Bears Rumors

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/21/20

Today’s practice squad moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Houston Texans

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/21/20

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Las Vegas Raiders

New Orleans Saints

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC North Rumors: Robinson, Packers, Golladay

The Bears and WR Allen Robinson have resumed extension talks after a tumultuous week, and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Chicago rebuffed trade inquiries on its star receiver while increasing the contract offer it had on the table. However, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says negotiations are not likely to last deep into the season.

Per La Canfora, Robinson and the Bears still don’t see eye-to-eye on Robinson’s value, and Robinson may be content to head into the 2021 offseason as arguably the best WR available in free agency. But La Canfora says Robinson will not hit the open market. If the two sides don’t come to terms on a new deal, look for the Bears to slap the 27-year-old with the franchise tag. Obviously, both parties would prefer to avoid that outcome, but it sounds like there is still a wide gap that needs to be bridged in short order.

Now for more from the NFC North:

  • Before the season started, we heard that the Packers and RB Aaron Jones were working on a new deal. Although games are now underway, it sounds as if an extension could still get done. Jones, who is currently earning $2.133MM in the final year of his rookie contract, has seen plenty of other backs get new deals over the past several weeks and hopes he will get his big payday soon. “I’m definitely open to getting something done whenever,” Jones said, via Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. “But like I said, that’s not my main focus. Just gonna continue to focus on football and helping this team bring in the wins, as many as possible.”
  • Another key member of the Packers who is set for free agency in 2021 is LT David Bakhtiari. As was the case with Jones, Green Bay was hoping to finalize an extension for Bakhtiari before the season, but it sounds as if the two sides are far apart in negotiations. Demovsky says the All-Pro lineman is looking to match or exceed Laremy Tunsil‘s $22MM AAV, while the Packers’ best offer to date is about $4MM per year less than Bakhtiari’s asking price.
  • Lions WR Kenny Golladay will make his 2020 debut soon. Although the star receiver will miss Detroit’s Week 2 matchup with the Packers this afternoon, head coach Matt Patricia said Golladay is “really close” to a return (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network). A few weeks ago, the Lions and Golladay were said to be nearing an agreement on what will surely be a massive extension, though there were conflicting reports on that front.
  • ICYMI, the Bears and RB Tarik Cohen have come to terms on a three-year extension.

Bears, RB Tarik Cohen Agree To Extension

The Bears and running back Tarik Cohen have hammered out an extension, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com was first to report (via Jeff Dickerson of ESPN.com). We heard yesterday that the two sides were working on a new contract and hoped to have one completed before today’s game, and they managed to do just that.

According to Schefter, it will be a three-year extension worth $17.25MM in new money, for an average annual value of $5.75MM. Cohen can bump that number up to $18.25MM with incentives, and $9.5MM is fully guaranteed at signing.

The 2017 fourth-round selection was in the final year of his rookie contract, so his new deal will keep him tethered to the club through the 2023 season. And while Cohen does get a nice influx of cash, the contract looks pretty reasonable for a player of his capabilities. He has never topped 100 carries in a season, but he does boast a solid 4.2 YPC average in his career, and he has averaged nearly 70 receptions per season over his first three professional campaigns.

Cohen has also served as Chicago’s primary punt returner during that time, and he earned a 2018 Pro Bowl nod for his special teams acumen. The Bears need all the play-makers they can get, and they will be happy to keep the diminutive speedster in the fold for the next few seasons.

The club may now focus its full attention on a new contract for wide receiver Allen Robinson.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/19/20

Here are Saturday’s minor moves. There are many, as teams take advantage of the rule change allowing 55-man rosters ahead of regular-season games. Teams can dress 48 players for games this season, up from 46.

Arizona Cardinals

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 9/19/20

Recent practice squad notes from around the league:

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

  • Signed: WR Hakeem Butler
  • Released: S T.J. Green, T Aaron Monteiro

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Signed: OL Brandon Walton

Of course, the big news here surrounds Callaway. Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle reports (via Twitter) that the wideout has earned an additional four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. This means he’ll be eligible to return to the field in Week 8.

Callaway will continue to sit on the Dolphins’ practice squad suspended list, per Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com. The 23-year-old will still be allowed to attend meetings, but he can’t practice with the squad until his suspension ends.

The talented wideout out of Florida fell to the Browns in the fourth round of the 2018 draft thanks in part to a 2016 four-game suspension from former head coach Jim McElwain. Callaway immediately contributed in Cleveland, hauling in 43 receptions for 586 and five scores during his rookie campaign. However, the receiver was suspended for the first four games of the 2019 season after violating the substance-abuse policy, and he underwhelmed in the four games following his return (eight receptions, 89 yards).

He was slapped with a 10-game ban late last year, and the suspension was supposed to last through the third week of the 2020 season. Thanks to the latest suspension, Callaway won’t see the field through the first seven weeks of the season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears, RB Tarik Cohen Discussing Extension

Allen Robinson isn’t the only Bears player who could receive a contract extension. NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reports (via Twitter) that Tarik Cohen could ink an extension “in the near future.” NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport echoes that report (on Twitter), noting that the two sides had had “fruitful discussions” and “there is a push to get it done today in advance of Week 2.”

Cohen is in the final year of his four-year rookie deal, and he’s currently earning a $2.1MM base salary. The 25-year-old has had a consistent role for the Bears since being selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft. He earned a Pro Bowl nod in 2018 after finishing with 1,169 all-purpose yards and eight offensive touchdowns. While he set a career-high with 79 receptions in 2019, he finished with a career-low 669 all-purpose yards.

It’s always tough to gauge the value of pass-catching running backs. Chris Thompson earned around $3.5MM per year when he inked his extension with Washington, and James White signed a three-year, $12MM deal with the Patriots back in 2017 (although $3MM of that money was incentive-based). Neither of those players have a Pro Bowl appearance on their resume, so Cohen could expect at least something in that range.

Despite reports of a trade request from earlier this week, it sounds like Robinson may also be sticking around Chicago. We heard this morning that the two sides have resumed extension talks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears, WR Allen Robinson Resume Extension Talks

Allen Robinson may be staying put after all. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the Bears and the wideout have resumed contract talks. Rapoport warns that “[t]here is still a significant gap to close,” but the continued negotiations are a good sign nonetheless.

This followed a week where the impending free agent receiver expressed frustration with his contract, inquired about a trade, denied the trade rumors, and reiterated that he wants to stay in Chicago. Phew. Robinson is in the final season of his three-year, $42MM deal, and initial reports indicated that Robinson wasn’t satisfied with the Bears’ initial extension offers.

A trade always seemed somewhat unlikely. In a crucial season for quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, it would have been unproductive to trade a 1,000-yard receiver. The 27-year-old had one of the best seasons of his career in 2019, finishing with a career-high 98 receptions to go along with 1,147 yards and seven scores. He had five catches for 74 yards during his team’s Week 1 win.

Further, the Bears have traditionally taken care of their own. In recent years, they’ve extended Khalil Mack, Akiem HicksEddie Goldman and Cody Whitehair in the month of September. Even with the presence of 2018 second-rounder Anthony Miller, a Robinson extension has always seemed like a possibility, if not an inevitability.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2020 NFL Cap Space, By Team

Cap management has been extra complicated in the NFL this year. After ~70 NFL players opted out of the 2020 season, teams were left with holes and plenty of available dollars to fill the gaps. At first, the ongoing uncertainty over next year’s salary cap had teams nervous about large-scale commitments. Now, it seems like we’re getting back to business as usual.

Recent deals for Saints star Alvin Kamara, Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey, and others demonstrate the league’s long-term confidence. In turn, we’ve seen cap figures change dramatically in September.

Here’s the rundown of each team’s estimated cap space for the 2020 season, via Over The Cap:

  1. Cleveland Browns – $33.4MM
  2. New York Jets – $28.6MM
  3. Dallas Cowboys — $27.5MM
  4. New England Patriots – $26.3MM
  5. Washington Football Team – $25.8MM
  6. Denver Broncos – $25.7MM
  7. Jacksonville Jaguars – $25.2MM
  8. Philadelphia Eagles – $20MM
  9. Detroit Lions – $18MM
  10. Miami Dolphins – $16.7MM
  11. Baltimore Ravens – $14.2MM
  12. Los Angeles Chargers – $11.8MM
  13. Cincinnati Bengals – $11.6MM
  14. Arizona Cardinals – $11.4MM
  15. Indianapolis Colts – $11.3MM
  16. San Francisco 49ers – $11.2MM
  17. Pittsburgh Steelers – $10.9MM
  18. Chicago Bears – $9.9MM
  19. New York Giants – $9.6MM
  20. Houston Texans – $9.6MM
  21. Tennessee Titans – $9.4MM
  22. New Orleans Saints – $8.8MM
  23. Green Bay Packers – $8.7MM
  24. Los Angeles Rams – $7.7MM
  25. Las Vegas Raiders – $7.4MM
  26. Carolina Panthers – $6.9MM
  27. Kansas City Chiefs – $6.6MM
  28. Buffalo Bills – $6.5MM
  29. Seattle Seahawks – $6.2MM
  30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – $3.7MM
  31. Atlanta Falcons – $3.3MM
  32. Minnesota Vikings – $2MM

Allen Robinson Wants To Stay With Bears

Despite rumblings of a trade demand, Allen Robinson says he wants to stay put. On Wednesday, the Bears wide receiver said that he’s intent on remaining in Chicago throughout his walk year, and beyond (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Field Yates). 

[RELATED: Bears Were “In The Running” For Tom Brady]

My heart and spirit has never wavered as far as the city of Chicago and playing for this organization,” Robinson said.

Robinson also seems to have smoothed things out with head coach Matt Nagy. The two had a productive chat earlier today and Nagy says he has no concern about the receiver’s status with the club moving forward.

He’s a super person and a super player,” Nagy said. “I think he definitely feels good. He’s confident that we want him to be here and he wants to be here. That’s ultimately the goal.”

Nagy also pointed out the Bears’ track record for taking care of players. In recent years, they’ve extended Khalil Mack, Akiem HicksEddie Goldman and Cody Whitehair in the month of September, so it stands to reason that Robinson could get his wish sometime soon.

Robinson, 27, is in the final season of a three-year, $42MM deal. Since he signed that contract, the wide receiver market has changed substantially. Robinson’s $14MM AAV now places him No. 15 among WRs. Despite Mitchell Trubisky‘s inconsistent passing, Robinson registered a career-high 98 receptions in 2019 for 1,147 yards in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.