Bobby Massie

Bears Notes: Desai, Robinson, Massie, Skrine

Earlier this week, Sean Desai met with the media for the first time since being promoted to the role of defensive coordinator. While the 37-year-old will take over a defense that has ranked as a top-10 DVOA unit in each of the past three seasons, they’ve also seen some regression since peaking in 2018. However, Desai doesn’t believe the defensive needs a significant overhaul.

“I’m not a big car guy, so my analogies may not be great, but this is like a tune up,” Desai said (via the team’s website). “We’re going to refine some things and we’re going to make sure our players are playing to their strengths on a consistent basis and they’re going to buy into the system and the whys and the hows of why we’re doing certain things. But we’ve got a good defense. We’ve got really good players here.”

“There was some regression, and we’re going to overcome that,” Desai added. “But we’re going to do it in a positive way and we’re going to do it where the players are going to be able to shine through that defense. So I think we’ll build some depth and we’ll continue with our tough, physical mindset of play and do that over a 16- to 20-week season.”

Some more notes out of Chicago…

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora writes that the Bears are “prepared” to tag wideout Allen Robinson with the hope of eventually signing him to a long-term deal. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes that it will be difficult to fit a franchised Robinson into a reduced 2021 cap, but the writer also admits that replacing Robinson would be a more daunting task.
  • Speaking of the cap, Biggs provided some cost-cutting options for the Bears. The team could move on from right tackle Bobby Massie, although that would open a spot on the offensive line. Cornerback Buster Skrine could also lose his roster spot, especially since he has a $500K roster bonus due in March. Finally, Biggs also whether the front office will be receptive to paying tight end Jimmy Graham $7MM this season.
  • As for restructured contracts, Biggs points to pass rusher Khalil Mack and safety Eddie Jackson, and he notes that the team could also extend cornerback Kyle Fuller. Alternatively, the team could look to retain free agents like Cairo Santos and Cordarrelle Patterson on low-money pacts.
  • Kevin Fishbain of The Athletic passed along a few Bears players who have increased their 2021 salaries via proven performance escalators (Twitter links): defensive end Bilal Nichols (from $920K to $2.183MM) and guard James Daniels ($1.437MM to $2.183MM),. Their new salaries are contingent on the final 2021 cap number.

Tackle Notes: Saints, Bulaga, Bolles, Eagles

The Saints have encountered more offensive line injury trouble, and it comes at a bad time. Left tackle Terron Armstead is believed to have suffered a high ankle sprain, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). The standout blocker will miss Thursday’s game against the Falcons, and while New Orleans’ subsequent mini-bye would give the seventh-year blocker a chance to return against the 49ers, these are usually multi-week injuries. With left guard Andrus Peat sidelined with a broken arm, the Saints may be missing the left side of their high-end offensive line when they face the 49ers’ dominant pass rush in Week 14. Journeyman Patrick Omameh, whom the Giants cut after his short run as one of their guard starters, replaced Armstead on Sunday.

A lot of news affecting tackles around the league has emerged. Here is the latest:

  • Bryan Bulaga‘s knee injury appears to be a minor issue. The Packers‘ longtime right tackle left Sunday night’s game in San Francisco, but Rapoport notes (via Twitter) he is believed to be battling an MCL sprain instead of ACL trouble. Bulaga will likely miss some time but looks to be able to return this season.
  • As an Eagles season with Super Bowl aspirations veers closer to one of the more disappointing campaigns in recent NFL history, Philadelphia at least will likely have its Pro Bowl right tackle back this week. Lane Johnson expects to be cleared from concussion protocol on Tuesday, Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. Johnson missed Sunday’s loss against the Seahawks.
  • Vic Fangio appears ready to either bench underwhelming left tackle Garett Bolles or minimize his playing time. The Broncos’ first-year coach said Monday he’s going to shake up left tackle, Mike Klis of 9News tweets. This will be contingent on right tackle Ja’Wuan James‘ availability. Fangio said the seldom-seen free agent signing has been cleared from his latest injury, but it doesn’t look like James is a lock to return to action. He would likely play right tackle, with current right tackle Elijah Wilkinson shifting to the left side. If James returns, Bolles may be set for the first benching of his three-year career. The former first-round pick has not come especially close to living up to expectations, and the Broncos are unlikely to pick up his fifth-year option.
  • The Bears will be without their right tackle for a bit. Bobby Massie suffered a high ankle sprain against the Giants and will miss a few weeks, Rapoport tweets. This is Massie’s fourth season as Chicago’s starting right tackle; he re-signed this offseason on a four-year extension. Massie has only missed two games in his Bears tenure.
  • After their third straight 34-point game, the Jets are likely to have to again reconfigure their offensive line. Rookie right tackle Chuma Edoga suffered an MCL sprain, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (on Twitter). Adam Gase confirmed the 2019 draftee is dealing with an MCL issue and is week-to-week. The Jets have made numerous changes on their offensive front this season. Benched right tackle Brandon Shell, who came in for Kelvin Beachum after he suffered an ankle malady Sunday, may be called upon to re-enter the lineup. Beachum suffered a sprained ankle but may not miss any time.

Injury Notes: Big Ben, Massie, Rankins

Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger underwent elbow surgery today, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The veteran is expected to be ready for the 2020 season. This optimism is similar to what we heard yesterday when we learned about Big Ben’s impending surgery.

Schefter adds that Roethlisberger had surgery on his right elbow. The operation was done by Dr. Neal ElAttrache (in consultation with team physician Jim Bradley) in Los Angeles. ESPN’s Rob Demovsky notes (on Twitter) that this is the same surgeon who operated on Aaron Rodgers collarbone back in 2017.

“Once Ben returns to Pittsburgh, he immediately will begin working with the Steelers’ medical staff on his rehabilitation, and he is expected to make a full recovery and return to the field for the 2020 NFL season,” the Steelers said in a statement (via Schefter).

We learned yesterday that the procedure would repair a muscle tear, and it didn’t involve any ligaments or tendons. Roethlisberger is expected to begin throwing by the spring, and it sounds like he should be good to go come next season.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Bears right tackle Bobby Massie was forced to sit out tonight’s game against the Redskins due to a bout with vertigo, reports Mike Garafolo of NFL Network (via Twitter). The illness apparently popped up today, and it’s uncertain if this is a temporary or long-term issue for the 30-year-old. After starting each of his 46 games during his first three seasons in Chicago, Massie added another two starts to his resume this season.
  • On Saturday, the Packers placed offensive guard Lane Taylor on the injured reserve with a biceps injury, and we now have a bit more clarity on his outlook. Demovsky reports (via Twitter) that the 29-year-old will ultimately need surgery on his left bicep. While the veteran could return from the injured reserve in late November, the operation may sideline him for the rest of the season. Taylor started a pair of games this season before suffering the injury.
  • There’s a chance that Saints defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins sees this field next Sunday night, but Nick Underhill of The Athletic tweets that the 25-year-old is more likely to return in Week 5 or Week 6. The 2016 first-rounder has yet to play in a game this season as he recovers from his Achilles injury. After compiling a career-high eight sacks during the 2018 regular season, Rankins suffered the injury during the divisional round of the playoffs.

NFC Rumors: Massie, Saints, Jernigan

On the surface, the Saints reluctantly enter their offseason without many avenues to improve their roster. They traded away their 2019 first-, third- and fourth-round picks and stand to hold less than $20MM in cap space. However, they may be open to another extension that knocks down Drew Brees‘ NFL-high $33.5MM cap figure. Another place the team could look to for potential cap savings is Andrus Peat‘s contract. The 2015 first-round pick has a $9.625MM fifth-year option salary, but with those deals guaranteed for injury only, The Athletic’s Larry Holder writes (subscription required) the guard is not a lock to return to New Orleans in 2019. Four of the Saints’ top six cap charges stand to go to offensive linemen, and Peat graded out as Pro Football Focus’ worst full-time guard this season. Peat broke his hand in December, but having played in both New Orleans’ playoff games, passing the fifth-year option physical before the new league year seems like a decent bet.

As its Super Bowl LIII representative prepares to trek to Atlanta, here is the latest from the NFC:

  • With Bobby Massie re-signing to stay in Chicago long-term, the Bears knocked out a key piece of their offseason task list. They now have three of their starting offensive linemen signed to veteran contracts. Massie will become one of the highest-paid right tackles in the game, with Ian Rapoport of tweeting the 29-year-old blocker will earn more than $8MM annually. While guarantees and base salaries are not yet known, Massie will become the fifth right tackle to make $8MM-plus per year.
  • Shifting back to the Saints, they will lose a staffer to the college ranks. Offensive assistant Joe Brady will become LSU’s passing game coordinator, Bruce Feldman of The Athletic tweets. Brady spent two years with the Saints.
  • The Eagles signed Timmy Jernigan to a four-year, $48MM extension late in the 2017 season. But the reigning Super Bowl champs may be experiencing buyer’s remorse. Jernigan ($13MM cap hit in 2019) will not be back in Philly without a restructure, Dave Zangaro of NBC Sports Philadelphia writes. The Eagles would have to eat a $6MM dead-money charge by releasing the defensive tackle but would gain $7MM in cap savings. This marks the NFL’s worst cap situation, with the Eagles more than $14MM over the projected salary ceiling.

Bears Sign OT Bobby Massie To Four-Year Extension

The Bears have locked up one of their key offensive linemen for the foreseeable future. The team announced that they’ve extended right tackle Bobby Massie. It’s a four-year deal that will last through the 2022 season.

“Bobby has been an important part of our offensive line the past three years and has shown steady improvement during that time,” said general manager Ryan Pace. “Bobby has a tremendous work ethic and has displayed the kind of toughness and consistency we want in our players. More importantly, he is a great teammate and we’re excited to keep him in the fold.”

The 29-year-old has been a mainstay on Chicago’s offensive line since joining the organization back in 2016. The former fourth-rounder has started each of his 46 games during his tenure in Chicago, including a 2018 campaign where he appeared in all 16 contests. Pro Football Focus was particularly fond of his performance this past season, ranking him 29th among 80 eligible tackles.

With Massie signed, the Bears will now return each of their five starters from the 2018 season, a grouping that also includes Kyle LongCody Whitehair, James Daniels, and Charles Leno. Adam L. Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times says Whitehair is one of the next Bears in line to receive an extension.

Massie was set to be one of four Bears starters to hit free agency. Safety Adrian Amos, cornerback Bryce Callahan and punter Pat O’Donnell are still unsigned.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Could Pursue Top Free Agents

The Bears are set to enter free agency with no shortage of cap space, and it appears they’re primed to put that money to use. General manager Ryan Pace is “extremely prepared” to explore the open market, he told the Chicago Tribune’s Brad Biggs, who writes that the Bears could make “strong” bids for cornerback Stephon Gilmore and, as previously reported, quarterback Mike Glennon. Additionally, the Bears could take a run at right tackle Ricky Wagner.

Stephon Gilmore (vertical)[RELATED: PFR’s Top 50 Free Agents]

As PFR’s Dallas Robinson detailed in January, the Bears are rife with questions at corner. Picking up Gilmore could go a long way toward fixing their issues, then, though the careerlong Bill is going to be costly (Biggs forecasts a $13MM-per-year contract). Gilmore, 26, is a five-year pro who started in each of his appearances (15) for the third straight season and notched a career-high five interceptions in 2016. However, after ranking as one of Pro Football Focus’ 10 best corners in 2015, Gilmore dropped to 61st (among 112 qualifiers) last season. Nevertheless, Gilmore possesses an impressive resume, having racked up 68 appearances, 66 starts and 14 picks since going in the first round of the 2012 draft.

As is the case at corner, the Bears are in dire need of help under center. That figures to lead to a Glennon pursuit, as Biggs relays that he’s Chicago’s No. 1 target to replace the soon-to-be jettisoned Jay Cutler. Glennon sat behind Buccaneers starter Jameis Winston the previous two seasons and barely played during that span, but he previously registered 19 appearances and 18 starts from 2013-14. While the Bucs have tried to retain Glennon at $8MM per year, he’s likely to receive both more money and a legitimate shot to start from another club – perhaps the Bears.

Like Gilmore and Glennon, Wagner figures to earn at least eight figures annually on his next contract. The career Raven, 27, is coming off his third season with at least 14 starts, and he finished as PFF’s 18th-best tackle among 78 qualifiers in 2016. He’d further beef up a Bears offensive line that rated among the league’s 10 best units in both the run and pass blocking departments last year, per Football Outsiders.

Signing Wagner could put incumbent right tackle Bobby Massie in danger of staying on the Bears’ roster. Chicago inked Massie to a three-year, $18MM deal in free agency last offseason, but he went on to rank a so-so 43rd among PFF’s 78 qualified tackles. Massie’s due a $1MM roster bonus March 11 and set to count over $6MM against the Bears’ cap in 2017. Cutting him would leave the team with just $1MM in dead money, however.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Harrison, Benjamin, Massie

Here are some of the latest details on recently agreed-upon or signed contracts from around the NFL. All Twitter links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle unless otherwise indicated…


  • Damon Harrison, DT (Giants): Five years, $46.25MM. $24MM guaranteed. $8MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Bobby Massie, T (Bears): Three years, $18MM. $6.5MM guaranteed. $1.5MM signing bonus. $2MM roster bonus due on March 14 (Twitter links).
  • Thad Lewis, QB (49ers): One year, $760K. Minimum salary benefit. $25K playing-time incentive. $428K split salary (Twitter link).


  • Travis Benjamin, WR (Chargers): Four years, $24MM. $13MM guaranteed. $5MM signing bonus. $2.75MM salary for 2016 and $4.25MM salary for 2017 fully guaranteed (Twitter link).
  • Antonio Gates, TE (Chargers): Two years, $11MM. $6MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Ramon Humber, LB (Patriots): One year, $885K. Minimum salary benefit. $25K signing bonus. $30K in per-game roster bonuses (Twitter link via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald).

Bears To Add Bobby Massie

4:54pm: It’ll be a three-year deal for Massie, tweets Jeff Dickerson of, while Cole adds (via Twitter) that the contract is worth $18MM.

3:57pm: Bobby Massie and the Bears have reached an agreement to bring the tackle to Chicago, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets.

Massie started for three seasons with the Cardinals and was linked to multiple teams during his initial free agency foray but opted to sign with the Bears. Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed.Bobby Massie

A starter in Arizona during the 2012, 2014 and 2015 seasons, Massie started 16 total games for the Cardinals last season, including both playoff contests, at right tackle. The NFL suspended Massie for the first three games of last season, a ban that was reduced to two, for a substance-abuse policy violation.

Upon return, Massie didn’t fare too well, per Pro Football Focus. The soon-to-be 27-year-old blocker ranked 45th at tackle, although the site is highly critical of tackles’ play.

In 2014, Massie played all 1,089 snaps for the Cardinals. But the team drafted tackle D.J. Humphries in the first round in 2015 and already employs a second-contract cog as its left tackle in Jared Veldheer.

The Bears also have an interesting quandary on their front now that Massie appears to be in the fold. Kyle Long started all 16 games at right tackle for Chicago last season but played his previous two slates as the Bears’ right guard. The fourth-year veteran and extension candidate’s previously been pegged to play tackle for the Bears next season; that could now be on the left side, where 2014 seventh-round pick Charles Leno resided in 2015.

Chicago could move Long back to guard, where he was a productive talent and a two-time Pro Bowler. Long made the Pro Bowl last year as a right tackle, so his versatility will benefit the Bears as they add a proven component to their starting front.

Photo courtesy USA Today Sports Images

Free Agent Rumors: Massie, Mack, Vikings

The latest free agent rumors:

  • Cardinals free agent tackle Bobby Massie is deciding between three teams and he could remain in Arizona, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets.
  • Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter) says that Alex Mack got a quality deal from the Falcons because multiple teams including the Browns and the Chargers were “in strong” for his services. Meanwhile, Michael Gehlken of U-T San Diego (on Twitter) says that even though the Chargers reached out, they did not “develop into a major contender.”
  • The Vikings are looking at free agent wide receiver Andre Holmes, Ben Goessling of tweets. Holmes, who was with Minnesota as a UDFA in 2011, would give Minnesota a big target.
  • The Eagles never had formal contract discussions with Walter Thurmond prior to Monday, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic tweets. Thurmond is now on the open market and, one way or another, the Eagles need to add depth at the cornerback position.
  • Keenan Robinson appears to have posted a farewell message to Washington fans on Instagram. After re-signing Mason Foster, it seems like Washington will be moving on from their other free agent inside linebacker.