Bears Rumors

Bears To Release TE Dion Sims

The Bears are expected to release tight end Dion Sims, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Sims was due $6MM in 2019, but the Bears will cut him instead of carrying that cap number. 

It’s not an ideal outcome for Sims but, on the plus side, the early release before the start of the league year will give him an early jump on free agency. Sims, 28, is known more for his blocking than his pass catching. In 2017, his first season with the Bears, he reeled in 15 catches for 180 yards and one touchdown. Last year, injuries limited him to just eight games (four starts), and he finished out with two catches for nine yards.

For what it’s worth, Sims’ blocking wasn’t all that exceptional according to the advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus. His 68.6 pass blocking score was solid, but his 47.5 run blocking number leaves a bit to be desired. In any case, his 195 snaps were not enough to qualify for PFF’s positional rankings.

By discontinuing Sims’ three-year, $18MM deal a year early, the Bears will carry a dead cap charge of $333K in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Adrian Amos In Talks With Bears

This year, Adrian Amos profiles as one of the best safeties available in free agency. Ideally, the Bears would like to keep him from the open market, and they’ve opened up talks with 25-year-old to try and keep him in the fold. 

At this point it’s really the waiting game. I want to be back in Chicago. Chicago has been talking back and forth, they want me back,” Amos told SiriusXM. “But we’ll see how things shake out. Nothing is certain right now. It’s still a little early. Over the next couple weeks, I guess we’ll find out a lot more.”

Amos, 26 in April, enjoyed the best season of his career at the perfect time. Starting in all 16 games, Amos finished out with 73 tackles, two interceptions, nine passes defensed, a fumble recovery, and a sack. The advanced metrics at Pro Football Focus positioned Amos as the eighth-best safety in the NFL last year, though he placed even higher in 2017.

For his part, Amos says he’d like to return to Chicago.

I would like to be back, but the business part of it, it’s complicated sometimes,” Amos said. “Things still could happen, but I have to be prepared for all scenarios. I’m not writing anything off and that was the team I was drafted to as well. There could be a chance that I’m back and there could be a chance I’m anywhere. That’s the crazy thing about this situation where my contract’s up so anything could really happen. I’m just sitting back and really waiting to see what happens.”

Meanwhile, he also recognizes that the Broncos would be a good fit now that his former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is Denver’s new head coach.

I don’t know, but obviously that would be a fit where I know the defense and things like that,” Amos said. “But it’s not something that I’m pinpointing like, ‘Hey, I want to go there,’ or anything like that. I’m just keeping all options open. First and foremost, I’m a Bear right now, so that’s a main focus early on. But if that doesn’t work out, then I have to explore what team fits me best, what team gives me the best opportunity to take care of my family as well as progress on the football field.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Hire Defensive Assistant

  • Former NFL wide receiver Chris Jackson will join Matt Nagy‘s Bears staff as a defensive assistant, the team announced. Jackson initially caught on with the Bears during 2018 training camp via the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship. He spent last season as a high school assistant in Peoria, Ariz.

Bears Announce Promotions

  • The Bears have continued to fill out their staff under new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, announcing that defensive quality control coach Sean Desai has been promoted to safeties coach, while fellow defensive QC coach Bill Shuey was promoted to pass analyst/assistant linebackers coach. Additionally, DeShea Townsend, who was originally hired as Chicago’s defensive backs coach in January, has had his title changed to secondary coach. The Bears’ defense ranked first in scoring, third in yardage, and posted the best defensive DVOA since the 2015 Broncos, but they’ll have to fight off regression and adjust to new coaches in order to repeat as NFC North champions.

Colts’ Matt Slauson Announces Retirement

Colts guard Matt Slauson is hanging ’em up. On Wednesday, the veteran took to Instagram to announce his retirement from the NFL. 

It has been ten amazing years,” Slauson wrote. “Four organizations and countless friendships. What an amazing dream this has all been. Thanks to all my teammates who have gone into battle with me, the group of coaches that have made me better on and off the field, the fans that were there no matter what, and especially my wife and kids who supported me through it all. It has been a very difficult decision but we are excited for what the next chapter holds.”

Over the course of nine seasons, Slauson suited up for the Jets, Bears, Chargers, and Colts. Last year, he appeared in five games – all starts – for Indianapolis. His season ended in October when he suffered a scary back injury.

Somehow, even without Slauson, the Colts’ offensive line was exceptional in 2018. The Colts went five straight games in the fall without allowing Andrew Luck to get sacked even once. The streak lasted until Week 12 when Dolphins pass rusher Cameron Wake got to the QB.

The Colts signed Slauson to a one-year, $3MM deal last offseason. He moved into their starting lineup opposite first-rounder Quenton Nelson and played well: both guards graded as top-30 players, in the view of Pro Football Focus, through the first five games of the year.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Bears, NFLPA, XFL, Browns

The Bears are likely to release tight end Dion Sims, NBC Sports’ J.J. Stankevitz writes.

By releasing the veteran pass catcher, the Bears will save $6MM in cap space. The move shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as Sims was ineffective when he played, which wasn’t much, as he only saw action in four games and recorded two receptions.

With Sims’ release, the Bears will rely more on Adam Shaheen to produce in 2019 behind Trey Burton. A second-round selection in 2017, Shaheen was injured to start the 2018 campaign and only managed to see action in six games. As high a pick as Chicago invested in the tight end, Shaheen is sure to see more action in his third season with the team.

  • The NFLPA appears to be preparing for a work stoppage in 2021, Pro Football Talk’s Josh Alper writes. The PA’s executive director DeMaurice Smith said the union’s job is to prepare for “wars we hope we don’t have to fight.” Smith noted the contracts coaches are signing are indications of a future work stoppage.
  • The XFL will not have a developmental deal with the NFL and wants to be seen as its own entity, Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith writes. The announcement doesn’t come as a shock, as the XFL has done as much as it can to distinguish itself from the NFL, which already has a development agreement in place with the AAF.
  • The Cleveland Browns will enter the 2019 season with the most carryover cap space from the 2018 season, boasting a whopping $56.5MM in space, the NFLPA reports [Twitter link]. The Colts (49.1), 49ers (35) and Titans (25.6) are the other teams with figures above $20MM.

49ers Want To Re-Sign K Robbie Gould

The 49ers sound like they want to retain kicker Robbie Gould‘s services, but it might not be easy. Matt Barrows of The Athletic writes that the two sides aren’t close to a deal, and a new contract isn’t imminent.

In fact, Gould might be content to test free agency. The 36-year-old recently talked to Dan Pompei of The Athletic, and the veteran strongly hinted that he’d be interested in returning to his former team, the Bears. Chicago could be seeking a new kicker following Cody Parkey‘s underwhelming performance this past season, and Gould has a natural connection to the organization after having spent the first 11 years of his career with the team.

Of course, the 49ers still have plenty of leverage. The team could choose to franchise the kicker, and that decision wouldn’t break the bank; last year’s kicker value was around $4.9MM. The team could also choose to sign Gould to a longer-term deal, and general manager John Lynch indicated that they’d be willing to spend for the veteran.

“He’s been incredibly clutch for us,” Lynch told Barrows. “And we’d like to reward him for that.”

After one season with the Giants, Gould signed a two-year deal with San Francisco back in 2017. In his two seasons with the team, the kicker has connected on 72 of his 75 field goal attempts in 32 games. Gould has also converted 55 of his 59 extra point attempts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Hire Ex-Chiefs Staffer

  • One of Bob Sutton‘s Chiefs staffers will migrate to Chicago. Matt Nagy will hire Mark DeLeone to coach the Bears‘ inside linebackers, per Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times. DeLeone and Nagy worked together in Kansas City from 2013-17, and DeLeone stayed on with the Chiefs this season. Sutton’s firing, though, figures to force relocations from some of his position coaches. Vic Fangio‘s departure is having the same effect in Chicago, with only defensive line coach Jay Rodgers expected to return under Chuck Pagano.

Bobby Massie To Earn North Of $8MM AAV

  • 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 NFL.com 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.