The Bears Need to Think Seriously About Extending Eddie Goldman

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“What’s your thoughts on the Bears signing Johnathan Hankins? I think it would be great to see him with Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman. Is the DL depth for the Bears being overlooked? It seems like a greater need than what is being talked about. — @BillHol71306847

“The Bears are not in play for Hankins at this point… I think the Bears are probably more interested in investing in their own player Goldman later in the year, or at least trying to get something done. With as many issues and roster holes the Bears needed to fill, they weren’t going to get them all covered in free agency, or the first two weeks of it anyway.

The draft remains and that’s where the franchise can get the biggest boost for the remainder of this offseason. They’ve got to nail the draft and whether they add help up front (that wouldn’t surprise me) remains to be seen.”

The Bears need to think seriously about extending Goldman. Nose tackle isn’t a big generator in terms of statistics and that makes it an undervalued part of the 3-4 defense. But the Bears defense wasn’t the same two years ago after Goldman got hurt.

The Bears may be depending upon Rashaad Coward to develop into a reliable backup at this position in his second year. But, like Biggs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears drafted a defensive lineman.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Bears drafted almost any position this year. They need pass rush (who doesn’t?) and they need a starting interior lineman (depending upon how they feel about Eric Kush). But otherwise, like last year, what they need more than anything else is depth almost everywhere on the field, especially on defense.

As Biggs said, the Bears have to nail the draft. Because when the injury bug hits, they’re going to need the players they add there to step up.

Kendall Wright Wasn’t A Fit For the New Bears

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

Kendall Wright was the Bears’ leading receiver in 2017. He was often double-teamed due to the lack of other credible Wide Receiver threats. Given that he had a relatively inexpensive contract and had synergy with Mitch Trubisky, why has he not been re-signed as a depth or insurance for Kevin White? Is there a detail or back story that I’m missing as his salary was a rounding error compared to the new contracts? — David D., Parts Unknown

“Wright was productive for the Bears in the final month of the season but let’s not overstate the value he brought to what was a really challenged offensive unit. I’d disagree with your assessment that he was often double-teamed. Wright is an average slot receiver at this point and the Bears have candidates that they believe will be more productive in the new scheme — Taylor Gabriel and Trey Burton. The Chiefs brought Wright in for a visit last week and it will be interesting to see if he generates a little more interest from the market. The Bears should be credited with some nice moves to overhaul and upgrade the position.”

Wright signed with the Vikings after this was written.

Like Biggs, I was curious to see what the interest was going to be for Wright around the league. Wright had success under former Bears offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains with the Titans in

  1. After that, he had more trouble. His last offensive

coordinator there, Terry Robiskie, was particularly blunt about Wright’s tendency to “freelance”.

“We’ve got 11 guys that are going to be on the field,” Robiskie said. “We’ve got 11 guys that we say, ‘This is your job and here is your responsibility,’ and I think Kendall is like everybody else — realizing those other 10 guys are counting on Kendall to be where he’s supposed to be and do what he’s supposed to do.”

Perhaps Wright found a home in Minnesota where they will let him do what Loggains apparently allowed him to do. But evidently, like Robiskie, new Bears head coach Matt Nagy is of a different sort.

The Bears Need More Kyle Fuller’s

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“Please set me straight. The Bears pay Kyle Fuller an average of $14 million a year for four years and because the structure is back-end loaded with dead cap space in all years they essentially must keep him at least three years. Other young and just as highly ranked (based on the well respected Pro Football Focus) corners are getting signed at a fraction of a price (E.J. Gaines, Ross Cockrell, Tyrann Mathieu, who plays all over etc). I know there is some injury concern on some of those guys. Still, this is a high-risk contract. There were alternatives for that money and in the draft. The Bears will need to re-sign young drafted talent the next few years and I worry this could hinder that. Fuller must be an All-Pro to justify the value. — Dan W., Parts Unknown

“For starters, I would not lump Gaines and Cockrell in the same category as Fuller. In fact, I’d put Prince Amukamara and Fuller ahead of those two players. Mathieu is more of a safety than he is cornerback so that’s not really an apple to apple comparison, in my opinion. Is there risk involved with the Fuller contract? Sure. He had one full season of high level play and it followed a season in which he did not set foot on the field. The Bears were flush with cap space and had they not matched the offer sheet made by the Packers, they would have had a glaring hole in the secondary, one that might have pigeonholed them into drafting a quarterback in the first round.”

“I don’t look at this with a doom and gloom view. The Bears kept a really good player, one they believe is still ascending and they did fit that deal into their cap space and salary structure with relative ease.”


We say it year after year. The goal is to sign your own free agents. The Bears know Fuller better than anyone and they believe his talent and his attitude justified the long-term deal that was offered. I say, “Fantastic”.

The Bears have to find more of these guys. More guys that they believe in and can sign with confidence for the future. Pace didn’t draft Fuller and isn’t invested in him like he would be had he done so. But he matched the offer for Fuller without hesitation in a matter of hours. I think that’s a great sign.

Bank On It: 4 QBs Ahead of the Bears Pick in the First Round

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“I keep hearing people say it’s better for the Bears if all the top QBs get drafted BEFORE their pick at No. 8. Why? With mediocre talent in the top 10 this year, wouldn’t it be better if at least a few of the top QBs dropped so the Bears are best positioned to trade down and gain picks? – @kunicks

“I don’t know about that. There could be a damn good player sitting there at No. 8 if three quarterbacks come off the board in the top seven picks. If somehow, and I think this is a bit of a longshot, four quarterbacks go in the top seven, I know there will be a damn good football player available at No. 8. For the sake of discussion, let’s say three quarterbacks are selected in the top seven picks. Let’s assume Penn State running back Saquon Barkley and North Carolina State defensive end Bradley Chubb are also gone in the top seven picks. That’s five players off the board and that leaves Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edmunds and Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith as well as Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward and Florida State safety Derwin James, among others. That’s a pretty good group if you ask me.”

It sounds to me like Biggs is underestimating the odds that 4 quarterbacks are going off the board before the Bears pick. The key is how highly do teams value that fourth guy, presumably former Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield.

I’ve participated in a seven round mock draft with representatives from the other 31 NFL teams every year for the last five or six years. These guys know their teams and have a pretty good idea of what they’re thinking is. The trends that come out of these mock drafts tend to be very representative of what happens on draft weekend.

Amongst other things, this group very accurately predicted the run on first round quarterbacks last year at a time when not that many people thought as many would go as early as they did.

This year’s mock started last week and I’m not allowed to release the results, yet. But suffice it to say 4 quarterbacks went in the top 5 picks.

Four quarterbacks will be gone before the Bears pick at #8. Book it.

Trading for Odell Beckham? Not Likely But…

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“Do you think there is a possibility the Bears will give their first-round pick for Odell Beckham Jr.? I wouldn’t mind. — @maliek4ever

“I was a little surprised by the number of folks that had the very same question. There is zero possibility the Bears will trade the No. 8 pick in the draft to the Giants for Beckham. Let’s be real here. Beckham wants a new contract and it’s been floated that he will seek a deal that approaches the range of quarterback money — think $20 million per season. The Bears are not going to fork over a first-round pick, the kind of thing that would give them control of the player for four seasons with a club option for a fifth year to acquire a guy that they would then have to sign to a massive contract.

“Let me put this further in perspective. The No. 8 pick a year ago, Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey, got a contract worth $17.24 million for four years. That will bump up a bit this year and will still be less than $20 million for one season. The nature of Twitter is for folks to jump on the marquee names and play connect-the-dots but there’s just no way this is happening especially with the large investments the team has made in the position already this offseason. Have we already forgotten about Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel not to mention pass-catching tight end Trey Burton?

First let me say up front that I agree with everything Biggs said.

Having said that, from a fan’s point of view Beckham makes more sense. Fans don’t care a lot about the money except as it affects the salary cap. By all accounts the Bears still have plenty of room and Biggs himself has said many times that you can always create more. It isn’t a big barrier. Cash budget is more important nowadays.

Given that is the case would you rather have Beckham, the best receiver in the game, or McCaffrey, a pretty good running back but hardly what I’d have called a difference maker last year?

The biggest problem I have with Beckham is his attitude. He’s one of the most entitled and immature players in the league and it leads to problems both on the field and off. Those problems are a bit overblown in New York.  Former Eagles president Joe Banner apparently agrees.  Via Don Banks at The Athletic:

“You talk to the players on the Giants, and is he a high maintenance player? Yes. Does he do things that frustrate people and take up unnecessary time and energy? Yes. But he’s not one of these guys that you’re waking up every single morning thankful that the phone didn’t ring and he wasn’t arrested or something like that. That’s not what he is.”

But still, the fact remains that you’re talking about committing to a guy who is a huge challenge to coach. So you really want to stick him with first year head coach Matt Nagy in a large media city like Chicago?

It looks like a potential Marc TrestmanMartellus Bennett relationship if I ever saw one.

The South Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Dave Hyde related the other day about a question posed to former GM Charley Casserly was asked about the Dolphins move for a better “culture.” Casserly said, “Don’t sacrifice talent for character.” I tend to agree. But Beckham’s a bad fit for the Bears right now.