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.

Posted in Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans | Leave a comment

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.”

Amen.

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.

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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.

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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.

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Warning: Incoming Rainbows and Sunshine at 6 O’Clock

Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune hypes the tight working relationship between new head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace:

“More than a few times this offseason, the GM has dropped an index card on the coach’s desk, detailing a player about whom Pace covets Nagy’s opinion.

“’I can pick up phone and call Matt at 3 in the morning, and he’s going to answer on the first ring, and right away we’re talking football,’ Pace said. ’I just appreciate his drive and his dedication to get this going. We share that, and it’s a fun time to be together.’”

Pace’s determination to be collaborative in shaping the roster under their shared vision “means the world,” Nagy said.

“’That partnership that Ryan and I talk about … extended into our coaches and scouts. When you have those two departments working together, you end up getting what you want in free agency.’”

I hate this time of year. I really do. Especially with a new head coach.

It’s all sunshine and rainbows being blown up your posterior and all kinds of comments about how it’s all completely different now and everyone is so close and they’re all on the same page. Just like it was with John Fox. And Marc Trestman. And Lovie Smith… Like we’ve never heard all this before or the lack of sustained success over the last 25 years doesn’t still serve as a potential harbinger of things to come.

To be clear, I don’t blame Campbell or any of his peers for this. It’s not fair to start hammering on a new regime before the new guy has even coached his first game. He knows as well as I do that Nagy has a half a season of calling plays and no head coaching experience under his belt. He’s never even installed an offense before.

Campbell (and everyone else) is doing what he has to do. And even a cynic like me can see that the team has gotten more talented in the offseason. Well, potentially more talented, anyway. As in the new tight end is a total projection and the new #1 wide receiver has had one really good year three years ago and may or may not be totally healthy coming off of a devastating knee injury.

But hey, there’s plenty of time to talk about that and similar problems over the next three years. No reason to be in a hurry to start being realistic now.

I’m just tired of it. I’d rather read nothing at all than deal with the hand holding and the kumbayas. And perhaps that’s what I’ll do.

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To Pay or Not to Pay. That is the Question.

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

“Did the Bears make an error in not placing a higher tender on Cameron Meredith as a restricted free agent? It looks like he could be signed to an offer sheet which could force the Bears to pay him much more? – Nick, Schaumburg

“The Bears made a calculated move in placing the original round tender on Meredith at $1.907 million. Because he was undrafted, they will not receive any compensation in the event he signs an offer sheet with another club and the Bears elect not to match it. Meredith visited the Colts on Tuesday and from what I understand he has at least one more visit lined up. The Colts and any other team are going to want to take a close look at Meredith’s surgically repaired left knee and allow their doctors and medical staff to gauge exactly where he’s at in terms of recovery. There’s an element of risk involved there, not unlike the situation the Bears got into by signing Allen Robinson, who is coming off a torn ACL. The Bears could have placed the second-round tender on Meredith and ensured no one came knocking on his door because it’s highly unlikely another team would have forked over a second-round pick in order to sign him. That would have cost $2.914 million. As I wrote in the Mailbag recently, it’s going to take a pretty good offer for Meredith to sign, in my opinion. If he bets on himself for this coming season, he could put himself in line for a much bigger pay day in free agency… The Bears could always match an offer sheet too but they’ve invested heavily in the position with Robinson ($14 million annual average) and Gabriel ($6.5 million annual average). If there is a team that believes Meredith will bounce back this season and they like his upside, things could get interesting quickly.”

My first instinct was to say that the Bears were doing the same thing with Meredith as they did with Kyle Fuller. That is, let the market determine his value, then pay him. And that still might be how it works out. The best thing that could happen if you are the Bears is someone negotiates a reasonable deal for you.  Having said that, I doubt it will happen but, as Biggs says, if someone decides to pay him like he was never injured, it could get interesting.

I don’t say this kind of thing often but I actually believe in Meredith as much as he probably believes in himself. If I’m the Bears, I just pay him whatever the market demands  and the amount invested in the position be damned. The way salaries are rising, in a couple years it will probably be considered a bargain no matter what they are playing the position. To me, Meredith has shown enough to prove he can play it. You don’t let your own walk when that’s the case.

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Bears Need to Think Hard Before Signing Malcomb Butler

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune on the Bears free agent options at cornerback:

It would be surprising if there isn’t good interest in [Kyle] Fuller. Where his market heads and what he’s seeking money-wise remains to be seen. The good news is there is solid depth at the position in free agency. Depending on who you talk to, there are two tiers of top available corners. Most folks I spoke to placed Trumaine Johnson of the Rams, Fuller and Bashaud Breeland of the Redskins in the top three. One defensive backs coach I spoke to had Johnson, Fuller and Malcolm Butler of the Patriots. There hasn’t been a ton of chatter about Butler, and who knows what happened leading into Super Bowl LII when he was benched. I don’t know that anyone will ever get the real story on that.

“Who can say what happened with that deal? It was just weird,” said the defensive backs coach. “But he’s a good player. Limited because of his size, but he’s good. He makes plays. He’s got good movement. He’s got a little attitude out there. You say he struggled this season and I counter that they didn’t have any pass rush this season at all. You’ve got to consider that.

“That’s why when I was doing my report on Aaron Colvin (Jaguars cornerback), I had a hard time. Nice player, but it was hard to write a report on him because that defense was just avalanching quarterbacks the entire season. You watch the cornerbacks in Jacksonville and they were just sitting on routes, which I would have done, too, because of that pass rush. So how is Colvin going to fit in your system if you can’t get after the quarterback like that? That’s the challenge. Nice player, but I think he’s in the next tier.”

Points are all well taken on Butler. But I’ve become convinced that the Super Bowl benching was a football decision just as the Patriots say it was.

Butler was never used on the opponent’s best receiver playing for the Patriots. It was always a situation where they either double teamed that player or, after they acquired him, put Stephon Gilmore on him. They always put Butler on the other side. The reason is simple. At 5’11” he was too short to cover the larger outside receivers that often dominate in the NFL. Butler could only be trusted covering lesser receivers or quicker receivers on the shorter side of normal.

The “long and the short of it” is possibly just that Butler just wasn’t good enough and the Patriots thought they’d have better luck without using him in coverage.

Bottom line, the Patriots didn’t consider Butler to be a top of the line cornerback. The Bears are probably better off without over paying Butler and should only consider him if his price tag comes in lower than expected.

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The Bears Will Miss Willie Young

Rich Campbell at the Chicago Tribune on the Bears sudden need for more pass rush:

In terminating the contracts of Pernell McPhee and Willie Young last week, the Bears cut from their roster a pair of veteran edge rushers who last season accounted for six sacks, 15 quarterback hits and a slew of injury-related concerns about availability and effectiveness.

The latter explained the moves and why there was minimal hand-wringing in Chicago about them. But jettisoning McPhee and Young, however justifiable, only magnifies the Bears’ need for push rushers.

I’m not surprised that the Bears let either of these men go and I think the decision on McPhee was fully justified. He’s simply been unable to stay healthy. But I’m not so sure about the decision on Young.

I understand why the Bears let Young go, too. He’s on the wrong side of 30, he’s being used as a rotational player and he doesn’t play special teams. But Young is one of those under-rated players that every team needs. He’s an underdog former 7th round pick who brings his lunch pail to work and gets after it. And he’s had a sneaky productive career with 32 career sacks including 10 in 2014. He (reluctantly) accepted a position change and made it work after the arrival of John Fox a year later.

The Bears obviously feel like they can replace his production and get younger at the same time but that’s considerably easier said than done. This year’s draft isn’t thought to be particularly good at the position and teams ordinarily don’t let decent pass rushers hit the free agent market. You wonder if this is a “grass is greener on the other side of the fence” syndrome where GM Ryan Pace is looking at what he doesn’t have more than what he has.

Young got fairly consistent pressure whenever he was in the game and that’s not easy to do. Even at 32 years old he still looked like he had a lot left in 2016 after missing most last season with a torn biceps muscle. Releasing Young isn’t quite the same as watching Alshon Jeffery walk out the door but one can only hope that they do a better job of replacing his production than they did last season when they tried to make up for the loss of Jeffery with a bunch of maybe’s that were destined to pan out only in GM Pace’s dreams.

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Releasing Josh Sitton Does Not Mean the Bears Will Draft Quinton Nelson

Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers yet another of your questions:

“Did the Bears show their hand possibly drafting Quinton Nelson at No. 8? — @bbtwice1080

“This was the reaction multiple people had on Twitter, that by declining the 2018 option for veteran left guard Josh Sitton, the Bears have signaled they intend to draft Nelson, the heralded guard from Notre Dame in the first round. It’s easy to see how the first move would lead folks to consider the second move, but this isn’t necessarily a sign… There will be options in free agency and Andrew Norwell of the Panthers is certainly intriguing, but he will command a big payday and more than the $8 million the Bears were going to have to pay Sitton this season. The Bears could also shop for a center and consider moving Cody Whitehair to left guard. Erik Kush remains as an option on the roster. There are a lot of moving parts here and Nelson could be part of a small group of players the Bears consider at No. 8, but it’s far from a lock.

I am on the record as saying that I thought the Bears should pick up Sitton’s option.

Having said that, I do think that I understand why the team did it. As Biggs pointed out so well, the Bears have a wealth of options for dealing with this issue. Releasing Sitton leaves them with a lot of flexibility in terms of improving the center of the offensive line and possibly getting younger at the same time.

Their best three in the middle with be Whitehair, Kyle Long and a newcomer. Whitehair can play guard or center and Long can play either guard position. The position flexibility that they bring makes it highly unlikely that the Bears will end up backed into a corner without a player that they think makes them at least as good or better.

It’s true that they created a hole they didn’t have to on a team that already has a lot of them. But in the end there’s very little difference between re-signing Sitton and signing just one more free agent at any position of need. You do it if you think it will help long-term. Perhaps it will.

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Chances of Resigning Kyle Fuller Looking Grim and Other Points of View

  • Brad Biggs at the Chicago Tribune answers your questions:

    Christian Kirk, Calvin Ridley, Courtland Sutton, who do you like? Are any of them worth the eighth pick? Will they still be there in the second round? Can the Bears afford not to use the eighth pick on a Wide Receiver given there are no free agents worth talking about? — William K., Line of scrimmage Angeles, from email

    “It’s still early in the process for evaluating players and how they will wind up being slotted in the draft, but the consensus of most of the folks I have chatted with, and this is going back to last fall, is that Ridley will be the highest-graded wide receiver for most clubs. Depending on who you talk to there are one, two, maybe three wide receivers that will come off the board in Round 1. Of course, all of that could change if a couple of players blow up the scouting combine next month or fall on their faces with poor measurables and drill work. Kirk, from Texas A&M, has been compared to Golden Tate by some, and Tate is a pretty good wide receiver but not the kind of guy you would project coming off the board in the top 10 picks or maybe even the top half of the first round. Sutton has a chance to help himself at the combine. He has good size — listed at 6-foot-4, 218 pounds (we’ll see what he measures in Indianapolis) — and was super productive at SMU with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons and 31 career touchdowns. He did his work against defensive backs in the American Athletic Conference. He’s interesting, but I don’t know if he’s No. 8 pick interesting. To address your final question, the Bears absolutely cannot reach at No. 8 if they’re not in love with the player. Let me explain why. Yes, they have a glaring need at wide receiver and the position was woefully undermanned in 2017. You’re right, it seems unlikely some of the best free-agent possibilities will be available, and the Packers already took the best possibility off the market with an extension for Davante Adams back in December. But if the Bears reach for a wide receiver at No. 8 and it proves to be reach, what do they have in three years? They’ll have an overdrafted wide receiver who hasn’t lived up to the investment. If they draft a player at — pick your position — who does meet expectations of the draft slot, they’ve got a really good player in three years. What are you better off with?”

    I could not agree more.

    No matter what the need at wide receiver the Bears absolutely cannot afford to reach with this pick. Most of what I’ve heard from scouts and media experts indicates to me that there isn’t a sure #1 type receiver in this draft. To me that means most of these guys won’t be impact players. And an impact player is what the Bears need more than anything else, almost regardless of position.

    The key is to take the best available at a position of need. It needn’t be the greatest need and the Bears have enough of them to where there is no excuse for concentrating on a single group of players who do not give the team the best playmakers available.

  • Another question for Biggs:

    “I’ve read a lot of comments from fans and “experts” about how various players should be cut or signed or kept. But last year’s coaching staff really struggled taking advantage of players’ strengths. Shouldn’t it take some time for this staff to objectively evaluate what the players on offense can do? Was last year really a fair evaluation? What if Hroniss Grasu, just one example, can actually play center? — John R., Saigon, Vietnam, from email

    “You make some fair points that will certainly be considered by the Bears as they plot the moves that will lead them into the new league year beginning March 14. I agree that if they see an underperforming player from 2017 being a fit for what they would like to do, absolutely they will keep that player around. They have plenty of salary-cap flexibility, so that’s not going to sway them one way or the other. It’s about projection, fit and durability. I don’t know if Grasu is a great example because he remains under contract on his rookie deal and will almost surely be with the team heading into training camp.”

    Actually he’s a pretty awful example. Grasu just isn’t strong enough and he’s always going to struggle with a nose guard lined up right over him. In fairness, he’s not alone in that regard and I’m sure there are things you can do to help him. But Grasu isn’t going to suddenly emerge as even an average center no matter who the coaches are. He lacks stature and ability and coaches can’t work miracles where that is the case.

    If Gasu wasn’t a draft pick with a reasonably cheap salary, I believe he’d have been cut by now and replaced with an upgrade. That may happen this year.

  • Yet another good question for Biggs:

    “How do you see Ryan Pace filling the backup QB void with Mike Glennon most likely to be cut? — @nickmau91

    “My best guess is the Bears will seek a veteran to serve as the No. 2 behind Mitch Trubisky. You can’t rule out the possibility the Bears will use a draft pick on a quarterback, but considering the wealth of needs elsewhere and the benefit of having an experienced player in a reserve role, I tend to think they go the veteran route.”

    I think the interesting question here is what will the Bears do with the #3 quarterback slot. This is traditionally used for a developmental quarterback. Presumably in the Bears case, they’d be looking to develop a potential long-term back up. That could be a late draft pick but, if not, the Bears are going to be an attractive destination for the best undrafted free agents available.

    The Bears are rumored to be interested in former Washington State quarterback Luke Falk and they did talk to him at the Senior Bowl. But the guess here is that the only way they’d take him is if he had a very significant fall to the lower rounds.

    Not the most critical question about the Bears roster by any means. But, like the say, the most popular player on the roster is the back up quarterback.

  • One more:

    “Will Tarik Cohen and Adam Shaheen be limited this year, too, because they struggled to learn Dowell Loggains’ offense and now have to learn Matt Nagy’s? — @occamsdragon

    “I don’t think that’s fair to Cohen or Shaheen. For starters, I don’t think you can say Cohen struggled to learn the offense last season. Quite the opposite. He learned a ton. The Bears lined Cohen up all over the field and he did well at a lot of different positions. He played running back, slot receiver, he lined up on the outside at wide receiver and he learned responsibilities in the return game for punts and kicks. That’s a full plate right there. Were fans frustrated Cohen wasn’t involved more in the third-down package and the hurry-up offense the team used late in games? Sure. I get that. Cohen was also 5-foot-6, 181 pounds and had he blown a pass-blocking assignment or been flat run over by a pass rusher and quarterback Mitch Trubisky was injured, Loggains would have been on the first train out of town. That’s not something a lot of people were willing to consider when clamoring for Cohen to be used more. Can he be utilized more in the new scheme? No doubt. But he’s probably still a joker back no matter who is designing the offense. Shaheen was making the major jump from Division II and yes it took him some time to pick things up, but who didn’t expect that? Remember, Greg Olsen was a little slow to be assimilated into the offense when he was a first-round pick in 2007 coming out of a pro-style offense at Miami. I’d expect both players to be improved and productive in 2018.”

    In fairness to the questioner, Cohen did say himself that he had trouble learning the plays albeit, as Biggs points out, that’s partly because he was put in so many positions all over the field.

    My guess is that Shaheen has less trouble translating what he learned last year to the new offense. Though the scheme is different, a lot of what was difficult was undoubtedly just learning to play the tight end position to a professional standard after spending his college career at Ashland. The guess here is that a lot of it was simply learning how to block and how to use his body more effectively in the passing game. That will be something he won’t have to learn again regardless of scheme.

    I’m not too worried about either of these players struggling simply because they are in a new scheme.

  • Last one:

    “ What do you think the chances of re-signing Kyle Fuller are? Can’t have another homegrown player get away, a la Alshon Jeffrey last year. — @dwhite4120

    “That’s a great question and one that will be very interesting to watch develop in the coming weeks. The Bears can keep Fuller in place with the franchise or transition tag. Short of that, he will be headed to the open market and if I’m him, I’m seeing what my market value is before I make a decision about signing anywhere. The Bears have to weigh a lot of factors when considering their move here and Fuller’s performance during 2017 will lead them to think long and hard about keeping him in a Bears uniform. I’d hesitate a little comparing him to Jeffery because all of these situations have their own factors. Fuller’s situation is in a lot of ways very, very different from Jeffery, who emerged earlier in his career. Stay tuned.”

    It looks like the chances of the Bears re-signing Fuller are pretty grim. Jason La Canfora at CBS Sports is reporting that Fuller is likely to price out the Bears which I’m guessing means that they aren’t offering what he thinks is going to be his market value.

    Though Fuller was a valuable piece last year and it would be nice to have him back, its worth noting that most of the teams the Bears faced perferred to challenge him rather than Prince Amukamura on the other side. And then there’s that flakey situation in 2016 where the Bears thought Fuller was ready to play and he refused.

    I don’t find it hard to believe that the Bears aren’t offering what Fuller wants. But I do wonder if it’s the right call. We hear about the dangers of signing other teams cast-offs in free agency every year. Perhaps there’s something about Fuller that has turned the Bears off. But otherwise, if you are going to overpay someone, finding a way to pay your own guy seems like the way to go.

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