Here is a fun thread that should get you excited about Mitch Trubisky’s future with the Chicago Bears:
Don't think I've done a Trubisky thread yet. Fifth-best 16+ yard passer in the league last year. pic.twitter.com/aaeOmTa6pt
— Yerah Be Grand (@Cianaf) April 6, 2018
- I don’t remember seeing Cameron Meredith and Trubisky on the field together at any point during the preseason. It sure would be nice to see that connection grow in 2018. At this point, it’s up to the Bears’ front office to make a decision on whether or not it will happen.
- Despite missing the 2017 season with an ACL injury, there was some notable interest in wide receiver Cameron Meredith. ESPN’s Jamison Hensley reports the Ravens extended an offer sheet to the Bears’ restricted free agent wideout who is one year removed from being the team’s leading receiver. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but it must have been enough to drive New Orleans to offer a two-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million. The Bears have until Wednesday to figure out what they’re doing with Cameron Meredith. That’s when the team has to make a decision whether or not to match the offer sheet Meredith signed with the New Orleans Saints. Should the Bears decide not to match, they will lose Meredith without receiving any compensation.
- Over at the Chicago Tribune, Brad Biggs attempts to explore what would be next for Meredith (and the Bears) if the team decides to not match the offer sheet and part ways. Biggs sees the Meredith situation as one that is more complex than the Bears’ decision to quickly match the offer sheet cornerback Kyle Fuller signed with the Green Bay Packers. The Bears have to take into consideration Meredith’s health and progress in rehabilitating from his season-ending knee injury. The team also has to keep in mind Meredith’s role in the Bears’ new offense. After the free agency frenzy that landed Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, where Meredith fits in the scheme is still to be determined. We’ll soon find out how the Bears feel about a player who is just one year removed from a 66-catch, 888-yard, four-touchdown season.
- Sigh. This is probably not a conversation we’d be having had the Bears ponied up a second-round tender, because no team would have been willing to part ways with a second-round pick in order to sign Meredith if the team would have declined its right to match. But here we are, so let’s make the most of it.
- Moving on from Meredith might be more difficult than expected. After all, losing a diamond-in-the-rough like Meredith before he possibly reaches his prime is a less than ideal situation. Then again, the Bears could always fall back on the upcoming NFL Draft to recoup their losses. Josh Liskiewitz of Pro Football Focus offers up the best team fits for the top receiver prospects, and connects a familiar name to the Bears. Liskiewitz sees Alabama’s Calvin Ridley as a perfect fit, especially as a complementary piece alongside Allen Robinson. Citing Ridley’s ability to create separation despite not owning top-end speed, Liskiewitz sees the Crimson Tide star as someone who could stretch the field vertically.
- Because the Bears made their mark in free agency, the team most likely isn’t going to use the No. 8 pick on Ridley. That makes sense, considering the team’s other needs elsewhere on the gridiron. I’m curious to see how teams approach drafting this class’ top wideouts, especially after three went in the top-10 last year – and none were productive with their teams. It’s possible that the way things played out last year has caused teams to pump the brakes on selecting a receiver high in this year’s draft. If that’s the case, then the Bears could find a good value in Round 2 or even later.
- NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein combs the prospect field in search of under-the-radar talents who could be late-round (or even undrafted) gems. Among Zierlein’s diamond in the rough candidates is LSU wide receiver Russell Gage, who he projects to be a Day 3 sleeper. He describes Gage as a “tremendous competitor who’s fearless with the ball in his hands.” Despite his limited exposure as a receiver thanks to LSU’s offensive system, Gage is someone who interests me because of his athleticism and special-teams ability. Zierlein notes Gage’s 17 special teams tackles and that he excelled in punt and kick coverage. The Bears could stand to improve on special teams. Tack on his potential as a slot receiver, and Gage looks like someone who should be on the Bears’ radar.
- With Joshua Bellamy signing his low-round tender earlier in the week and Meredith receiving an offer sheet, the remaining restricted free agent with Bears ties is cornerback Bryce Callahan. There hasn’t been much public interest in Callahan, the Bears’ top slot corner and special teams secret weapon. Callahan is one of the better free agents available, but probably isn’t a high priority because he has been limited to playing primarily inside and because of possible injury concerns. Callahan’s playing time (based on snap percentage) has been on the rise since his rookie season, but he has yet to play a full 16-game slate. It’s quite possible he returns on the one-year tender, which would position him to make a contract-year push in the season ahead.
- In case you were curious, Nagy settled the debate on how to properly pronounce his last name. Perhaps we should all just stick with “Coach.”