I wrote a Bears Mailbag yesterday that outlined some moves I’d like to see in free agency and discussed Ryan Pace’s penchant for taking risks. Here’s that Mailbag article.
Yeah, I think Pace is swinging for the fences and nailing every pitch.
Of course, while all the news is technically unofficial at this stage, the Bears agreed to terms with four free agents that filled massive holes on the roster as of this writing. And there’s no doubt that Chicago isn’t done yet.
Welcome to the 2018 off-season, Bears fans. It’s off to a wild start, and will get crazier as we go forward.
Here are my thoughts as free agency swings into full gear:
1. Take a bow, Ryan Pace! Reaching an agreement with Allen Robinson, Cody Parkey, Trey Burton, and Taylor Gabriel on “Day 2” of the legal tampering period? Wow.
2. The receiving corps is DRASTICALLY improved already. Assuming the Bears are able to keep Cameron Meredith and are able to get anything from Kevin White, the Bears’ core skill player group includes: Robinson, Meredith, Gabriel, White, Adam Shaheen, Burton, Jordan Howard, and Tarik Cohen. This team is going to be so fun to play with in Madden.
Bears gonna be the most fun team on Madden next year
— Benjamin Allbright (@AllbrightNFL) March 13, 2018
3. Cody Parkey is a great, underrated signing. He’s been a very good kicker throughout his career and is on a pretty hot streak, making 21 of 23 attempts last year with Miami. This signals the end of Mike Nugent and likely Cairo Santos in Chicago. At last, the Bears will have a dependable kicker who won’t waste drives that don’t end up in the end zone.
4. How the hell did Allen Robinson sign for less AAV than Sammy Watkins? $14M a year for three years? That’s a steal. Yes, I know there are concerns about his ACL. But there are concerns about every free agent signing ever. If he stays healthy, the Bears essentially have their next Brandon Marshall without all the drama.
5. The Trey Burton contract is a bit on the higher side at an $8M AAV. But I’m okay with that. He is extremely athletic and plays a different position from Adam Shaheen. So the Bears can have both on the field at the same time. That’ll be fun.
6. Love the Taylor Gabriel signing. Good hands, great speed and great playmaking ability. He’s not a slot receiver per se — he’s never played there before in the NFL. But he certainly could. I’d be interested in seeing Cam Meredith line up in the slot and Gabriel outside, though. That’d be a fun alignment.
7. Now that the Bears have a formidable group of pass catchers, you can essentially say goodbye to stacked boxes against Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. This might be the most exciting part of all.
8. The Packers released WR Jordy Nelson (wow!) and are in agreement with TE Jimmy Graham. Also, the Vikings have their QB, reportedly agreeing to a three year, fully guaranteed deal with Kirk Cousins. The NFC North is lit.
9. There is plenty of work still left to do. The Bears need to figure out the Kyle Fuller situation quickly. And they have to throw multiple bodies at EDGE. And they have to figure out depth at OL and some more at CB. But what a start to this off-season. Ryan Pace just made a massive statement: The Bears intend to compete in 2018. Write them off at your own risk.
I know I use this GIF a lot. But I don't care, because it's so f*cking applicable.
— Dhruv Koul (@DhruvKoul) March 13, 2018