Kyle Fuller went through a “crazy experience” before returning to Chicago and it sounds like he’s happy to be back:
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 21, 2018
Sure, money talks. And a contract worth nearly $60 million that includes $18 million guaranteed speaks volumes. But Fuller is the latest Bears player to talk glowingly about Chicago referring to it as home, much like Prince Amukamara did upon re-signing with the team.
Chicago hasn’t been a destination for free agents in a while, but the perception appears to be changing. Between Fuller and Amukamara returning, as well as players like Allen Robinson and Trey Burton coming in, the Bears look more attractive today than they have since Lovie Smith was on the sideline.
- In case you missed it, restricted free agent receiver Cameron Meredith visited with the Indianapolis Colts on Tuesday. And according to Stephen Holder of the Indianapolis Star, Meredith has multiple visits lined up in the days to come.
- Next up: Baltimore, according to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. The Ravens have been in the hunt for multiple receivers after a disappointing 2017 that ended with them choking away a playoff spot by losing a home game to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 17. Baltimore missed out on the Jarvis Landry sweepstakes, but did sign Michael Crabtree … only after Ryan Grant – a player who didn’t miss a game in four years while in Washington – failed his physical. It must be something in the water in Baltimore.
- Alas, the Bears could have put an end to any outside interest for Meredith by placing the second-round restricted free agent tender on him, but he wouldn’t be getting a chance to get a feel for his current market. Odds are Meredith returns to Chicago by the team signing an offer sheet or with him playing on the one-year tender. After seeing what players like Taylor Gabriel, Albert Wilson, Paul Richardson, and Marqise Lee have received in free agency, Meredith might not want to sign an offer sheet now and could be better off waiting until next offseason to cash in. But Meredith’s growing market could make things more difficult than originally expected.
- Speaking of Gabriel, Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic jumped into the film room to figure out how the new Bears offense could best use one of football’s fastest receivers. That Fishbain doesn’t immediately slide him into the slot receiver role feels like a good thing because having a receiver who can play multiple roles can only help the dynamic of the offense. In fact, Fishbain points out that Gabriel lined up in the slot just 12 times in 2016, which was his most productive season. I’m looking forward to seeing how a dynamic of having Robinson on one side of the field and Gabriel on the other will look in 2018.
- After penciling in Robinson and Gabriel as the top two receivers in the offense, the Bears don’t really have a need to draft a wide receiver in the first-round. With that in mind, JJ Stankevitz and John “Moon” Mullin share their latest attempt at a mock draft over at NBC Sports Chicago. Both end up with a defensive player (in fact, the same defensive player) going to the Bears despite the numerous options on the table. Tremaine Edmunds of Virginia Tech is the pick here for both Mullin and Stankevitz. Mullin believes the Bears’ decision could come down to choosing Edmunds as a fit versatile enough to play outside or inside, and Georgia’s Roquan Smith, who put up better numbers and is a more traditional inside linebacker.
- We discussed the Bears’ not needing at receiver at the top of the draft earlier, and frankly, it’s a bit of a relief because the concept of a reach pick in the top-10 might have been tough to swallow depending on how things went down in the seven picks in front of the Bears. If there is an early run on quarterbacks and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson is off the board, the Bears would then be in a position to take the best defensive player available. The dream would be North Carolina State pass rusher Bradley Chubb or even Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, but both might be off the board by the time the Bears are on the clock.
- Speaking of Chubb, he got a chance to work out with New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick during his pro day at North Carolina State:
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) March 19, 2018
- At least Belichick is honest in knowing Chubb won’t fall, but this is why the Patriots are the Patriots. There is absolutely nothing lost in laying the groundwork for the future and leaving a good impression on a top prospect. No wonder free agents tend to flock there.
- Whenever Belichick hangs ’em up, I’ll look forward to see if he joins the media circus. Because whenever he opens up, he’s quite informative and entertaining. Of course, that leads us to John Fox … and it’s clear that the voting public doesn’t feel like he’s cut for this new media gig he will soon embark on:
Who would be the better NFL analyst? (feel free to chime in @richarddeitsch)
— Bears Talk (@NBCSBears) March 20, 2018
- Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle has details of the contract signed by free agent edge defender Aaron Lynch, whose deal is reportedly worth $4 million and includes a $1 million bonus and $1.25 million guaranteed.
- As for a former edge defender, the Pernell McPhee’s Tour rolls on with its next stop being in Atlanta, writes Kelsey Conway over at the Falcons’ official website. Atlanta lost edge rusher Adrian Clayborn to the Patriots in free agency and could move Vic Beasley back to defensive end. McPhee, who also visited Washington to start his journey, could fit in nicely with the Falcons as a rotational rusher along with Beasley and 2017 first-round pick Takk McKinley.