Bears Rumors

Bears Work Out LB Brandon Marshall

The NFL lost its Brandon Marshall base in 2019, following the wide receiver’s 13th season and the linebacker being unable to stick with a team after his seventh. But the latter continues to make inroads to a comeback.

After working out for the 49ers recently, Marshall auditioned for the Bears on Monday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The 31-year-old linebacker has spent the offseason training in hopes of resuming his career, and he may be on the verge of receiving an opportunity.

A Super Bowl starter alongside current Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan with the 2015 Broncos, Marshall signed a subsequent extension to stay in Denver. He lasted three more seasons with the team, but injuries restricted him over the life of that contract. The Broncos cut bait in 2019. Although Marshall signed with the Raiders later that year, injuries again impeded him. The Raiders cut him ahead of the ’19 season.

Marshall has 63 starts on his resume, working his way from fifth-round pick to key cog on one of this era’s premier defenses. In an effort to ignite his comeback bid, Marshall attended a late-May showcase for NFL scouts in San Diego. That effort appears to have worked, but Marshall’s return to the league will hinge on his health. He missed five games in both the 2016 and ’18 seasons.

The former Jaguars draftee, however, has three 100-tackle seasons on his resume. And the Bears have seen both their starting inside ‘backers — Trevathan and Roquan Smith — battle injuries during their time as a duo. Chicago still has Christian Jones in place as a backup but has not addressed the position in the draft since 2018.

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Allen Robinson To Show For Bears’ Minicamp

The Bears have a month to sign Allen Robinson to a long-term extension, and while his future in Chicago is murky, the franchise-tagged wide receiver will resurface at team headquarters this week.

Robinson intends to report to the Bears’ minicamp, Jason Lieser of the Chicago Sun-Times notes, and NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport adds the eighth-year pass catcher has arrived at Halas Hall (Twitter link). This certainly represents a positive sign for the Bears, with franchise-tagged players often skipping all offseason workouts and then staying away into training camp.

[RELATED: Allen Robinson Signs Franchise Tender] 

Nothing much has transpired on the Robinson extension front. The sides have not been close to the same page on terms since negotiations began nearly a year ago, and Lieser adds they have made no progress toward a deal.

Like many players this offseason, Robinson stayed away from voluntary workouts. He was quick to sign his $17.9MM franchise tender, however, doing so amid rumors the Bears were pursuing Kenny Golladay. The ex-Lions weapon visited the Bears but ended up signing with the Giants. Robinson resides as the Bears’ clear-cut No. 1 target for a fourth straight year.

The Bears will count on Robinson to help first-round pick Justin Fields assimilate, even though it appears Andy Dalton will begin the season as Chicago’s QB1. Robinson, 27, has cleared 1,000 yards in each of the past two seasons. The Bears gave the ex-Jaguar a $14MM-per-year deal in 2018 but upset him during extension talks. His reporting for minicamp should be considered a good sign, but how the parties proceed at the July 15 deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign extensions will be more telling about their prospects for a long-term partnership.

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Bears Sign Justin Fields

It’s a done deal. On Thursday, the Bears struck agreement with first-round quarterback Justin Fields (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). 

Per the terms of his slot, Fields will collect $17.9MM on his fully guaranteed four-year deal. That includes a healthy $11.1MM signing bonus for the No. 11 overall pick.

The Bears already had Andy Dalton heading into the draft, but they couldn’t pass up Fields. Meanwhile, Giants GM Dave Gettleman couldn’t resist the urge to trade. With that, the Bears moved up to No. 11 in exchange for pick No. 20, pick No. 164, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2022 fourth-round pick.

Some evaluators preferred Zach Wilson and Trey Lance, who were the first QBs to come off the board after Trevor Lawrence. Regardless, the Bears were thrilled to land the Ohio State product. In just two short years as a Buckeye, he cemented himself as one of the most accomplished players in program history. The dual-threat QB threw for 5,373 yards, 63 touchdowns, and nine interceptions across 22 starts.

Now, the two-time Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year will try and work his magic in Chicago.

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Bears Plan To Start Andy Dalton In Week 1

While early June is generally far too early for these sort of proclamations, the Bears continue to throw support behind their stopgap quarterback. Despite Chicago’s quarterback plans changing in late April, the team intends to honor a promise it made in March.

The Justin Fields draft choice notwithstanding, the Bears plan to keep the promise of starting Andy Dalton in Week 1, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. The Bears will play the Rams in Los Angeles in Week 1, opening the Sunday Night Football slate.

First-round quarterbacks generally take over quickly as rookies. The Bears did not waste much time giving the keys to Mitchell Trubisky four years ago, with the one-year North Carolina starter usurping free agency addition Mike Glennon by Week 5. This year, Bears GM Ryan Pace pledged Dalton — signed to a one-year, $10MM deal — would be the team’s starter. Of course, the team’s depth chart consisted of Dalton and Nick Foles at that point. Fields certainly throws a wrench into a lengthy Dalton stay atop the depth chart.

Matt Nagy said after the Fields pick he would like the Bears to use the Chiefs’ most recent QB-transition model, when Alex Smith started throughout Patrick Mahomes‘ rookie year. Nagy was Kansas City’s offensive coordinator that season. Comparing Fields and Mahomes is unwarranted at this point, but it would be surprising if the Ohio State standout remained on the bench for too long. The Kansas City model is quite rare, despite teams hoping to follow suit. Pace and Nagy entered the draft on scorching-hot seats. Their trade-up for Fields may have bought them some time, but the high-end prospect will almost certainly play early.

Only four quarterbacks chosen in Round 1 since 2011 — when that year’s CBA changed first-rounders’ earnings and timelines — did not become a primary starter in Year 1: Mahomes, Jake Locker (2011), Johnny Manziel (2014) and Paxton Lynch (2016). All but Locker started at least one game as rookies. The 27 other first-round QBs from 2011-20 started at least six games, with 22 of those starting at least 10. Although Dalton has nine-plus seasons as a starter and is reuniting with Bears OC Bill Lazor, recent history shows the 33-year-old passer does not figure to be long for the Bears’ QB1 post.

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Bears Sign Four More Draft Picks

The Bears have inked the majority of their draft class to contracts. The team announced that they’ve signed fifth-round tackle Larry Borom, sixth-round running back Khalil Herbert, sixth-round receiver Dazz Newsome, and sixth-round cornerback Thomas Graham Jr.. We passed along the signing of seventh-round nose tackle Khyiris Tonga earlier today.

Borom is the most notable name on the list, as the Missouri product started 19 of his 33 games over the past three seasons. He’ll likely serve as a backup to Elijah Wilkinson on the right side, although he has the versatility to play all over the offensive line. Herbert was also a notable pick after collecting 2,918 rushing yards in 46 college games, including 1,183 yards in 11 games for Virginia Tech last year. He’ll compete for a spot as backup to David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen.

While Newsome got his first NFL contract today, it’s not all good news for the rookie. We learned earlier today that the rookie wideout broke his collarbone in practice on Tuesday. Fortunately, it was a clean break for the sixth-rounder, meaning Newsome should be good to go by the start of training camp.

With the signing, the Bears now only have a pair of unsigned draft picks: first-round quarterback Justin Fields and second-round tackle Teven Jenkins.

Broken Collarbone For Bears’ Dazz Newsome

Bears rookie wide receiver Dazz Newsome broke his collarbone in practice on Tuesday (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). That means surgery for the sixth-round pick, but Pelissero hears that it was a clean break. Essentially, the youngster is looking at an eight-week recovery that should allow him to participate in training camp.

Many expected the Bears to target a wideout in Round 1. Instead, they pushed their chips towards Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields and addressed the need later on with Newsome. The Bears see him as a strong slot option, thanks to his lightning-quick speed. Other teams agreed, especially after seeing the UNC product notch 126 grabs for 1,702 yards and 16 touchdowns across his last two seasons on campus.

If he stays on track, Newsome has a good chance of sticking somewhere behind Allen Robinson and Damiere Byrd. But, if he’s not able to prove himself between now and the end of August, the Bears might have a tough time sneaking him through waivers.

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Bears, Jets Meet With Morgan Moses

Morgan Moses is a busy man. On Wednesday, the former Washington tackle will meet with the Bears, as ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter tweets. Meanwhile, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (Twitter link) hears that he also visited the Jets last week. 

There could be even more visits on the docket for Moses, who stands as one of the best offensive lineman left on the market. Washington gave Moses permission to seek trades earlier this month, but there were no takers. Ultimately, they released him to save $7.74MM against the 2021 salary cap.

Moses was re-upped by WFT in 2017 and went six straight seasons without missing a game. He’s durable, but not a world-beater, so Washington revamped their tackle group by drafting Samuel Cosmi in the second round and signing longtime Bears left tackle Charles Leno.

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus graded Moses as a top-20 tackle last season. But, previous to that, the advanced metrics framed him as a middle-of-the-road tackle from 2017 through 2019.

The Jets are set at left tackle with second-year pro Mekhi Becton, but their right tackle spot is still up in the air. For now, George Fant and Chuma Edoga stand as their top RT options. Meanwhile, the Bears could slot Moses ahead of Germain Ifedi on the right side with second-round rookie Teven Jenkins on the left.

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Vikings Wanted Justin Fields At No. 8

Recently, the Panthers shared a behind-the-scenes look at the 2021 NFL Draft, which showed the Vikings calling on their No. 8 overall pick. Ultimately, the offer wasn’t up to snuff. But, had the Panthers said yes, the Vikings would have selected Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields (via PFT).

The Vikings were connected to Fields in the weeks leading up to the draft, hoping that he’d fall to No. 14 overall. Now, we know that they were proactive in trying to land him. It’s an interesting footnote, especially given the presence of Kirk Cousins. Cousins has two years and $56MM to go on his deal; Fields could have prompted them to trade the veteran sometime between now and the end of the pact.

The Vikings offered up their No. 14 pick, their third-round choice at No. 90, and a fourth-round pick to jump to No. 8. Panthers GM Scott Fitterer wanted a 2022 first-round pick in order to move down, so the talks didn’t progress from there. Instead, the Vikings moved down to No. 23, tapped Virginia Tech tackle Christian Darrisaw, and added to their third-round stockpile. That’s where they selected Texas A&M QB Kellen Mond, who could be groomed as an eventual successor to Cousins.

Kirk Cousins is our quarterback,” GM Rick Spielman said in March. “I know there’s a lot of rumors floating around out there, but Kirk Cousins is our quarterback. We felt that he played very well, probably the best that he’s ever played down that stretch last year. Kirk is our quarterback going forward, and I look forward to him (having) another year in this system.”

Cousins is indeed the Vikings quarterback, but it’s worth nothing that his contract no longer includes a no-trade clause. Meanwhile, the Vikings will see Fields twice per year when they face the Bears.