Eddie Goldman

Bears Re-Sign Ben Braunecker

The Bears and tight end Ben Braunecker agreed to a two-year deal, according to a source who spoke with Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Bears did not tender Braunecker as a restricted free agent, but found a way to retain him nonetheless.

Meanwhile, the Bears carved out some additional cap space in advance of free agency, as Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets. Defensive tackle Eddie Goldman had a $3MM roster bonus coming to him, but the Bears have converted it into a signing bonus, giving them an extra $2.25MM in breathing room. Heading into Monday, the Bears had less than $20MM in cap room, putting them in the bottom third of the NFL. The Goldman adjustment won’t put them in the same league as cash-flush teams like the Jets, Colts, and Browns, but it will give them some extra flexibility.

Meanwhile, the Bears are reportedly discussing trades for Jordan Howard, which could give them some additional draft capital to work with.

Bears, NT Eddie Goldman Agree On Extension

Shortly after authorizing the richest defensive contract in NFL history, the Bears are locking down another key defender.

The Bears and nose tackle Eddie Goldman agreed on a four-year extension worth more than $42MM Friday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The 24-year-old lineman will receive $25MM guaranteed as a result of this re-up, Rapoport reports.

A former second-round pick, Goldman was entering his contract year. Two days before the Bears begin their 2018 season, they now have another defensive lineman signed long-term. They took care of Akiem Hicks last year and now have four of their front-seven bastions signed to long-term deals, with Danny Trevathan and now Khalil Mack in the fold on veteran deals — one of which standing out a bit more than the other.

Goldman won’t be paid close to what Mack is, but the fourth-year starter is now one of the highest-paid nose tackles in the game.

Among pure 3-4 nose players, Goldman’s $10.5MM-AAV-plus agreement now is in line to sit second among this position. And among those extended long-term, Goldman’s deal now leads the pack. Ndamukong Suh is making $14MM this season, but the Rams gave him a one-year deal. Goldman’s now set to collect the most guaranteed money among nose tackles, his $25MM haul surpassing Damon Harrison‘s $20MM guarantee.

The Florida State alum started 15 games for Vic Fangio’s improved defense in 2017, bouncing back from a 2016 season-ending injury. He’ll join Hicks and Jonathan Bullard as first-unit linemen when the Bears face the Packers on Sunday night and will now do so knowing his long-term future will be in Chicago.

Bears Sign DT John Jenkins

Here today, gone tomorrow, and back again. That’s the story of the Bears and defensive tackle John Jenkins who was released on Saturday and re-signed on Monday. Jenkins takes the place of safety Deiondre’ Hall on the roster after he was placed on injured reserve. John Jenkins (vertical)

Jenkins, 28, first signed on with the Bears in March. He’ll help to provide depth behind starting nose tackle Eddie Goldman in Vic Fangio‘s 3-4 set. Jenkins bounced around in 2016 but he was a 12-game starter for New Orleans as recently as 2015.

The Bears also signed nine players to the practice squad:

Bears Place Eddie Goldman On IR

Eddie Goldman‘s offseason will start a couple of weeks early. The defensive tackle has been placed on injured reserve, becoming the 19th Bears player to hit IR this season. To take his spot on the roster, center/guard Cornelius Edison has been promoted from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. The Bears also activated linebacker Jerrell Freeman from the exempt list."<strong

This has been a trying year for Goldman. The injury bug first got him in September when a cursed 29-14 loss to the Eagles saw Goldman, quarterback Jay Cutler, and linebackers Lamarr Houston and Danny Trevathan exit with injuries.

All in all, Goldman appeared in only six games this season. He tallied 18 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Unsurprisingly, he did not have enough snaps to qualify for Pro Football Focus’ positional rankings, but he did earn a solid 80.0 grade for his limited work. In a more complete sesaon, that would have placed him just outside of the top 25 at his position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears’ Eddie Goldman Out Four Weeks

On the heels of an embarrassing loss to the Eagles on Monday, the hits keep coming for the 0-2 Bears. The latest blow: Nose tackle Eddie Goldman will miss at least four weeks with a high ankle sprain, according to Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune (Twitter link). The Bears hope to have Goldman back for their Week 7 trip to Lambeau Field, Campbell adds.

Eddie Goldman (vertical)

Goldman joins quarterback Jay Cutler and two other defenders – linebackers Lamarr Houston and Danny Trevathan – as integral Bears who went down in the team’s 29-14 defeat. Cutler’s thumb injury doesn’t appear catastrophic, but Houston is done for the year with a torn ACL and Trevathan will miss time with his own thumb issue.

The Bears revamped their defense during the offseason and entered the year counting on significant production from Houston, Trevathan and Goldman. Of course, Chicago could still receive notable contributions from Trevathan, an ex-Bronco, and Goldman during truncated seasons.

Goldman joined the Bears last year as a second-round pick from Florida State and logged 12 starts in 15 appearances, totaling 22 tackles and an impressive 4.5 sacks along the way. His overall output also earned plaudits from Pro Football Focus. Goldman began 2016 with back-to-back starts and another half-sack. Third-year man Will Sutton is likely to take Goldman’s starting spot for the Bears, who will face the Cowboys, Lions, Colts and Jaguars over the next four weeks.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bears Put Alshon Jeffery, Eddie Goldman On IR

The Bears have placed a pair of starting players on injured reserve, officially ruling them out for Week 17. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery and defensive lineman Eddie Goldman have landed on IR, according to the team (Twitter link). To fill the openings on the 53-man roster, Chicago has signed defensive linemen Greg Scruggs and Terry Williams.

Jeffery, in the final year of his rookie contract, was slowed by injuries, which prevented him from putting up the type of numbers he had in past seasons. After averaging about 87 receptions, 1,277 yards, and eight touchdowns in 2013 and 2014, the 25-year-old recorded just 54 catches for 807 yards and four touchdowns this season.

Of course, Jeffery’s numbers don’t look too bad when taking into account that he only played nine games this season for the Bears — he actually established a new career-high in yards per game (89.7). As he approaches possible free agency, the Bears will have a tough decision to make, as they consider whether to use the franchise tag on the standout receiver to keep him from hitting the open market.

As for Goldman, the rookie defender, selected in the second round of this year’s draft out of Florida, had a solid first season in Chicago, logging 22 tackles to go along with 4.5 sacks. His ankle injury isn’t expected to require surgery.

North Notes: Greenway, Lions, Browns

Veteran linebacker and two-time Pro Bowler Chad Greenway has spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Vikings, and he wants to return to the team for the 2016 season, according to Jim Souhan of The Star Tribune.

“I want to enjoy this moment, and enjoy the playoffs,” Greenway said. “To me, it rejuvenates you as an athlete and a person to go through this and have this in front of you. I’m probably going to play next year. To go through a year like we’ve gone through and to be part of this has been really fun.”

While Greenway sounds committed to continuing his playing career, he doesn’t want to play for a team besides Minnesota, so the Vikings would have to be willing to have him in 2016. The linebacker, who will turn 33 next month, is in the final year of a contract and is earning a $3.4MM salary to go along with a $5.575MM cap hit in 2015, so I suspect the Vikes would be on board with his return if they could reduce both of those numbers a little for next year.

Here’s more from out of the NFL’s North divisions:

  • As the Lions search for a new general manager and possibly a new head coach as well, it’s crucial that those two figures share a philosophy and can co-exist without any friction, writes Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com.
  • It’s difficult to support the idea that the Browns should retain coach Mike Pettine for 2016, Tom Reed of The Plain Dealer writes.
  • Per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link), the Browns are the latest team to work out standout CFL wide receiver Eric Rogers, who is reportedly in the midst of visiting 14 NFL clubs.
  • Eddie Goldman‘s ankle injury figures to end his season, but it’s not expected to require surgery, and the arrow is pointing up for the Bears defensive tackle, as Rich Campbell of the Chicago Tribune outlines.

Bears Reach Deals With White, Goldman

After reaching contract agreements with a few of their late-round picks yesterday, the Bears continue to move toward locking up their entire rookie class within days of the draft. According to the team (Twitter link), first-rounder Kevin White and second-rounder Eddie Goldman have now agreed to terms on their rookie deals.

According to Over the Cap’s rookie pool estimates, White, the No. 7 overall pick and the second receiver to come off the board, will have an overall four-year value of about $16.5MM on his contract, including an eight-figure signing. Since he’s a first-rounder, White will also have a fifth-year option in his contract, allowing the Bears to lock him up through the 2019 season.

As for Goldman, the former Florida State defensive tackle should be in line for a four-year contract in the $5.7MM range, including a signing bonus worth about $2.4MM. Goldman was the 39th overall pick last week.

Having locked up their top two picks, the Bears have now agreed to terms with five of their six picks. Only third-round offensive lineman Hroniss Grasu remains unsigned.

Draft Rumors: Gregory, AP, Wilkerson

Nebraska defensive end Randy Gregory is regarded as one of the most talented players in this year’s NFL draft, but he remains available after the completion of the first round because of off-field issues. Gregory voiced his disappointment about his current undrafted status to Yahoo! Sports’ Rand Getlin on Friday (via Twitter).

“I feel like I let my family and the people who believe in me down, and I’m sorry for that,” said Gregory. “But I’m going to use this as fuel. The franchise that drafts me won’t have to worry about me off the field, but the teams that didn’t select me will have to worry about me on the field.”

Gregory went on to state that he is “the best defensive player in the draft.”

Here’s more as the second round of the draft draws nearer:

  • If the Jets are going to trade defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson, it could take multiple first-round picks to land him, reports Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com. However, La Canfora notes that, after having drafted Leonard Williams with their first-round selection, the Jets would have a loaded defensive line even without Wilkerson. That may lead to a reduction in their asking price, and the likes of the Browns and Raiders could be possible destinations should the Jets move Wilkerson.
  • Friday could be the last real chance for the Vikings to trade Adrian Peterson, per LaCanfora. Peterson might fetch the Vikings a second-round pick if he’s willing to take a pay cut to play elsewhere.
  • Florida State defensive tackle Eddie Goldman won’t stay on the board for long tonight, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Rapoport notes that Goldman is viewed as a first-round talent by many teams. 
  • Indiana’s Tevin Coleman could be the first running back taken tonight, according to Rapoport (Twitter link). A team tried to trade up for Coleman last night, Rapoport notes.
  • The first half of the second round could see several running backs and offensive lineman selected, according to La Canfora. Conversely, La Canfora doesn’t expect any tight ends to go for a while, noting that South Carolina’s Rory Anderson or Rutgers’ Tyler Kroft could be the first one taken.
  • La Canfora writes that Baylor’s Bryce Petty will likely be the first quarterback drafted Friday. The Bills, Rams, Saints and Chargers are among the teams that have done their homework on Petty.

Draft Notes: Goldman, Ravens, Washington

As the draft approaches, many prospects will be invited to team’s local prospect days for an opportunity to display their talents. The Baltimore Sun’s Aaron Wilson has collected a bunch of those workout notes, which we’ve collected for you below…

  • Florida State defensive lineman Eddie Goldman will be meeting with the Jaguars. The projected late first-round pick will also meet with a variety of other teams (Twitter link).
  • Penn State safety Adrian Amos was invited to the Ravens local prospect day. He had a private workout with Chip Kelly and the Eagles earlier this week (Twitter link).
  • Delaware linebacker David Mackall has also been invited to the Ravens local prospect day. The former Maryland transfer finished last season with 84 tackles, one sack, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery (Twitter link).
  • Wake Forest wideout E.J. Scott was invited to the Ravens local prospect day. The fifth-year senior finished 2014 with 50 catches for 513 yards and four touchdowns (Twitter link).
  • Maryland linebacker Cole Farrand was also invited to the Ravens local prospect day. The All-Big Ten honorable-mention finished last season with 118 tackles last season, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries (Twitter link).
  • Bowie State tight end Khari Lee has been invited to the Ravens local prospect day. Lee already worked out for 24 teams during his pro day (Twitter link).
  • New Mexico running back Crusoe Gongbay has been invited to Washington‘s local prospect day. The senior ran for 354 yards and three touchdowns last season (Twitter link).
  • Stony Brook receiver Adrian Coxson will attend Washington‘s local prospect day. The Maryland transfer previously attended the Jets and Giants local pro days (Twitter link).
  • West Georgia quarterback Austin Trainor has Pro Days with the Buccaneers, Raiders and 49ers. The signal-caller went undrafted during last year’s draft (Twitter link).