Gary from Chicago would have been the star of the show at Sunday’s Academy Awards until the show-ending snafu with regard to the best picture award.
Still, the Chicago Bears’ Twitter account had some fun with his phone case:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) February 27, 2017
Now if the front office is as quick to woo potential free agents as its social media team is to hand out phone covers, this offseason will be wildly entertaining.
- If you missed it this morning, the big news is the Bears’ reported decision not to use the Franchise Tag on Alshon Jeffery.
- Dan Wiederer of the Chicago Tribune weighs in on the biggest decisions the Bears will have to make this offseason. Obvious ones include what the team will do with quarterback Jay Cutler (he has options), the third pick in the draft, wide receiver Alshon Jeffery (the piece came before reports that the Bears will not use the Franchise Tag, but a big decision on how aggressively to pursue an extension now looms), and those really just scratch the surface. But free agency should be the most telling angle to follow this offseason. In 2016, the Bears used free agency to add three defensive starters Danny Trevathan, Jerrell Freeman, and Akiem Hicks. Those three additions worked out well, though, right tackle Bobby Massie didn’t look like a strong addition to an offensive line that needed better play from its tackles.
- The Bears’ trip on the quarterback carousel will be one that will be followed with great interest, in part, because they (and nearly half the league) could make quarterback changes this offseason. Around the NFL writer Marc Sessler draws up 14 scenarios in which teams address quarterback questions, including the Bears passing on drafting a quarterback third or trading the No. 3 overall pick for Jimmy Garoppolo by signing Tony Romo to jump-start their offense.
- Sticking with the theme of major offseason additions, Around the NFL’s Gregg Rosenthal plays matchmaker by linking each NFC team with a player who projects to be available this offseason. Rosenthal connects the Bears with cornerback Stephon Gilmore (which seems to be a popular idea) rather than one of the quarterbacks who will be out on the market. Gilmore is the kind of player who would represent an upgrade at a position of need for the Bears. Gilmore is an established above-average corner, who is still young enough to round out his game in some areas and get better.
- For what it’s wroth, Alshon Jeffery didn’t make the NFC (or AFC) list of potential fun additions. Perhaps Jeffery isn’t amusing enough. However, Jeffery did make Pro Football Focus’ updated list of top-50 NFL free agents. Jeffery sits just outside the top-10, ranking 13th overall and third offensive skill-position player behind Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell and Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins. Bell and Cousins rank 1-2 on the list, respectively.
- Back to Jay Cutler for a minute, whose contract is no longer a trade killer. However, as ESPN’s Jeff Dickerson writes, teams are better off waiting for Cutler to be dumped by the Bears before negotiating a contract on their terms rather than inherit Cutler’s contract in a trade — even if there is no guaranteed money left on the table.
- This should definitely be worth more than three points. Or, at minimum, added to the Pro Bowl skills competition:
- Pro Football Weekly has unearthed some potential reclamation projects who could benefit from a potential change of scenery and have a bounce-back season in a new uniform. Among the players included on “Reclamation Row” are a pair of players who came up with the Vikings in receiver/return specialist Cordarrelle Patterson and left tackle Matt Kalil. Jay Cutler is one of two quarterbacks on this list, the other is E.J. Manuel — a former first-round pick who lost his job as starter in Buffalo and will seek a fresh start somewhere new.
- Mario Addison received a three-year contract extension from the Carolina Panthers. Addison played four games with Bears in 2011, but has emerged as a key cog in Ron Rivera’s defense after taking off in Carolina. Addison has recorded 22 sacks in the last three years, including a career-best 9.5 in 2016.
- If you’re looking for a list of notable cuts, NFL.com has you covered by tracking them and putting them all in one convenient place.
- Between the Combine and NFL Draft, the biggest scouting event is each individual Pro Day, which is similar to the Combine in the kind of events prospects will play in. However, teams could take advantage of the additional time to better know the prospects, while the players will have a home-field advantage of sorts working in a familiar setting. You can check out the listed Pro Day schedule by date and school here.
- Marking the spot of the ball is an inexact science. And while inserting a chip inside the football could be helpful in certain situations, former NFL referee and FOX officiating expert Mike Pereira says the chip wouldn’t solve all the ball-spotting problems officials have during the game. Which is a bit of a disappointment, but understandable when considering all of the factors that go into spotting the ball. Long story, short: chips will need to be inserted into more than the balls to get the most accurate on-field calls.
- The Triple Option being played by the game’s most gifted athletes is quite the sight.
Cool scheme…Triple-Option. Send WR in motion (pitch). That widens the safety & opens a lane for Tyrod Taylor. pic.twitter.com/hFwXst4303
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) February 24, 2017