Questions remain for Bears as NFL kicks off annual meeting


PHOENIX — The Bears are in a different place than they were at last year’s annual league meeting and have different expectations. After a year of restructuring that began with the hiring of general manager Ryan Pauls, they now have additional draft picks, maximum cap space, and a better sense of what quarterback Justin Fields can do. increase.

When Paul sat down at the swanky Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa on Monday, he still had plenty of questions to answer. Some of them are the same ones he couldn’t solve last year.

How will the Bears protect Fields? Since his first signing wave was introduced at Paul’s press conference 11 days ago, the Bears have run back Donta Foreman, tight end Robert Toyang, nose tackle Andrew Billings and linebacker/special teams. Added Dylan Cole.

Surprisingly, the Bears have yet to sign an offensive tackle. If the season started today, he would have had to start Braxton Jones on the left and Larry Borom on the right. Their backups are even more concerning: Alex Leatherwood, who played 32 offensive snaps last year, and Kellen Deesch, who didn’t play at all.

The rest of the free agency doesn’t offer much hope for Splash. Out of Pro Football Focus’ top 100 free agents, the offensive tackles not under contract are Isaiah Wynn, Taylor Lewan, Cameron Fleming and Donovan Smith at 4 Only people. Lewan may retire.

The Bears need to add two more manufacturers that make a difference. If the Bears have the 9th pick, it could come through the draft, after which they have three choices between the 53rd and 64th. He has made 3 deals since Halloween. Can he find a starter that way?

he has to do something Last year, Fields was sacked for his 14.75% of dropbacks. This is the most by a quarterback to throw at least 300 passes since the NFL-AFL merger.

why are you in such a hurry? After one of their worst defensive line performances in history, the Bears added two free agents to the D line: DeMarcus Walker, an end who could shift inside on obvious pass downs, and Billings.

That’s not enough. They still have league-best $38.8 million salary cap space left for them, according to The Pole is an expensive defensive he may regret not jumping into the tackle market. Three of the top four defensive wins in 2023 prize money have had tackles paid out this spring: Commanders’ Daron Payne (who received the franchise tag), 49ers’ Javon Hargrave and Seahawks’ Dremont Hargrave. Jones. The Bears consider him one of many NFL teams and Hargrave is probably the best free agent at any position, but his age (he turned 30 last month) matches the timeline. I don’t. Some questioned whether Jones’ skill was based on finesse to fit into the system of the Matt Everflascoach.

Rogers factor: A coach and general manager who has landed on Biltmore from across the league gives the Packers and Jets a chance to directly negotiate a trade value for quarterback Aaron Rodgers. franchises have been negotiating over trade rewards.The Jets have one first-round pick and two second-round picks.

Until a deal is signed, coaches Robert Sale (Jets) and Matt LaFleur (Packers) will be the stars of their respective conference media breakfasts. Saleh can’t talk about Rodgers — it’s a falsification — but he can’t ignore reality, and LaFleur probably wishes he could talk about everything but the future Hall of Fame quarterback.

In the midst of that confusion lies an important question for Poles. Will the Bears’ competitive schedule change if Rodgers actually heads elsewhere? Without it, NFC North would be a lot easier.


What do you think?

Written by Natalia Chi

Chicago Popular; Chicago breaking news, weather and live video. Covering local politics, health, traffic and sports for Chicago, the suburbs and northwest Indiana.

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