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The Quarter Mock - Josh McDaniels Offseason


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Seeing how poor the coaching was again motivated me to do a mock. MadMike covered Nagy, who has quickly jumped to my 2nd option, so I will go with McDaniels for my first one of the year.


Coaching Changes

Fox, Loggains, Fangio, and Rodgers are all fired.


Head Coach

Josh McDaniels

- His time in Denver was not what he wanted, but he went back to NE and thrived again (plus he did well on offense considering he ran it with Orton, who undeniably had his best numbers there). His playcalling and adjustments were crucial to (along with Brady’s surgical accuracy of course) to NE making a historic comeback in the Super Bowl and consistently being one of the most productive in the NFL. Now with the worst rated defense in the NFL that offense is holding NE afloat until defense gets it’s bearing. He ia a young coach with more experience than one would think, and has helped Brady, Cassell, Garroppolo, and Brissett all improve and play well for at least stretches of time. He and Pace would be able to feed off each other and he would be able to develop Trubisky to his limit IMO.


Offensive Coordinator

Chad O'Shea

- NE never goes all out and drafts WRs high it seems, but they are able to take guys like Amendola, Welker, Edleman, and others and run a system to perfection. It can be adapted to Cooks, utilize 2 TE sets or even adapt to incorporate numerous vertical routes with burners like Moss, Stallworth, and Galloway. That shows a high level of discipline and attention to detail, both of which McDaniels will want to be used in installing his system and developing the young corps of players he now has.

He would be the perfect compliment to McDaniels in developing the WR/TE corps to help Trubisky’s development. Considering the oldest WR is 25, he will be molding them entirely to the system, and teaching then how to run routes with precision.


Defensive Coordinator/Ast. Head Coach

Todd Bowles.

- Yes the Jets are 3-3. They are also lead by McCown, who sometimes hits some great highs before his play rapidly falls back down to earth (see 2nd half today, all 3 points). I still think the Jets finish no better than 6-10, and that is the final nail in the coffin for his Jets tenure. McDaniels learned from his time in Denver that he will need to focus on the offense and this allow Bowles to have total control over the defense. Our players will love the aggressiveness that he brings to the table, and he will get the best 11 players on the field at the same time. I also want to see how his defenses go when he puts on varied personnel, using Hicks and Goldman as his Dockett and Campbell with us.  


Special Teams Coordinator

Chris Horton

- Honestly I stole this from Madmike, credit goes to him for this one. His mock listed him and made sense, and I am simply too lazy to research special teams. It shouldn’t be hard to improve from Rodgers though.





**** All cap numbers are spotrac estimates without rollovers added.

1. Released Mike Glennon

- Obviously.
(Saved: $11,500,000)

2. Released Pernell McPhee

- Had an amazing first year in Chicago. Has been nothing like that since, his most memorable play of the last two years was screaming at his QB while in street clothes.
(Saved: $7,075,000)

3. Released Dion Sims

- Mediocre showings do not equate to him being worth his deal.
(Saved: $5,666,666)

4. Released Bobby Massie
(Saved: $5,600,000)

6. Released Markus Wheaton

- It was a move made on the chance he could take the top off defenses.  We look for a more proven option.
(Saved: $5,000,000)

7. Released Willie Young

- He just is done physically. Wish he could have gone fishing more often this year.
(Saved: $4,500,000)

8. Released Marcus Cooper

- He has played pretty well, and that may continue but he has had numerous blown coverages that we were simply lucky for them to miss. I believe Amukamara outplays him over the course of the season.  
(Saved: $4,500,000)

9. Released Quintin Demps

- Veteran leadership was a plus, but not worth it any more.
(Saved: $3,666,666)

10. Released Josh Sitton

- Love having him on the team but he is getting next to no push. His body seems to be breaking down and we cannot have him failing to make a pocket for Trubisky to step up in.

(Saved $8 mil)

Total Cap Space (per Spotrac) - $88,600,000




Re- Sign

CB Prince Amukamara - 2 years $16 million

- This may change, but as of right now he has played pretty well and could go for a 3 year deal


CB - Kyle Fuller - 1 year $8 mil (nearly what the 5th year option would have been)

- Bright spot for the season, has been the best CB we have vs the run as well.


WR - Cameron Meredith - 2 years $12 million

- He missed all season with a knee injury, likely has a 2 year deal or one year prove it deal. I think it safer to get a 2 year deal to make sure he recovers, if so we can offer a bigger extension if he begins to ascend rapidly.


WR - Kendall Wright - 2 years, $7 million

- We need a slot WR, and he fits the bill. I expect him to get more targets as the season goes on.


P - Pat O’Donnell - $5 years, $12.5 mil (Roughly 10th in the league)

- He has done really well, no reason to move on from him. He is leading in touchbacks, 6th in punts inside the 20, and if he had a decent special teams coordinator his net average would be much better.


WR - Tre McBride - 2 years, $3 million

- He may not make the final roster, but he at least warrants a flier. Might even be glad to retain him in case of an injury or if Meredith heals slower than expected.


LS - Patrick Scales - 4 years, $3.6 miillion

- As long as his injury is gone and he gets the bill of health, he is a simple and cheap option that has done well, he gets a pay raise.


QB - Mark Sanchez - 2 years $4 million ($2 million guaranteed)

- While not an ideal player he has experience in really big games, and apparently has had a great accord with Trubisky. While getting another QB to develop we could be worse as a backup.


HB - Benny Cunningham - 2 years, $1.8 mil ($900K guaranteed)

- Nothing special, just a guy who can do a little bit of everything and can be a returner in a pinch. He will be replaced in a year or two for a younger reserve but he can hold the reserve spot down and handle garbage time to prevent injuries to our starting duo.


OT - Cameron Fleming - 2 years, $2 million

Compton and Sowell are just guys, nothing special. Fleming might not be anything special either, but he is a guy who has ran the system McDaniels runs since 2014. He will be a massice help in teaching the line the calls and adjustments.  

Cap Left - $54.3 million








Free Agents


EDGE - Ezekial Ansah - 5 years $82 million ($51 mil guaranteed like Chandler Jones)

We need to hit Rodgers and Stafford…often. With Houston, Young, and McPhee gone, that leaves us Floyd. While he is a great talent, he is not a one man wrecking crew. His opposite becomes Ansah, who may have spent his whole career with his hand in the dirt, but with his elite athleticism he can adapt to play standing, plus when we go to nickel he can still get back to what he is used to. Ansah plays for us in his prime, with a staggered salary like $21/14/14/13/21. Essentially we are taking Glennon and McPhees’ lost 2018 salaries to front load his deal and make it far more team friendly in the long term.

*** He may be re-signed, if so I have a note below for the 1st round pick ***


SS - Tyvonn Branch - 4 years $24 million ($12 mil guaranteed)

- He is basically Jerrell Freeman at safety, and someone I have called for us to chase a few times in the last few years. He is all over the field, all the time. He is on the wrong side of 30 but is not being looked at as a 5 year plan, but he will be an impact player immediately. Zero chance of this being a Demps-like drop in production.


OLB - Aaron Lynch - 3 years $12 million ($6 million guaranteed)

- Another young talent, with the loss of Houston, Young, and McPhee we need bodies rushing the passer. Hopefully he uses his change of scenery as motivation and develops like he seemed he would.


ILB/OLB - Kevin Pierre Louis - 3 years 8 million

- Physical specimen who is not a pass rusher but has upside. Physically is strikingly similar to Ryan Shazier. He would be able to take on the Acho role at minimum.


TE - Troy Niklas - 2 years $5 million

- He is what we wanted in Sims as a blocker, for much much less.


*** If Ansah gets re-signed by DET then my top free agent target becomes Malcolm Butler or Trumaine Johnson (though they would not get as large of a deal, it would still be considerable. I will continue on as if Ansah was signed.

Cap Left - $18.2 mil







1- Minkah Fitzpatrick - CB

- He is an awesome defensive back prospect, he can play CB, NB, or safety (and does) and he reminds me of Jalen Ramsey. While I do not think he is as polished as Ramesy or quite the physical specimen, he has fantastic instincts and doesn’t shy away from big moments (see his late INT vs A&M). With someone like Bowles, who loves to utilize multiple looks and coverages with unusual defensive back groupings. With someone like Fitzpatrick he could put his best defensive backs out there, and he could be moved around to be a safety, NB, or CB.


*** Alternate if Ansah is re-signed by DET and we make our large signing a CB***
 Arden Key - OLB
- Physical specimen who drops due to his temporary leave from the team, injury, and the fact he hasn’t looked quite the same after coming back. There is Derwin, Minkah, and Conner available, but we have two safeties already and the CB corps is professional at least. What we need is to hit Rodgers and Stafford… a lot. Pairing Key and Floyd gives the Bears a dynamic pass rushing duo to build with for the next 10 years.

2 - Orlando Brown - OT

- Massie is frequently not getting a good push in the run game, and QB hurries continue to become too common even with a quick passing game. While I do not know if Brown will be there, there are 5-6 OTs that are all vying for their spots. Williams and McGlinchey are pretty much a high pick locks, there is Trey Adams, Rankins, and Hyatt are all showing promise as well. I prefer Adams but think he goes in the first. Brown has plenty of athleticism to play OT in the NFL and as we have seen in NE that McDaniels does well with OTs who have great length (Vollmer, Solder, Cannon, etc). Brown fits that as well, very well. He is someone who could be plugged into the line and be an upgrade over Massie.  

4- Nick Fitzgerald - QB

- We have Trubisky, who is there for the long run, and we have Sanchez who should be a capable reserve in the short term. But we need to stock the shelves for the long term. Fitzgerald has physical gifts to spare but is not a QB who is ready to run an NFL offense. He allows us to have a practice QB who can do rollouts well and act as a mobile QB we will be facing, and after a year or two is someone with similar physical gifts to Trubisky so we will not need to dramatically alter the gameplan when he comes in and they can grow together as they would both be in the same system from day one.

4- Bradley Bozeman - C

- Sitton’s time is rapidly closing. While still solid, he has regressed from last year. Combine that with the fact that Whitehair has had several issues snapping this year and Whitehair gets moved to RG, leaving a hole at C. While he will have to earn it vs an open competition with both Kush and Grasu, Bozeman is a solid center who is mean and can anchor in the pass game.  

5- Cece Jefferson - EDGE

- Physical standout who did not get it all put together at Florida. He has good bend and with some coaching up might be able to really be a solid contributor. Like lineman, you can never have enough pass rushers.  

6- Matt Elam - NT

- Occasionally you just need a wall that is immovable. He offers next to nothing in pass rush, but he is there to clog the lanes and free up the linebackers to make plays. He may rise up the boards but he is so one dimensional I would not be surprised to see him available here. As far as rotations he is really a 2 down rotational player. 10-15 snaps a game would be about what to expect.

7-  Eddy Pineiro - K

- Barth isn’t cutting it, and we need a better option. Pineiro has a boot and could use that leg strength to help drive through the winds off Lake Michigan. I think he will have to battle an UFA as they want to start fresh, but Eddy has plenty of leg to drive the ball and has been consistent for the Gators.





Depth Chart

QB - Trubisky, Sanchez, Fitzgerald

HB - Howard, Cohen, Cunningham, Mizzell

FB - Burton

WR - Watkins, Meredith, Wright, White, McBride, Gentry

TE- Shaheen, Miller, Niklas

OT - Leno (L), Brown (R ) - Fleming (S)

LG - Long (L), Whitehair (R ), Kush(S)

C - Bozeman, Grasu



DE - Hicks, Bullard - Robertson- Harris, Unrein

NT - Goldman, Elam

OLB - Ansah, Floyd- Lynch (passrush specialist), Jefferson, Irving

ILB - Freeman, Trevathan, Kwiatkowski, Pierre Louis

CB - Fuller, Amukamara, Fitzpatrick

NB - Callahan, LeBlanc

FS - Jackson, Houston-Carson

SS - Branch, Amos


K- Pineiro

P - O’Donnell

LS - Scales




Notes -

- Whitehair has had struggles with his snaps for some reason. If this continues then I move him to RG to replace Sitton, and let Kush and Grasu battle it out for the center position. If Whitehair can get it down then Allen and Kush can fight for the RG position.

- The TE position will use 2 TE frequently, much like the Gronk/Hernandez pairing. Miller moves around more than Shaheen, who moves to the traditional TE role.

- White, McBride, and Gentry are all starting from zero. None have a set position guaranteed and will fight to earn their spots. I know White’s deal is guaranteed, but he is no longer being looked at as a building block, he is on a one year flier.

- Amukamara, Fuller and Fitzpatrick are all competing for the outside spots, but Fitzpatrick and Fuller would also compete for the NB spot as well. Simply put, the best play, even if that means the nickelback is the highest paid of the CBs. Regardless, Fitzpatrick may not be confined to one position, but will have jsut as many starter reps as any other DB.

- Bowles is creative, he outfoxed Andrew Luck by using 2 DL (Dockett and Campbell) and had the rest moving about. We would have a package to really pin our ears back. Something like

Ansah - Hicks - Lynch with hands in the dirt and Floyd roaming freely.

- That may also mean Branch plays as a LB in a pass situation or mirroring the mobile QBs, then you have Fuller/Amukamara on the outside, Callahan/LeBlanc on the insides, and Jackson/Fitzpatrick deep.    

- While Lynch is being assumed the top rotational passrusher role, Jefferson, Irving, Pierre-Louis and whoever would be inserted if they have the hot hand. Productivity matters more than pay.

- The deals for Amukamara and Fuller are trail contracts - they are fighting to see if one can become a long term option for us opposite of Fitzpatrick. The lack of turnovers is concerning and will need to be addressed or they will be moved on from.

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Nice work.  Interesting going with Anasah in FA. 

In the depth cart we has Watkins at WR? is that Sammy Watkins ? don't see him the FA list? 

I personally feel the bears have no chance at McDaniels.  He is going to go somewhere where he can take Jimmy G with him.  Cincinnati Fire Marvin Lewis get rid of Dalton bring in Josh and Jimmy or New Orleans could be another spot where that scenario plays out brees is a FA fire Payton fresh start in NO.     

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5 hours ago, WindyCity said:

That would be an insane amount of turnover.

While the Bears will have the cap room to be aggressive they have shown no ability to land that many impact free agents.

Agreed. I would imagine having to put a high amount of guarantees in some of the contracts to better appeal to players like Watkins. If Pace wants to get the players this is his year. Freeing himself of the guys I listed allows to really front load their contracts to make the rest of their deals far more team friendly. And these guys of course would LOVE to get a huge portion of their contract up front. 


It goes against history, but I'm acting as if Pace sets his limit for deals a bit more loosely. 

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6 hours ago, Rogerthat said:

Nice work.  Interesting going with Anasah in FA. 

In the depth cart we has Watkins at WR? is that Sammy Watkins ? don't see him the FA list? 

I personally feel the bears have no chance at McDaniels.  He is going to go somewhere where he can take Jimmy G with him.  Cincinnati Fire Marvin Lewis get rid of Dalton bring in Josh and Jimmy or New Orleans could be another spot where that scenario plays out brees is a FA fire Payton fresh start in NO.     

Yep, Sammy Watkins. You can see him in spotrac's list. 


McDaniels very well might demand to have Jimmy G in tow, and I think G08 mentioned a report saying he wanted to pick his GM too, both of which would be deal breakers for me. I'm doing this assuming neither is a true demand. 


Pace has worked in a lot of youth and talent that we were completely devoid of with Emery. He also has not committed to a restrictive system. Windy mentioned that the WR fits would vary based on the coach - Nagy needing elite speed, McCoy wanting size, etc. The same would be for defense but we have a versatile group. 

Goldman can be a NT in a 3-4 or a 4-3. Hicks can play any interior role in a 4-3 or 5T. Same with Bullard and he may be able to be a bigger 4-3 DE like Izzy was. Floyd can play OLB or DE, DT can play any LB role, so we have LBsfor most any system just like DL. We have a few pieces on offense that are scheme versatile in Long, Whitehair, Howard, Cohen,  Shaheen, Wright, etc. Leno clearly doesn't fit well with a power running game but still is an average player regardless. 


Plus with Trubisky vs Jimmy G, Trubisky (to me) clearly is more gifted physically and is younger. Idc if Jimmy was playing out of Clemson or FSU, he wasn't going top 5 in this draft or his own. He would have been drafted after Tru, Watson, Mahomes and likely ahead of Mixer due to Kizers inconsistency. With Trubisky you get 4 years (with the 5th year option) to test his abilities and show he is your franchise QB with. He has seen Jimmy in practice but the game time is limited due to being behind the GOAT, and there was much less pressure for Jimmy as he knew this was not his job to lose, he was just filling in. So advantage goes to Trubisky to me  

Plus we have Tanner Gentry. Lol


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And honestly with Nagy I think most of the same would fit with players. Watkins has speed but we might focus on speed a bit harder. OC would definitely change too. But I'm loving the development under him and the pmaycalling that attacks all areas of the field rather than just the short game. Plus using reads on the DE for options on either jet sweeps or HB through the C gap, just creative and showing layered attacks rather than seeing Jeffrey on a sweep and knowing it will be a sweep. Nagy might well become my top option by year end. 

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I am not a big McDaniel guy and honestly at this point I think Bowles is a pipe dream because he is actually doing well with nothing in NY and if he can even get to 6-10 I reckon they give him another year with a better QB and some weapons but if we did pull this off it would be solid...

I worry that cutting some many guys after 1 year of a contract would stop other guys coming here so I think we would need to cut down on fhe amount of turnover...I do like your FA tho as long as Ansah can play standing up...draft would be solid to altho Brown wouldn't fit our zone scheme at all...

Overall this is pretty well thought out and a lot of work has went into it...well done man.

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1 hour ago, Madmike90 said:

I am not a big McDaniel guy and honestly at this point I think Bowles is a pipe dream because he is actually doing well with nothing in NY and if he can even get to 6-10 I reckon they give him another year with a better QB and some weapons but if we did pull this off it would be solid...

I worry that cutting some many guys after 1 year of a contract would stop other guys coming here so I think we would need to cut down on fhe amount of turnover...I do like your FA tho as long as Ansah can play standing up...draft would be solid to altho Brown wouldn't fit our zone scheme at all...

Overall this is pretty well thought out and a lot of work has went into it...well done man.

That is a really good point. Really the only counter I have for that would be the structure of the deal would show that they need to perform well to stay longer than a year. Regardless it likely would be something to stick in their minds though.

As for Ansah, I would be fine with him having his hand in the dirt as a wide 9. It would be ridiculous to have him dropping into coverage with any regularity. We would look more like a 4-3 but he should be rushing constantly anyway.

Bowles very well might be a pipe dream, I just have no faith in their QB group so I am expecting a pretty steep slide. If they lose 6 of their last 8 or so I think final record is moot. But if he is not available, I have my eye on Nick Rapone, the DB coach for the Cardinals. The progress he has made with the DBs there has been awesome. They have the best defensive backfield in football when healthy IMO and he is a big reason why.

I appreciate the feedback as always

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I could see McDaniels here very easily, but it really depends on Pace's approach. By all accounts, McDaniels has learned from his previous mistakes, and isn't a control-everything kind of guy anymore. He might appreciate having a GM with whom he can work to make personnel decisions, and honestly Pace has shown a nose for talent in the draft. Every year since Pace got here, we've had at least one impact rookie. That's not something every GM can say, and it's a luxury that a lot of NFL coaches would like to have.

I don't buy the argument that McDaniels is going to follow Garoppolo. First, it's not even guaranteed that Jimmy G is leaving New England - there could be some sort of deal in place for him to take over as their QB in two or so years if Brady retires. It could also be that Garoppolo goes to a team that already has a coach in place that they like. Miami, maybe, or Minnesota, neither of whom are going to give up their coaches to hire McDaniels. Then there's that we don't even know how good Garropolo is, whereas McDaniels does. If McDaniels thinks Trubisky could be better or about the same, or if McDaniels wants the challenge of developing Trubisky, etc., McDaniels could come here instead. Honestly, I think there's more arguments for them separating than going somewhere together.

I really like the idea of McDaniels here. It sounds like he's a changed man. He's got Tom Brady's full confidence, and Brady is the best quarterback to ever play the game. He's got Bill Belichick's full confidence, and Belichick is the greatest coach to ever play the game. His pedigree is immaculate, he's apparently learned a lot from his last period as a Head Coach, and also his offenses are consistently fantastic. He's by far and away the top candidate in this year's head coaching class. Everyone else is second fiddle.

Back to the offseason. I agree with the other posters, there's too much turnover on this year's FA crop. Cooper hasn't been that bad, I think he stays, and Massie is pretty consistently average, which is hard enough to replace at his position that I think he stays. Dion Sims is definitely going to stay, too - if anyone will get cut to make way for Shaheen, it's Miller, who is old and injury prone. Also, $3.5 million isn't that much to pay for a veteran backup safety with leadership presence. I think Demps stays, too. Honestly, if Kyle Fuller maintains his season, I don't see a need to go CB in the first. I really like the Ansah signing (though I think there'll be a bidding war that we'll lose), but I could very easily see us going EDGE in the first even if we do get him. Pace has really focused on upgrading the pass rush since he's been here, and I don't see that changing now. Totally with you on Arden Key, if he's there. Malik Jefferson would be fun opposite of Floyd, too.

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I do want to make sure to point out this is what I would do, I gave up trying to really predict the Bears a few years ago. lol

Cooper hasn't been bad, but he hasn't been good either. Fuller has outplayed him by a mile and Amukamara has outdone him from my point of view. He may be a decent slot option, but to me if you have Fitzpatrick, Fuller, and Amukamara you don't want a 28 year old with limited upside unless he is hellish on special teams. He might be, but $5 mil for a special teams player and rotational DB seems like a poor choice. Just my opinion though.

Admittedly Sims was a signing I wasn't high on to begin with, and his play this year has been pretty mediocre. He had the catch last week, but other than that he has not been much of a blocker. I look at him right now like a more expensive Spaeth, who is a clear downgrade in run blocking. Potential is there, but IDK.

Leadership presence is fine, but if he can't play worth a damn he is a liability and taking reps away from up and coming youth.

Amukamara is going to be 29 next year and has an injury history. While he may be able to hold down the fort we need someone to start long term, and Fuller has played great this year, but we need someone who can produce turnovers. We had two last week and that is the only reason we jumped to 27th rather than being tied for last still. But even with a broken McPhee, missing Young, released Houston, etc and we are still 7th in sacks and have had a fair number of pressures as well. Like you said, Pace has upgraded pass rush and will continue, but that cannot come with neglect of quality at CB. I wouldn't argue with Key even if we did get Ansah, but we need talent on the outside. Turnovers are a massive part of defense and we are sorely lacking there.

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