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Back-to-Back Audibles: Finley on the DL, Nagy Inspires the Cubs, Bennie Fowler, Links!

| April 16th, 2018

Finley on the Defensive Line

From Patrick Finley and the Sun-Times – who now finally have a readable website thanks to the fine folks at WordPress:

If Pace is able to sign Goldman to a contract extension before the final year of his rookie deal — the Bears are trying — he could have two stellar talents locked up for the next four years, when Hicks’ deal expires.

The Bears, of course, have three starting defensive line positions.

Their interest in drafting someone to develop alongside Hicks and Goldman depends on how vital they view that third spot to be. The Bears typically rotate defensive linemen, lessening the need for an every-down end opposite Hicks, who played about 85 percent of the team’s snaps last year. In nickel and dime packages, Bears defensive coordinator Vic Fangio often replaces an end with a linebacker in hopes of creating pass-rush mismatches.

The Bears never settled on an end to start alongside Hicks last year. Jonathan Bullard, who Pace drafted in the third round in 2016, played 40 percent of the Bears’ defensive snaps, veteran Mitch Unrein 37 percent and former undrafted free agent Roy Robertson-Harris 20 percent. At the end of the season, Pace singled out Bullard and Robertson-Harris as players who made significant leaps during the year.

Perhaps as a result, the Bears didn’t add anyone to replace Unrein when he signed a three-year, $10.5 million deal with the Buccaneers last month.

My personal belief is the Bears don’t put a tremendous value in this third defensive lineman position. They will continue to get production there from low-risk veterans and late draft picks.

Also, I have it on good authority that both Ryan Pace and Vic Fangio believe Jon Bullard can be a top player in the league. Not just good. Top. Has he shown that potential? No. At least not in the game tape. But they believe they’ve seen flashes.

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Turn the Beat Around: Biggs on Jeffery, Jahns on Fox & Links!

| October 27th, 2016

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Biggs on Potential Jeffery Trade

While the Cubs were losing Game One of the World Series, rumors were circulating regarding a potential trade of Alshon Jeffery to the Philadelphia Eagles. My opposition to such a move has been stated many times. Brad Biggs addressed the situation in his mailbag this week:

Forget additional draft picks for the Bears for a minute. What would they do at wide receiver without Jeffery? It’s widely assumed at this point that the franchise is going to go in a different direction at quarterback at the end of the season. I imagine general manager Ryan Pace is going to want some wide receivers that can be real assets for his new quarterback. Take Jeffery out of the equation and the Bears are one of the weakest teams in the NFL at the position because they have no idea what Kevin White will be like in 2017. It’s uncertain at this point if White will return from leg surgery to play in December. Eddie Royal is hurt once again and the guaranteed money in his contract is done after this season. Cameron Meredith has been a pleasant surprise with expanded opportunities in the last two months but he’s probably not ready to be a frontline player. I think there is a much better chance the Bears look at signing Jeffery to a long-term contract averaging $14 million per season.

The bottom line to me is trading Jeffery for a mid-round draft pick doesn’t benefit the Bears.

If Ryan Pace doesn’t value Jeffery, Ryan Pace is wrong.

JAHNS ON CUTLER AND FOX

Adam Jahns and I will spend a lot of time on tomorrow’s podcast discussing Jay Cutler so I won’t sample any of that material here. But I did like the frustration emanating out of his lede here:

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