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WindyCity

Bears Mock Offseason: Version 1

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Coaching 

DC: Chuck Pagano

He seems like a good culture fit in terms of style and personality, he has experience running a 3-4 defense and ran a great one in 2011 for the Ravens, and he has valuable big game experience as a HC. Pagano can be trusted to run the defense in the same way as Fangio and like Fangio he will not be jumping in front of the camera whenever it is near by. The DB background is something I like as well as that is the most complex part of the defense.


DB: Steve Wilks

I am going to ignore the 1 year mess in Arizona. Wilks was a very good DB coach in Carolina and he had 1 good year as a DC. He can come in and fill the DB coach role, as long as he does not get a DC job, and he gives the Bears a potential transition if Pagano gets back into a HC role.

Starting Cap Space: 20 million 
2020 Cap Space: 50 million [assuming 200 million cap]

Obviously, this is not a lot of money and it looks like even less when you consider the Bears only have 30 something players under contract. The Bears are going to have to be pretty responsible with their money, but they should have more than enough for a functional offseason and can create more with a couple of moves that push money back into 2020 and 2021 where a new CBA should give them additional breathing room.

Released/Not Re-Signed [7 Million Saved]

TE Dion Sims [6 million]

This may be the easiest cut of them all and the final turd from the disastrous 2017 free agency period. Sims is awful at everything and makes way too much money. Not cutting him last season was a mistake as the Bears could have rolled that money forward and used it this offseason or in the Mack and Goldman extensions to lessen later years cap hits.

OLB Sam Acho [2.1 million]

Good guy, good locker room guy, but I do not think he is as good as Isiaih Irving, he is hurt and he makes 4x as much money as the current backups.

K Cody Parkey [-1.1 million] [2020 Savings: 3.1 million]

There is simply no way that he can ever set foot in Soldier Field again. It was a horrendous signing that already cost the Bears a playoff game, he cannot be allowed to cost the Bears anymore.

OT Bobbie Massie

I think Massie will get another deal that pays him in the 6 million range and that is too much for him. He is not 5.5 million better than Rashard Coward. The Bears need to go cheap at RT as the free agent class is no inspiring and they do not have the money to spend big here.

OLB Aaron Lynch

I would love to have Lynch back as I thought he was a very good option as the 3rd OLB, but guys who played at the level he did this year are looking at deals with 5 million/season. The Bears simply cannot afford to invest that in that position with what they pay and will be paying the top 2 guys.

P Pat O'Donnell

He is too inconsistent for the Bears to invest real money into. He was having a great playoff game before he shanked the most important punt of the season. The Bears can pay an UDFA or 7th round pick 1/5th of what O'Donnell will command and at worse get someone at his level.

OG Eric Kush

Lost his starting job, then lost his backup job, so I cannot see him back with the Bears who need to start using this roster spot to develop a long term replacement for Kyle Long.

RB Benny Cunningham

I know he plays special teams, a unit that underperformed all season, but he brings nothing to offense and he is the least dynamic RB on the team. The Bears need some speed and potential in this spot.


Cap Space: 27 million

Restructure [5 Million Saved]

OG Kyle Long, convert 5 million of un-guaranteed money into incentives, saving 5 million.
-200k/game active

Cap Space: 32 million

Extensions [5.7 Million Spent]

The Bears need to use the remaining years on some deals to spread the cap hit out and make the deal easier to handle in later years. It also provides them with leverage as the players risks injury/ineffectiveness in 2019.

-There is simply no way that they are going to let Whitehair leave, he is very good and he happens to be close with Trubisky. The C and the QB have to work together to make checks and calls and I see no reason to break up the partnership.

-I want to keep Floyd, but I do not want to pay him at a clip of 13 million on his 5th year option in 2020. That is too much considering the other deals that the Bears need to get done. The Bears should pick up the option and work on an extension for Floyd that wipes out the option and gives him more truly guaranteed money. Right now he has 5 million guaranteed and 13 million option guaranteed for only serious injury. The new deal he has 23 million in actual guarantees and doesn't have to take 2 years of risk to get to a real pay day.

C Cody Whitehair

Remaining: 1 year 1.3 million/0 guaranteed
New Money: 4 years 38 million/25 guaranteed/10 SB [Brandon Linder]
Total Contract: 5 years 39.3 million/25 guaranteed

Year 1: 3 guaranteed salary/2 SB [5] [Actual cap addition 4.7]
Year 2: 4 guaranteed salary/2 SB [6]
Year 3: 5 guaranteed salary/2 SB/1 roster bonus [8]
Year 4: 6.3 salary/2 SB/1 roster bonus [9.3]
Year 5: 8 salary/2 SB/1 roster bonus [11]

OLB Leonard Floyd

Remaining: 1 year 5.1 million/0 guaranteed + 5th year option [13 million]
New Money: 4 years 37 million/23 guaranteed/10 SB [Jabaal Sheard +]
Total Contract: 5 years 42.1 million/20.1 guaranteed

Year 1: 4.1 guaranteed salary/2 SB [6.1] [1 cap addition]
Year 2: 5 guaranteed salary/2 SB [7] *saves the bears 6 million in the big cap year
Year 3: 4/2 SB/2 roster bonus [8]
Year 4: 6/2 SB/2 roster bonus [10]
Year 5: 10/2 SB [12]


Cap Space: 26.3 million

Re-Signed [12 Million Spent]

CB Bryce Callahan 3 years 15 million/6 guaranteed

This is really a 1 year 4 million dollar deal that protects the Bears, but turns into the 3 year deal if Callahan stays healthy in 2019. Callahan emerged as one of the best nickle backs in the league and to me should prioritized over Amos who I think will make more money than the Bears can afford to pay him.

Year 1: 3 guaranteed salary/1 roster bonus [4] 
Year 2: 3 salary/1 roster bonus [4]
Year 3: 6 salary/1 roster bonus[7]

OG Bryan Witzmann 1 year 1.5 million/1 guaranteed [1.5]

He started slow, but he started to play really well in a reserve role before Kyle Long came back. He looked like a clear upgrade over what the Bears were getting from Kush. I think keeping an experienced backup is important with Long's health and 1.5-2.5 seems to be the rate for an experienced backup OLmen.

WR Josh Bellamy 1 years 1.75 million/1 guaranteed [1.75]

I have not been a fan of Bellamy, but this season he had enough moments on offense and special teams that I think he is worth keeping. In the past my issue with him was that he could not catch and he did not add anything to offense, but that changed and good for Bellamy.

LS Patrick Scales 1 year 1 million/250k guaranteed [1]

I had no issues with Scales this season outside of the fact that he was snapping to an inconsistent punter and a kicker who sucks.

RFA [Orginial Round 2.2 million]

TE Ben Braunecker [non tender] 1 year 1 million/500k guaranteed [1]

I am not interested in keeping Braunecker at 2.2 million, but at less than that I am interested in seeing his role expand. He made some nice catches down the stretch and seemed entrenched in the #3 TE role. 1.2 million doubles his pay and keeps it at a more reasonable cap hit. The Bears did the same thing with Bellamy this season.

S DeAndre Houston-Carson [non tender] 1 year 1 million/500k guaranteed [1]

Again, DHC is not a player I am interested in paying 2.2 million, but he is a key special teamer and a part time defensive player and I think a pay raise is deserved.

ERFA

DE Roy Robertson-Harris 1 year 620k

There will be some debate for RRH whether he is an ERFA or a RFA. He spent his rookie year on the non-football injury list which technically does not count as a year of service. Recently, McCarron won his grievance against the Bengals about a similar situation,  so to avoid that I would be fine with the Bears meeting RRH in the middle of the ERFA [620K] and 2nd round RFA [3.9 million] and giving him 2 million for the season.

OT Rashard Coward 1 year 620k

I think there is a very good chance Coward is the Bears starting RT in 2019. He flashed all preseason long and the Bears used a roster spot on him.

OLB Isiaih Irving 1 year 620k

A decent number of flashes this season that make keeping Irving as a possible #3 OLB well worth it considering he is so cheap. There is some pass rush spark here that the Bears need to continue to see what happens.

Cap Space: 14.3 Million

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Free Agents [7.8 Million Spent]

RB Kareem Hunt [Kansas City] 2 years 3 million/500k guaranteed [1]
-100k/game active
-500k/1000 yards
-500k/10 TDs
-500k/50 catches

This signing will be unpopular with some, but the Bears are in the cap situation where they need to look at all possible market inefficiencies that they can possibly get. Kareem Hunt is a Pro Bowl talent, that the Bears can add for cheap, because of their coaching connection and he could provide a value that far exceeds his contract. That is the Bears financial reality, and with Howard leaving after the 2019 season, you have Hunt in place on a cheap deal so he can rehab his image. I expect Hunt will be suspended for at least the first 4 weeks of the season so the Bears need to keep Howard and maybe move him at the trade deadline.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSAhdx_tBuevnuLDjpt44f

TE Maxx Williams [Baltimore] 2 years 4 million/2 guaranteed [1.5]

I am not sure what Adam Shaheen is at this point, he has been hurt a lot, and at times looked like a competent pass catcher. He also looks too slow to be a real passing game threat. This left the offense in a bind when Burton freaked out and could not play in the playoffs. The Bears need to add someone to protect against exactly what happened in the playoffs. Williams is a former 2nd round pick who never really got his footing in Baltimore and has the athletic ability to play the Burton role if needed.

jd-mckissic-c9bd035170238009.jpg

S Ron Parker [Kansas City] 1 year 2.5 million/1 guaranteed [2.5]

The Bears need a backup veteran safety that they can play in case of injury or if Bush really struggles as a starter. Parker is 32 so long term he is simply a place holder, but he continues to produce, grabbing 3 picks last year and he can fill that veteran leadership role while backing up at FS and SS.

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRddJU9YURf9XtSdw5-zY3

RB J.D McKissic [Seattle] 2 year 2.4 million/400k guaranteed [1]

The Bears need some speed at RB that Benny Cunnigham does not bring. McKissic had an injury plagued year in Seattle, but in 2017 he averaged 4.1 YPC and had 34 catches for 266 yards for 7.8 YPC. McKissic is a converted WR and really had upper level hands and route running for a RB and can be the passing weapon that Mizzell simply is not.

gettyimages-889860682-e1523649688514.jpg

DE Joel Heath [Houston] 1 years 800k/250k guaranteed [.8]

The Bears need a 6th DLmen to be inactive on game days that they can have for depth and that has a little developmental upside. Heath has the size 6'6" 300lbs, and flashed a little for the Texans in his first 2 years with 3 sacks and a handful of starts. The Bears can see if they can spark Heath after a down year and get a little depth on the DL.

Joel+Heath+New+Orleans+Saints+v+Houston+

K Robbie Gould [SF] 2 years 5.5 million/3 guaranteed [2]

This just makes too much sense. Robbie wants to come back, his wife and 2 sons and new baby all live in Chicago and he has talked about how hard it is to be away in the season. The Bears need someone reliable and it doesn't get more reliable than Gould right now, and he has experience at Soldier Field. On the Hoge and Jahns podcast they talked about how Gould would more than likely take a discount to be close to his family.

gould-106.jpg?itok=Fw-7RMfg

Cap Space: 6.5 Million

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I want to trade down and add a ton of young and cheap depth to develop, but I think that is a risk when you need a potential starter at OT. 

3[87] OT Scott Frantz [Kansas St] 6'5" 300lbs.

The Bears need legit competition for Coward at RT and they need a better option that Bradley Sowell as a potential long term starter at LT if Leno goes down. The Bears have been blessed by Leno's durability, but if he missed a long stretch of time, playing Sowell would be a mistake and a waste of reps. Frantz has good athletic ability, a good frame, and is very technically sound. He has the athletic ability and movement skills for the screen and jet sweep game. He will need to get stronger, but I believe he can compete in camp year 1 to play. If Coward plays well Frantz will be moved inside and worked to replace Long at RG in 2020.

JtpyCZ4L_400x400.jpg

4. OLB Jalen Jelks [Oregon] 6'5" 245lbs.

The Bears need to add a potential #3 or #4 OLB and someone with some athletic upside. Jelks has the size, length, and freakish athletic ability to play the position and do what the Bears need. He is not a polished player, he really only has 1 pass rush move, and he will require some coaching, which the Bears have. This is an upside pick and hopefully someone who can step in and rush the passer a little and provide some speed when Floyd is not on the field.

DfyhoqDU0AACT64.jpg

5. CB Trevon Diggs [Alabama] 6'1" 190lbs.

The Bears need to start thinking about a long term plan to replace Prince in 2020 as I think when the young guys start to get paid, he will be a cap casualty. Tolliver flashed a little this season, but the Bears should continue to add developmental options for Ed Donatell to work with. Diggs has the size and physicality that the Bears like across from Kyle Fuller and you know he is well coached and will tackle. Tolliver vs Diggs to start in 2020.

trevon-diggsdk-metcalf-68c9f11783e8fb73.


7. P Mitch Wishnowsky [Utah] 6'2" 225lbs.

I am not paying O'Donnell to shank important punts and I am not investing real money in specialists that make them impossible to replace when they break down. Wishnowsky is one of the best college punters in the nation, he has a big leg, he has kicked in the weather in Utah, and considering most 7th round picks do not make teams, this guarantees that this pick makes the team.

Yo7gE8Hc_400x400.jpg

7. OG Alex Bars [Notre Dame] 6'5" 315lbs.

The Bears need to start thinking about who will be playing RG in 2020, because more than likely it is not Kyle Long who makes a ton and has been beaten up. The Bears could really use for a much cheaper option to step into that spot and allow them to shift some resources around. Bars is probably a 3rd or 4th round pick in most drafts, but he tore up his knee and he is more than likely going to fall. Bars is big, well coached, and has a connection with Hiestand. The Bears can draft him, let him get healthy, and then add him to the 2020 competition.

6_8240058.jpg

Cap Space: 3.5 Million
2020 Cap Space Spent: 29.5 Million

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Depth Chart

QB: Trubisky, Daniel
RB: Howard, Hunt, Cohen, McKissic
WR: Robinson, Gabriel, Miller, Bellamy, Wims
TE: Burton, Shaheen, Williams, Braunecker
LT: Leno, Sowell
LG: Daniels, Bars
C: Whitehair
RG: Long, Witzmann
RT: Coward, Frantz


RE: RRH, Bullard
NT: Goldman, Nichols
LE: Hicks, Heath
OLB: Floyd, Jelks
ILB: Trevathan, Kwiatowski
ILB: Smith, Iggy
OLB: Mack, Irving, Fitts
CB: Fuller, Prince, Callahan, Tolliver, Diggs, McManis
FS: Jackson, DHC
SS: Bush, Parker


K: Gould
P: Wishnowsky
LS: Scales

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This is where you will be rewarded for a quieter 2019 free agency period and some of the Bears guys walking for more money elsewhere.

As the Bears approach having to pay Trubisky, this year with a ton of developmental picks is going to be huge as this is the best and cheapest depth.

2020 Draft

2[36] [Mack]

2[60]

4.

4 [Amos].

4 [Massie].

5.

5 [Mack].

5 [Lynch].

6

7.

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I'd love this offseason.  I'd try real hard to sign one of Lynch or Amos though instead of spending money on Max Williams and Ron Parker.

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You might want to look at CJ Uzomah. Looks like an under rader good big athlete.

 

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Nice work but I don't think in a million years the Bears' Brass will sign off on Hunt.

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Coming out of college, I thought maxx Williams was a raw stud and had tons of potential. He was buried by Crockett Gillmore, Ben watson, and Dennis pitta and then never really did much in the time he was in. I’d be okay with the signing but don’t think he’ll ever amount to the potential I thought he had. 

Would be 100% for the signing of Kareem Hunt and Robbie Gould too. 

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11 hours ago, G08 said:

Nice work but I don't think in a million years the Bears' Brass will sign off on Hunt.

I think it's possible because he played for Nagy and Nagy has bargaining power to pound the table get what he wants on some things.  

I dont know if its that important to Nagy to get him. 

Edited by dll2000
My ipad spells 'because' wrong

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Not a fan of the free agents...I don't think we need JAGs with how talented this roster is...

The draft I would love but struggle to see Jelks or Diggs being there at that point.

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3 hours ago, Madmike90 said:

Not a fan of the free agents...I don't think we need JAGs with how talented this roster is...

The draft I would love but struggle to see Jelks or Diggs being there at that point.

I think JAGs is what we have the budget for.

Once we take care of just the basic re-signings, we would be in a sub 10 million free agency period.

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15 hours ago, G08 said:

Nice work but I don't think in a million years the Bears' Brass will sign off on Hunt.

We need them to.

We are in the phase of team building/cap space where we need to take some risks on talented players that come at discounted rates.

Hunt is a market inefficiency, because of his arrest, that teams like the Rams and Patriots take advantage of.

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TE is still a weak spot. I am not sure what I would do to address it more within the cap space and picks.

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41 minutes ago, WindyCity said:

We need them to.

We are in the phase of team building/cap space where we need to take some risks on talented players that come at discounted rates.

Hunt is a market inefficiency, because of his arrest, that teams like the Rams and Patriots take advantage of.

I 100% agree. This decision will be in Pace/Nagy's hands not Virginia. She's a figure head not someone who can make day to day decisions.  

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