The Line Gets to Work, Sleeper Free Agents, Jackson Action, and Other Bears Bullets

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The Line Gets to Work, Sleeper Free Agents, Jackson Action, and Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I’m writing Bullets from O’Hare because after an hour and a half of our airplane wandering around, we’re back at the gate because of a maintenance issue. It is a mild annoyance, but I’m going to try to think of this as a “better safe than sorry” kind of ordeal.

Even still … my apologies in regards to the brevity of this particular set of Bullets.

  • Here is something for your listening pleasure on the last Friday of the 2022 NFL league year:
  • Can you tell I’m still a bit miffed about Saquon Barkley getting tagged by the Giants? Chicago’s ground game will be fine without Barkley. But what if I want more than fine? What if I want exceptional? Or great? Or a superlative that hasn’t even been created yet? I want to have ridiculously high hopes for the Bears’ offense when I show up to Bourbonnais Lake Forest for training camp.
  • Update from the airport: The flight to Orlando that isn’t ours is leaving on time. It feels like telling us that was an unnecessary tease.
  • A reminder of what the Bears’ lead returning back did to a top-10 DVOA defense:
  • Two months later, I still feel strongly about this. Expecting Khalil Herbert carry the entire load would be a mistake. Even if he could, I’d hate to make it through a year and have Herbert running on empty when he could’ve been fresher, better, and more effective had he been given a worthwhile tandem partner in the backfield.
  • And, yes, I think there is a path to the Bears getting suitable running back help with Herbert still in a spot to have RB1 value from a fantasy standpoint. In other words, Herbert’s dynasty owners can rest easy.
  • A collection of intriguing “mid-level” RB free agents and more backfield discussion can be found here.
  • Look at these guys putting in offseason work:
  • The Ja’Tyre Carter pick was one of my favorites last year. Maybe it is the football hipster in me. Or perhaps it is the nerd who loves watching line play camp battles. But the Carter selection was an inspired one — and one I hope the Bears make every year. Throw a late-round dart on a prospect who checks your length and athleticism boxes. Every draft should see the Bears target a developmental lineman prospect. You just never know how those turn out.
  • Also: I love seeing Braxton Jones isn’t resting on his laurels. A solid rookie year should be a nice building block for him moving forward. Jones and Jenkins are the two Bears I think are the closest to being locked into starting roles in 2023.
  • I can’t believe the Lamar Jackson situation:
  • Does no one need a franchise quarterback? Really?
  • In any other year, I’d wonder if the Bears were a fit for Jackson. I’d spend time cooking up angles on how Chicago could pursue the Ravens QB. There would be so much ink spilled about how the Bears’ cap situation and ownership of the No. 1 pick could set up Jackson and this franchise for the foreseeable future. We’d dream big. Instead, I’m happy with Justin Fields. Maybe I’m weird for not thirsting over Lamar the way that I would’ve on an alternative timeline. But if last year’s version of Fields was a baseline of what he can do, then the sky is the limit for his potential.
  • Sleeper free agents to watch:
  • Is it just me or do two potential Bears fits pop up? Assistant GM Ian Cunningham had eyes on Andre Dillard when both were in Philadelphia. That connection could prove to be valuable when it comes to reaching out to free agents. The Bears should be doing anything and everything to upgrade that offensive line. And if that means rolling the dice on some sleepers, then so be it.
  • Lions DL John Cominsky piques my interest too. And not just because his name sounds like what I used to call Comiskey Park before I learned how to properly enunciate. Comin sky checks boxes for the Bears, too. Played all over the line? Check. Special teams contributor? Double check. Potentially snagging someone from a division rival? Triple check. No, I can’t see Cominsky as a top priority. But when it comes to team building, adding a multi-positional defender who also plays on special teams is a nice little piece to have on a roster.
  • We’ll take some time to expand on this at a time when I’m not writing from my phone at an airport, but this is worth re-sharing:
  • This front office has money to spend. And holes to fill. They won’t spend every dollar. But there is a minimum threshold they’ll need to throw down this offseason. With that in mind, I fully expect the Bears to be in their bag when the “legal tempering” negotiation period begins on Monday. I’ll be sure to double up on that caffeine hit for that one.
  • There are few things I enjoy as much as when a coach is mic’d up at camp:
  • Nope. I sure wasn’t ready for this:
  • I didn’t realize Zach LaVine had been rolling lately. Good 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.