Bears Rumors

Miller Recovering From Shoulder Procedure

  • Anthony Miller dealt with as many as five shoulder dislocations as a rookie in 2018, leading to a 2019 surgery. The Bears wide receiver’s shoulder troubles are not over. He underwent another shoulder operation recently, Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com notes. Miller missed time during the 2019 offseason but did not miss a game last season. That seemingly won’t be an issue this year, with COVID-19 making it highly unlikely any teams will conduct any offseason workouts. The former second-round pick came on down the stretch last season, finishing 2019 with 52 catches for 656 yards.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/25/20

Here are today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins

 

Bears To Sign OL Germain Ifedi

The Bears and offensive lineman Germain Ifedi are in agreement on a one-year contract, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Financial details are not yet known, but it is likely not a high-dollar deal.

The Seahawks drafted Ifedi in the first round of the 2016 draft, and though he has been a full-time starter since his rookie campaign, he has never lived up to that billing. Seattle declined his fifth-year option last May, and his play did not improve enough to make the team regret that decision.

Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll did express interest in bringing Ifedi back, but no reports of negotiations between the two sides ever surfaced. Instead, the Texas A&M product will attempt to rebuild his value with the Bears.

Rapoport says that the Bears — who have Bobby Massie penciled in at right tackle — could give Ifedi a shot at guard. He played guard in his rookie season in Seattle before kicking out to RT.

Chicago’s O-line was one of the worst in the league in 2019, but Ifedi represents the lone free agent addition the club has made to that unit thus far.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Panthers Release Cam Newton

The Panthers’ efforts to trade Cam Newton evidently did not take off. They are expected to release the former MVP as soon as Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Carolina made the move official Tuesday afternoon.

While the Panthers attempted to deal Newton to the Bears and Chargers, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, they could not find a taker. Newton had one season remaining on a deal he signed back in 2015. He was set to earn $18.6MM in 2020 base salary; Carolina will take on just $2MM in dead money for releasing Newton but clear $19.1MM in cap space. The Bears subsequently traded for Nick Foles instead, and the Chargers appear focused on the draft. After pursuing Tom Brady, the Bolts no longer intend to add a veteran quarterback.

A Newton release was the expected outcome, given the unique complications this offseason presents for the Panthers to trade their three-time Pro Bowl passer. This will end a nine-year run for Newton in Charlotte. The move also comes less than a month after Matt Rhule indicated he wanted to keep Newton for the 2020 season. Carolina moved swiftly in another direction after that pronouncement.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Newton fairly quickly solidified himself as the best quarterback in Panthers history. He helped the Panthers to four playoff berths in a five-season span and piloted them to Super Bowl 50 in 2015. However, injuries intervened in the late 2010s and will lead the former superstar to the open market for the first time.

Newton, 30, is recovering from the Lisfanc surgery he underwent in December. The NFL’s all-time QB rushing-touchdown king has not been fully healthy since early in the 2018 season, when he suffered a shoulder injury. Newton is not expected to be game-ready for months.

Considering the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has made to this NFL offseason, Newton could be in limbo. Teams are not permitted to host free agents on visits, and while third-party doctors can still examine players, any franchise signing off on a Newton contract would probably want to put its medical staff to work on the injury-prone passer.

Because of this strange scenario, the Panthers were able to pry a fifth-rounder from the Redskins for Kyle Allen on Monday and will be forced to release Newton. Carolina’s quarterback depth chart now sits at Teddy BridgewaterP.J. WalkerWill Grier. The Panthers officially signed Walker on Tuesday morning. Bridgewater signed his three-year, $63MM deal Monday night, and David Newton of ESPN.com notes the Panthers will not carry both Bridgewater and Newton’s salaries. The Newton-to-Bridgewater transition will begin Tuesday.

Newton had regressed considerably since the Panthers’ Super Bowl 50 loss, ranking 30th in QBR since 2016, but the nine-year veteran showed promise in Norv Turner‘s offense early in 2018 certainly would have brought back a trade package of some sort in a normal NFL offseason. The former Heisman winner now must continue his rehab on his own and do so in one of the most uncertain times to go about a rehab effort. The NFL may well end up canceling all offseason activities due to conoravirus-related uncertainty, so it might be difficult for Newton to land a noteworthy contract for the 2020 season.

Carolina will have parted ways with Newton, Greg Olsen, Luke Kuechly, Trai Turner and Mario Addison this offseason. Rhule’s team will certainly look different when the Panthers are permitted to reconvene under their new coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears To Re-Sign DL Brent Urban

The Bears have agreed to re-sign free agent defensive end Brent Urban to a one-year deal, according to what Pro Football Rumors considers to be a very reliable source….Urban’s wife Kate (Twitter link).

Urban, 28, spent the first five seasons and 41 games of his career with the Ravens after being selected in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. A 16-game starter in 2018, Urban inked a deal with the Titans last spring, but was cut midway through the season. He quickly latched on with the Bears, where he appeared in nine games and played 183 defensive snaps.

Urban has spent the entirety of his career in a 3-4 scheme, so he’s surely ready for another go-round in Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano‘s front. He’ll compete with Roy Robertson-Harris ans Bilal Nichols for playing time alongside Chicago defensive line stalwart Akiem Hicks.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/23/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Bears To Sign LB Barkevious Mingo

Barkevious Mingo is set to suit up for a sixth NFL team. The Bears are adding the well-traveled former first-round pick, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

The Bears and the veteran edge defender agreed on a one-year, $1.2MM deal, Rapoport tweets. Mingo will receive $900K guaranteed. This will be the former No. 6 overall pick’s fifth team in five seasons.

After acquiring him in the Jadeveon Clowney trade last season, the Texans deployed Mingo on just 7% of their defensive snaps. He saw action on 74% of Houston’s special teams snaps, however. While Mingo’s defensive usage has fluctuated since the Browns traded him to the Patriots in 2016, he has been a key special-teamer for most of his career.

The LSU product did not pan out as a pass rusher, topping out at two sacks in a season since a five-sack rookie slate with the 2013 Browns. But he’s consistently found work. Mingo has been twice traded; this marks his third free agency agreement.

He signed with the Colts in 2017 and the Seahawks in 2018. The Bears are adding him at a cheaper rate than the Seahawks did, however. That 2018 Seattle pact was a two-year, $6.8MM deal. Mingo will reunite with Bears DC Chuck Pagano and provides some depth behind Khalil Mack and the recently acquired Robert Quinn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears, CB Artie Burns Agree To Terms

Artie Burns will have another chance to be part of a North-division team’s cornerback rotation. The Bears and Burns agreed to a one-year deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com confirms (on Twitter).

The 2016 first-round pick played just 67 snaps in his final Steelers season, after falling to justify the franchise’s investment. Pittsburgh did not pick up Burns’ fifth-year option in 2019, sending him to free agency this year.

An ex-Miami Hurricane, Burns will join a Bears team that moved on from Prince Amukamara last month. Burns started 32 games as a Steeler, including 16 in 2017. Despite producing a respectable Pro Football Focus grade that season, Burns lost his job during the 2018 season and saw the team make multiple additions at the position last year. As a result, this will likely be a low-cost prove-it deal.

In addition to All-Pro Kyle Fuller and slot defender Buster Skrine, third-year UDFA Kevin Toliver and 2019 sixth- and seventh-round picks Duke Shelley and Stephen Denmark reside among Chicago’s corner cadre. The Burns move may not be the Bears’ last at this position this offseason they attempt to replace Amukamara.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/20/20

Today’s running list of minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

  • Released: P Ryan Allen (this is only a procedural move and Allen is expected to be re-signed shortly, Tom Pelissero of NFL Network tweets.)

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers