Happy Father’s Day to the dads reading this post. Hopefully, your kids are doing everything to make this day special for you.
To the real superheroes, have a monster day.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 17, 2018
- The Bears are having a relatively drama-free offseason, writes Lorin Cox of Bears Wire. It’s a different vibe than what was going on this time last year when the head coach was on the hot seat and a quarterback competition between a first-round draft pick and a costly free agent signing was on the horizon. There is a sense of peace in the Bears’ world right now as the focus of the franchise is clearly on what’s ahead and not what could be lurking around the corner. With that in mind, it’s refreshing what a clean slate can do for an organization.
- Of course, there is one possible hold up and that’s Roquan Smith’s rookie deal. He still hasn’t signed it, but that isn’t much of a surprise. Like Mitch Trubisky last season, Smith has participated in all of the offseason training program events despite not having his rookie deal signed. I expect that offset language in the contract is the only thing keeping this from being a done deal, and figure both sides will iron out something by the time training camp starts.
- Speaking of Smith, Bleacher Report’s Gary Davenport views the rookie linebacker as a winner after minicamp. Davenport cites Matt Nagy’s approval of Smith’s play during minicamp, noting that the linebackers’ instincts are starting to show up on tape. Nagy insists Smith will have to earn his role in the starting rotation, but it’s clear that Smith is going about doing just that with how he has performed during camp. It won’t be long until you can pencil Smith’s name next to Danny Trevathan’s in the lineup.
- The same can’t be said for outside linebacker Aaron Lynch, who Davenport sees as a camp loser. An injured ankle and hamstring have slowed down Lynch this offseason, and the timing couldn’t have been worse considering the Bears’ needs at the position and Lynch’s need to show he can still get after the quarterback. Lynch signed a one-year “prove it” deal, but hasn’t been in a position to show he still has “it” to the coaching staff. Lynch has missed 18 games the last two seasons and has just 2.5 sacks in the 14 contests he has appeared in during that stretch of years. Lynch could easily jump out of the loser’s column once training camp starts and can prove he is injury free.
- It sure would be nice to have this guy show up on the Bears this year:
- I suppose the only source of conflict this offseason came in the form of the Cameron Meredith situation. Randy Gurzi of Fansided’s NFL Spin Zone writes not matching Meredith’s offer sheet from the Saints was the Bears’ biggest offseason mistake. Chicago’s offense looks to be much improved with a new head coach, offensive coordinator, and a fresh wave of young talent with upside. And while the Bears have a ton of new talent at receiver, retaining Meredith – who was just one year removed from being the team’s leading pass-catcher – could have potentially made a good group even better. But the Bears won’t miss Meredith in the slightest if Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, Anthony Miller, and others pan out and play to their potential.
- The questions regarding Meredith’s health and return from a season-ending knee injury ultimately led the Bears to pass on bringing back Meredith. There wasn’t much doubt about his return, but Meredith looks good at camp and it sounds like he will be ready for Week 1. Good for him.
- The other move that was semi-controversial this offseason was not picking up the third-year option on Josh Sitton’s contract. Sitton played at a Pro Bowl level during his two years in Chicago, but injuries piled up and kept him off the field and that probably played a role in the team’s ultimate decision to move on. Unlike the Meredith situation where the Bears suitably replaced him with some experienced pieces, Chicago opted to go young in replacing Sitton with second-round pick James Daniels.
- It says something about the Bears that their biggest perceived “mistakes” were moves that were addressed elsewhere during the offseason. Well done, Bears. Now, let’s play some football already.