53 Comments

Like ‘Em or Not, These Are the Chicago Bears For the Foreseeable Future

| May 22nd, 2018

Since Ryan Pace showed up in 2015, there has been nearly complete roster turnover, with only Kyle Long, Charles Leno, Sherrick McManis, and Pat O’Donnell remaining from the previous regime. Every single offseason has seen significant changes, with a host of prominent players leaving and a sizable new batch of faces coming in.

Consequently, Bears fans are used to offseasons of sweeping change. But that pattern should end in 2019. To understand why, let’s look at who is already under contract on both sides of the ball.


Offense

Key players under contract: QB Mitchell Trubisky, RB Jordan Howard, RB Tarik Cohen, WR Allen Robinson, WR Taylor Gabriel, WR Anthony Miller, WR Javon Wims, TE Trey Burton, TE Adam Shaheen, LT Charles Leno, LG James Daniels, C Cody Whitehair, RG Kyle Long

Notable free agents: RT Bobby Massie, Eric Kush

Possible Cap Casualties: RG Kyle Long, TE Dion Sims

Chicago’s offense is young and locked-in for the next two years. Nobody on this list except Kyle Long is over 28 years old, and over half of these players are still on rookie deals. 2018 should see the best offense the Bears have had since 2013 (not exactly stiff competition) and there’s every expectation at this point that the same group returning basically intact in 2019 should be even better.

The only place where we should expect to see real changes is on the right side offensive line. Bobby Massie will likely be upgraded (hopefully in the draft) and Kyle Long will likely be cut if he can’t stay healthy and play well this year. WR Kevin White is also a free agent, and almost certainly won’t be a Bear in 2019. If he plays poorly, he won’t be brought back, and if he plays well, he’ll sign somewhere else for more money and opportunity than he can get in Chicago.

You can expect the Bears to look to add depth via the later rounds of the draft next offseason, but otherwise the offense won’t change much at all.


Defense

Key players under contract: DE Akiem Hicks, DE Johnathan Bullard, DE Bilal Nichols, OLB Leonard Floyd, OLB Kylie Fitts, ILB Roquan Smith, ILB Danny Trevathan, ILB Nick Kwiatkoski, ILB Joel Iyiegbuniwe, CB Kyle Fuller, CB Prince Amukamara, S Eddie Jackson

Notable free agents: NT Eddie Goldman, S Adrian Amos, CB Bryce Callahan, DE Roy Robertson-Harris, OLB Aaron Lynch

Possible Cap Casualties: ILB Danny Trevathan, OLB Sam Acho

There’s potential for a little bit more movement on the defense next season, but the 2018 version of this unit is already pretty similar to what we saw in 2017, and the same can be expected next year. Once again we see there aren’t really any old guys on this list, as Sam Acho tops the ranks at 29 years old. Key FA like Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara were brought back this offseason, and I expect we’ll see something similar with Eddie Goldman and Adrian Amos for sure, and potentially guys like Bryce Callahan, Roy Robertson-Harris, and Aaron Lynch if they play well this year.

Depending on the development of young players at inside linebacker, Danny Trevathan may prove to be expendable, and the same goes for Sam Acho on the outside. The main spot where I could envision a high-profile player being added next offseason is opposite Leonard Floyd at outside linebacker, but otherwise we’re probably looking at the same unit with a few more depth pieces added in the draft and free agency.


Overall

There seems to be a growing national feeling that the Bears are a team on the rise, and Bears fans better hope that’s true, because they are more or less locked in to this roster for the next two years. There’s a little bit of flexibility to tweak the roster, especially on defense, but the main pieces all have contracts that stipulate they won’t be going anywhere until after 2019 at the earliest.

The days of wholesale changes are over. Now comes the offseasons of minor tweaks. At its core, this is the roster that Ryan Pace has built and Matt Nagy has to win with.

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  • SC Dave

    No comment on specials? Just not enough known yet pending determination of the 53?

    • They’re set at K for the next few years. The rest of the specials might flux a bit, depends on who sticks on the roster.

  • T.dyon

    I see improvement across the board, from Coaches to players. I’m still a little worried about the OL and 3 players with injury issues at OLB. If we can avoid the injury bug and the OL is at least above avg, I see a team that has the potential to win.

    • SC Dave

      There is a lot that has to “gel” first.

      There are many guys, especially on offense, that are not only learning a new system, but have never played together before. “Obsession” may speed that up a little, but I’m not expecting early season miracles.

      • T.dyon

        Agreed, hopefully the few players who are familiar with the system can help speed up the process. We could lose the first 4 games on the schedule.

        • Brock Sutton

          We could also win the first 4 as well.

          • T.dyon

            If we win the first 4, we could win them all.

        • Brock Sutton

          Green Bay, Seattle and Arizona and Tampa bay shouldn’t be scary to any one

          • T.dyon

            So it would seem, have you watched our last 2 games against Tampa.

          • CanadaBear

            I’m guessing the O will be inconsistent during at least the first quarter of the season. I hope they come out blazing and smoke the Fudgies.

          • I am extremely curious how much RPO will be implemented.

            If it’s like the Eagles and Chiefs, the Bears can come out blasting from day 1.

            RPO is basically street football (that’s why it’s so prevalent in college)

            I would use a heavy dose of it early on , but would gradually phase it out as Trub masters the WCO.

          • Irish Sweetness

            I seriously doubt we can come out blasting on day 1, Butch. No way they just pick up the WCO and start humming the same tune. New receivers with no chemistry with MT on the timing patterns? Good luck with that.

          • But if Nagy goes like 40% RPO , that’ll leave 60% WCO about half of which will be runs, so let’s say 30% WCO passes, a lot of which will be 3step slants and bubble screens.

            That ain’t rocket science.

            Granted, this model won’t work for more than 3 games or so, but I think the blitzkrieg could catch teams at the start.

            Be a great way to kick off the Nagy tenure .

            Balls to the wall

          • Joecashflow

            Chemistry works both ways. The Slackers have all new DBs. We don’t. We could bust a couple of long ones, game 1.

          • GB and SEA are practically the same team now.

            Relying on their QBs to create miracles every week

        • Irish Sweetness

          We’re not losing in week one. I’ve already guaranteed that.

          • T.dyon

            My prediction for the Bears record this year is 11-5, My comment about the Bears possibility of losing the first 4, was in reply to SC Dave comment about the offense taking time to gel because of learning a new system. His comment has merit. Plus the Bears have been beaten pretty soundly by those first 4 teams recently. However I have them them winning 3 of the 4. I think the offense will do enough to win 3 of them, including Green Bay.

          • Joecashflow

            Here’s how I see that happening. When we need a first, and shit breaks down, Sir Galahad in the middle aka Clay Pigeon is getting up in years. Lateral speed ain’t there to catch Bisquit runs for first down. We control the ball by breaking a few Howard special 40 plusers, and we connect down the field on the new Slacker DB’s with no chemistry. D cleans up the rest. Game over.

      • Someone posted an article about Trub being the first in last out.

        Something we haven’t had in QB since…Flutie?

        Those extra reps will def help speed up the process , but it’s still like trying to learn a new language over the summer, and when a 6’7 300 pounder is charging at you, might forget how to say “restroom” in French

        • SC Dave

          If Trubisky is fucking Flutie, it will probably be my last straw as a Bears fan.

    • Irish Sweetness

      All teams have the potential to win though.

      • T.dyon

        Absolutely.

  • “Modestly” Huge Bears Penis

    I can’t believe you left off Ryan Nall from key player on Offense.

    • SC Dave

      Guy has some burst

      • That Guy

        He’ll be Irish’s next white boy fantasy.

        Braverman 2.0

  • Jokey

    White gone whether he plays crappy or great?

    • Juan Stone

      If Kevin White actually plays a full season and is productive (and let’s be honest, it’s a huge if), Pace will find a wat to re-sign him.

      • CanadaBear

        Unless he plays fabulous I doubt they work very hard to re-sign him.

  • Juan Stone

    The game is won on the field, not in the cutting room.

    See what I did there boys? Hee hee

  • Japanese late hit

  • “There seems to be a growing national feeling that the Bears are a team on the rise”

    When isn’t this the case?

    Didn’t Pat Kirwan or some other national guy predict the Bears would make the playoffs this time last year?

    “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

    I sorta agree w White.

    Even IF White blows up for 1,500 yds and 10 TDs, how can Pace possibly hand him a big contract w his INJ history?

    He could tag him at that point, but is Pace really willing to tie up so much at the WR position? He already paid a lot for Allen and Gabriel and invested a lot of draft capital on Miller.

    Maybe Pace can tag and trade but

    A. Pace is not the shrewdest of negotiators. Couldnt close the deal on Alshon. Cuts Sitton for nothing. Allows GB to create contract for us. Lets NO steal Meredith….

    B. Tag and trades are rare cuz most teams don’t have $14m just lying around, and they too will have same concerns about White.

    So it seems like White is a wasted top 10 pick no way one looks at it.

    Unless White is cool and gives Bears home discount w minimal cap , but I doubt it.

    • SC Dave

      Great Churchill quote… and so apropos.

      • AlbertInTucson

        Kind of Sums up being a Bear fan, no?

        • SC Dave

          Exactly

          • AlbertInTucson

            White Sox, too.

  • That Guy

    Just saw a guy with a Sanzenbacher #18 jersey in my Home Depot parking lot. The guy is either an OSU nut, or a Bears fan so nutty he’d make Irish look rational.

    (I kid, Irish)

    Nevertheless, I gave the guy a wide berth as I walked into the store.

  • NFL just released a rule addendum

    If your team (anyone on it) kneels for the anthem there will be a penalty assessed on kickoff.

    This should be entertaining

    • Irish Sweetness

      Will the team take one for The One?

    • And another addendum.
      If players do not sing about the greatness of Kim Jong Un, they get blasted out of a battleship canon…

  • So Foles turned down going to the Browns? Browns were willing to give up the 35th pick. This makes Mayfield plan B? Da heck ” Yeah, we drafted you #1 overall, but you were our fallback plan….”

    https://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/05/22/report-eagles-turned-down-trade-with-browns-who-offered-35th-pick-for-nick-foles/

  • Irish Sweetness
    • Interesting. And Kendricks is only like 27. I think the Eagles are cap strapped.

      Prolly end up on the Puke like Dez Bryant will

    • ButtonShoes

      “Can we trust Danny to stay healthy?”

      Based on past performance…hell no.

      “Do we care?”

      If we want a semblance of a defense…yeah, we care.

    • Big Mike

      Only in May.

  • Dr. Johnny Nacho

    The roster was so busted and littered w/ bloated aging players when Pace took over for Emery.

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