The Schedule is Coming, Overseas Plans, Wright Stuff, Stadium Statuses, and Other Bears Bullets
Happy Matt Mervis Day to all who observe.
Yours truly was able to snag a single ticket for this afternoon’s game at Wrigley because spending a Friday afternoon at Clark and Addison when temps are in the 70s is always the move. If you see me, say hi. I don’t bite. The worst I’ll do is discuss the Bears’ UDFA kicking addition.
- Rookie minicamp begins this weekend. And the No. 1 thing I’m rooting for is health. Here’s to everyone coming out of this weekend healthy and better for the experience.
- There isn’t a rookie Bears fans are looking forward to more than offensive tackle Darnell Wright. Being the first-ever first-round pick for GM Ryan Poles comes with a little extra sauce. There is an added importance of being that guy. We, as a fandom, talked about Kevin White for years. And some of us still talk about him to this day as we reflect on prior regimes. You can’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been and all that jazz.
- Not having a bunch of first-rounders in recent years has put into perspective their value. Not just in terms of having a productive player on a rookie-scale deal. But more so when it comes to overall roster construction. First-round picks are supposed to be foundational pieces of your roster. If you’re doing well in the first round, you’re adding pillars that support your football organization. So if you’re wondering how the Bears got to where they are now, maybe all we need to look at is that they didn’t have a first-round pick in three of the last four drafts. In fact, they’ve had no first-rounders six times since 2006. The lack of top-tier draft capital makes it challenging to build sustained success.
- As someone who loves to plan trips well in advance, this appears to be a bit of welcome news:
- It’s been on our radar since January. Then the idea rattled around in February. And now, we have further confirmation of the Bears playing the Chiefs in Germany begins to bring clarity to Chicago’s schedule. Is it my preferred destination? Hardly. I was hoping for a Kansas City road trip full of stuffing myself with BBQ (Patrick has BBQ recommendations!) and a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. But that was just me being selfish. I guess a trip to K.C. isn’t in the cards for me. Not this year at least. It isn’t much of a consolation prize for me, but I know there are Bears fans who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to see them overseas who will get that opportunity. And I am happy for them. My Eurotrip will one day come. As will my journey to Kansas City.
- ESPN’s Adam Schefter hears the NFL has its eyes on a May 11 schedule release date. That is 6 days from now. The league tends to announce international dates a few days early, so be mindful of that as you navigate those waters.
- Closer to home, the Bears are beginning rookie minicamp this weekend. We’ll dig into some stuff on that front later this morning. But before we get to that bridge, this nugget from The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain caught my eye:
- Considering GM Ryan Poles’ public expression of his perceived value of bringing local products back home, I’m surprised the Bears didn’t draft any Chicagoland products. It’s not like they didn’t have opportunities to do so. Then again, I’d rather my favorite team’s GM draft the best player available without considering caveats such as hometown bias. Plus, if it’s meant to be, then it’s meant to be. Poles brought in linebacker T.J. Edwards and tight end Robert Tonyan as free agents who are making a homecoming of sorts. Who says you can’t go home?
- Speaking of coming home, the Buffalo Bills are ready to break ground on a new stadium that could be completed by the start of the 2026 season:
- There is a part of me that wishes that I could say the same about the Bears. But they are only now in the beginning phases of the demolition process. And this is something we need to keep in mind, especially knowing that the Bills (and Titans) are working on building stadium projects of their own. We’ll need to exercise some patience. I realize that is hard for some of us, but we should give it the ol’ college try and hope for the best.
- Look! You’ve still got time to vote in this very important poll:
- Looking ahead: The Bears better draft and develop their own stud defensive linemen because the contracts are getting HUGE. And they won’t be getting smaller after the rest of the market sees news of the New York Football Giants extending Dexter Lawrence to an extension that could reach $90 million in total value. (BN NFL)
- This is worth noting:
- There was a brief time when news like this would’ve excited me:
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