rivalry in recent years, writes NBC Sports Chicago’s Josh Schrock. On the one hand, I don’t want to go that far considering this is a game between two teams jockeying for NFL Draft position. Did we realize the Packers are in a position to have a top-10 pick right now? My nightmare is them utilizing that draft spot to turn their thing around. Ideally, they’d win some more games and land more toward the back half of the middle of the pack. Somewhere in the vicinity of being bad enough to miss the NFL playoffs but not bad enough to get a tip-top draft talent.
  • I’m looking forward to seeing Fields back in action:
  • Cole Kmet gets it:
  • Yes, I usually save this stuff for Patrick’s game preview, but if you’re looking for a wager to make this weekend, I’d put $5 on Kmet scoring a touchdown in a rivalry game he takes seriously. BetMGM has it at +600 if he scores the Bears’ first TD.
  • On the other side of the ball, I’d like to see Trevis Gipson get back in the sack column. He has 3 sacks, 3 tackles-for-loss, and 4 quarterback hits in his last two games against the Packers. That includes a two-sack performance in Week 2. Gipson hasn’t been hassling quarterbacks at a high rate this year, but something about Packers Week brings the best out of him. Perhaps this week will be no different.
  • Tomorrow:
  • I almost choked on a cough drop while reading this tweet yesterday:
  • I, under no circumstances, will not miss Aaron Rodgers. Not one bit.
  • What Deion Sanders does on the coaching front is worth monitoring:
  • This could be fun to follow:
  • And I’ll be looking forward to doing this exercise with the class of 2021.
  • Frankly, I’m surprised it was this close for the Bulls last night:

Author: Luis Medina

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