Phillips Out, Warren In, Pettis Back, Is a Hurts Deal in Fields' Future? And Other Bears Bullets

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Phillips Out, Warren In, Pettis Back, Is a Hurts Deal in Fields’ Future? And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

Dinner ran late yesterday, but it was worth it because it was delicious.

If you’re the type who likes trying new recipes that come highly recommended by a guy who writes football, then this weeknight meatball recipe might be in your wheelhouse.

Also, while writing this I realized I’ve been cooking stuff on my own since sixth grade. And if I’m doing the math correctly (I’ve never been more than a “C” student there, so I should probably check my numbers), that’s like … 25 years ago at this point! Pretty wild.

  • I wanted to start the week of Bullets by extending a big whopping thanks to those of you who follow us on Twitter. Because of you, we’ve reached 46,000 followers. It is wild to think about how far we (as a site … and even me, as a person) have come since January 2017 when we were branded as The Ten-Yard Line. I’m thankful for all your support, engagement, and the other stuff that comes along with the gig. Let’s keep the good times rolling.
  • Let the record show that the Kevin Warren era began on a snowy morning in the greater Chicagoland area:

  • Warren takes over for Ted Phillips as the Bears’ President/CEO. Phillips had been in that top boss role since 1999. In that time, the Bears made just six postseason appearances and had more losing seasons than winning campaigns. I try not to put more blame on Phillips than he deserves. After all, it’s not like he was the general manager hiring coaches and drafting players. And he wasn’t a coach calling plays or a player trying to execute them on any given Sunday. But he oversaw everything that led to those shortcomings. With that in mind, I’m looking forward to a clean slate and a fresh start with Warren at the top.
  • Because I’m the type who hopes for the best for everyone, my hope when it comes to Phillips’ legacy is that he’ll be remembered for laying the groundwork for the Bears’ palatial estate in Arlington Heights. If the Bears nail the new stadium, Phillips should be remembered for his role in the franchise taking those first steps. To be clear, this doesn’t absolve him of overseeing a tremendously mid stretch of years of Bears football. But I’m just trying to find a silver lining in a dark cloud on a Monday morning. So don’t mind me.
  • Joining Warren at Halas Hall are many other Bears players as Chicago’s football team is among the many beginning offseason workouts today. Monday brings the start of the voluntary workout program. And if you’ll recall any vocabulary lessons from your youthful years, voluntary means players aren’t required to show up. Mandatory minicamps aren’t until June. But we’ll cross that bridge when we get there in 57 days.
  • This phase of the offseason workout plan is a two-week stretch that is limited to team meetings, strength and conditioning exercises, and physical rehab for players coming back from injury. Or to put it in more succinct terms, this is a great time for Justin Fields and DJ Moore to build a rapport (and that’s if both show up for this not-mandatory part of the offseason training program).
  • Speaking of receivers building a relationship with QB1, Dante Pettis is back again. And the receiver room looks different now than when he first arrived last spring:

  • At this time next year, I hope we’re writing this headline about Justin Fields:

  • It’s a five-year deal for Hurts worth up to $255 million that includes nearly $180 million in guarantees. And suddenly, we know what Fields will be aiming for after stacking a breakout campaign that leaves his 2022 breakthrough in the dust.
  • Part of me types that facetiously and with my tongue firmly planted in my cheek. But part of me realizes a few things. Firstly, this is the going rate moving forward for high-end quarterback extensions before they reach the end of their rookie deal. Secondly, if your quarterback is worth signing an extension at the first moment it’s possible, then you should do it. Otherwise, you’re dealing with a Lamar Jackson type of mess in Baltimore. And thirdly, the Bears still have to hit minimum salary spending thresholds before the start of the 2024 NFL calendar year. The easiest way to do that at this point would be to give Fields a bag of his own. But do it only if he is deserving of it at this time next year.
  • Also? It’s crazy to think about Hurts getting this bag when folks were wondering at this time last year if he was going to be The Guy for Philly long-term. I’m sure there are going to be freezing-cold takes unearthed from fans who were pining for Gardner Minshew II to unseat Hurts. Granted, I think there was something to be said about Hurts solidifying his spot. But there were way too many people ready to jump ship. Maybe that should serve as a reminder for us to pump the brakes and allow things to play out before casting future projections.
  • Many of the national conversations surrounding Hurts last year were similar to the ones folks were having about Fields last offseason … and this one, too. At least, before the Bears traded out of the first pick and closed the door on drafting a QB.
  • A Chicago sports media icon needs help:

  • An offseason roadmap for the Blackhawks from Tab:

  • Eli is out here making some good points about the Bulls moving forward after a disappointing 2022-23 season:

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Author: Luis Medina

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