Tarik Cohen

Bears Place Tarik Cohen On PUP

The Bears announced that they have placed Tarik Cohen on the Physically Unable to Perform list. It’s a sign that the running back may be behind schedule as he looks to recover from last year’s ACL injury. 

At this rate, it doesn’t sound like the Bears should expect to have Cohen for Week 1. Cohen, who turns 26 on Monday, has spent his entire career in Chicago. That includes his 2018, a season with 1,169 yards from scrimmage, eight touchdowns, and tons of highlights as a returner. He led the league with 411 punt return yards in ’18, capturing All-Pro and Pro Bowl nods.

Things haven’t been quite the same since. Cohen started a career-high 11 games in 2019, but he was limited to just 669 yards from scrimmage. Last year he limited by the ACL, but he ceded the top job to David Montgomery before the injury even happened.

Cohen is still an important part of the Bears’ offense, so they want him on the field and healthy ASAP. Beyond that, there are also some financial considerations — it’s been less than a year since he signed his three-year, $17.25MM extension.

If Cohen misses time, the Bears will open the year with Damien WilliamsRyan Nall, Artavis Pierce, and rookies Khalil Herbert and CJ Marable behind Montgomery.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bears RB Tarik Cohen’s ACL Recovery

Bears running back Tarik Cohen missed most of the 2020 campaign after suffering a torn ACL, and it sounds like the veteran still hasn’t fully recovered from his injury. Per Adam H. Beasley of ProFootballNetwork.com, Cohen is a candidate to open training camp on the PUP, and the delayed start to his preseason could impact his availability for the beginning of the regular season.

The 2017 fourth-round pick has spent his entire career in Chicago. This included a 2018 campaign where he finished with 1,169 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns, although it was his returning prowess (a league-leading 411 punt return yards) that earned him both an All-Pro and Pro Bowl nod. Cohen started a career-high 11 games in 2019, but he was limited to a (then) career-low 669 yards from scrimmage.

The 25-year-old didn’t start any of the Bears’ first three games of the 2020 season, with the running back collecting only 115 offensive yards. He suffered his ACL injury in Week 3 and was subsequently placed on IR.

Cohen is still an important part of the Bears’ offense, and if the team wants to make noise in the NFC, they’ll surely want one of their top skill players to be healthy. Further, the team also has some financial reasons for wanting Cohen on the field; it’s been less than a year since he signed a three-year, $17.25MM extension that will kick in this season.

Fortunately for the Bears, the team does have some depth to overcome a hypothetical Cohen absence. David Montgomery is still sitting atop the depth chart, and the team also added veteran free agent Damien Williams this past offseason. The team is also rostering the likes of Ryan Nall, Artavis Pierce, and rookies Khalil Herbert and CJ Marable.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 9/29/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

  • Signed off Cowboys’ practice squad: DT Ron’Dell Carter
  • Released from IR: RB Bruce Anderson

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

  • Signed off Buccaneers’ practice squad: TE Daniel Helm

Seattle Seahawks

Washington Football Team

Bears Fear Tarik Cohen Has Torn ACL

Hopefully this week (or any week) aren’t as bad as last week was for injuries around the NFL, but unfortunately we already have our first report of a season-ender to pass along today. The Bears fear running back Tarik Cohen has a torn ACL, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets.

Needless to say, Cohen will be done for the season. It unfortunately dampens the mood a bit around a team that’s otherwise feeling great on the heels of their latest comeback victory. Chicago is now 3-0 on the year, although there’s now officially a quarterback controversy with Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky.

Cohen’s role didn’t look like it was going to be huge this year, but he did have a handful of touches in each of the first two games. He was a big factor in the passing game before going down on Sunday, drawing six targets. Cohen just signed a three-year extension worth $17.25MM in new money exactly a week ago, so obviously his timing couldn’t have been any better.

It’s still a tough blow for the North Carolina AT&T product, but he should be able to make a full recovery in time for the 2021 season since it happened early enough. Cohen’s best season was in 2018, when he rushed for 444 yards and three touchdowns and added another 725 and five through the air.

He was also a first-team All-Pro as a return specialist that year. His production dipped last season as his yards per reception went from 10.2 to 5.8, but his absence will still leave a big hole for whoever is under center moving forward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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.

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.

Extra Points: Redskins, Bears, Fins, Packers

If rookie Derrius Guice isn’t the Redskins‘ starting running back in Week 1, consider Washington’s backfield a surprise, per John Keim of ESPN.com. Guice was expected to be selected in the first round of the 2018 draft, but off-field concerns ultimately forced him into Day 2. While he’s never been involved in any legal trouble, Guice has been labeled as “immature,” and his pre-draft visit with the Eagles was reportedly the worst such meeting Philadelphia had ever taken with a prospect. All that aside, Guice has landed in an intriguing spot, and should easily be able to beat out the likes of Rob Kelley and Samaje Perine for early-down work in the nation’s capital. Passing downs still belongs to Chris Thompson, who registered 54 catches in 2017 before going down with fractured fibula.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • Bears running back Tarik Cohen managed 53 receptions during his rookie season in 2017, and his role could grow even larger during his sophomore NFL campaign, as Cohen told The Jim Rome Show that Chicago’s new offensive staff has been lining him up all over the field. “It’s similar to some of the stuff I did in college,” Cohen said, according to Madeline Kinney of the Chicago Sun-Times. “I feel like like if I can take the football, he (new head coach Matt Nagy) also wants me to take the football, too. So how many plays he has me at — I’ve been everywhere. It’s been crazy.” For what it’s worth, Nagy has reportedly already indicated Jordan Howard will be the Bears’ “main guy” in the backfield, as he well should be after posting 1,000+ yard rushing seasons in each of his first two NFL seasons. But Nagy and new offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will likely deploy Cohen as a satellite back, as he’s far more capable in the passing game than is Howard.
  • 2017 second-round pick Raekwon McMillan was pegged to become the Dolphins‘ starting middle linebacker in his rookie campaign, but a torn ACL ended his first NFL season before it began. Still, Miami brass — including defensive coordinator Matt Burke — still views McMillan as an important part of the club’s defense going forward, as Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post writes. “We had high hopes for him last year,” Burke said. “Nothing he’s done since then has discouraged that. … He’s been really in-tune, been really sharp. He’s got all the leadership skills and things that we look for, especially at that position. He’s worked his ass off to get better. He’s rehabbed. He’s in here every day. He hasn’t shown any limitations so far, which has been encouraging. Hopefully he’s a big piece for us.” The Dolphins cut veteran ‘backer Lawrence Timmons earlier this year, so McMillan appears set to play as an every-down linebacker alongside Kiko Alonso. McMillan, an Ohio State product, participated in Miami’s organized team activity sessions in May, a good sign of his progress.
  • Approximately six teams were vying to sign undrafted running back Akrum Wadley earlier this year, but the Iowa product ultimately landed with the Titans, where he now could land a spot on the club’s opening 53-man roster, writes Jim Wyatt of TitansOnline.com. Tennessee only made four selections in the 2018 draft, necessitating its large — 22-man — undrafted free agent class. Wadley was part of that crop, and now he’s one of only five backs on the team, joining Dion Lewis, Derrick Henry, David Fluellen, and fellow UDFA Dalyn Dawkins. As such, it’s entirely possible Wadley could beat out Fluellen for the Titans’ third running back job, although he’ll likely need to flash on special teams to do so. Wadley topped 1,000 yards rushing in each of his two final collegiate seasons, and totaled 64 receptions during those years.
  • Offensive tackle Kyle Murphy showed well in three games as a Packers‘ starter in 2017, but he’s now attempting to come back from a foot injury that cost him the remainder of the season, as Mike Spofford of Packers.com details. Murphy, a 2016 sixth-round pick, was fully cleared for minicamp, and now could have a legitimate chance to start on the right side of Green Bay’s front five. Bryan Bulaga, the Packers’ nominal right tackle, is once again dealing with injuries of his own, and if he’s not medically cleared, right tackle will turn into a competition between Murphy, former second-rounder Jason Spriggs, and veteran addition Byron Bell. As a unit, Green Bay’s offensive line ranked fifth in run-blocking but just 28th in pass-blocking, per Football Outsiders.

North Notes: Burfict, Bears, Packers, Decker

Vontaze Burfict‘s Bengals contract calls for a $2MM roster bonus if he’s on the team by March 31 of next year, Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The Bengals protected themselves heavily with the Burfict extension, one that could pay out $33.234MM through 2020, since the deal comes with just $3.3MM guaranteed. Speaking publicly about the extension for the first time, Burfict didn’t elaborate much about his decision to bypass free agency for a largely non-guaranteed deal. Although, he did say he appreciates the Bengals’ support in agreeing to take him on long-term given his suspension history. “I hope so,” Burfict said (via Owczarski) of the feeling of support. “I give my blood, sweat and tears out on the field. It’s vice versa. I appreciate everything they do for me and my family and like I said, let’s go get a win on Sunday. Now we’re in for four more years, so we’re past it now. So now obviously just win some games.”

The Bengals reinstated Burfict on Thursday.

Here’s the latest from the North divisions on a night when their most storied rivalry takes center stage.

  • The BearsTarik Cohen pursuit began when Ryan Pace‘s top southeastern scout declared the then-North Carolina A&T running back was his favorite player to watch, over all of the SEC prospects he observed, and the Chicago GM soon became enamored as well, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (video link). The Bears selected several small-school talents this year, with second-round tight end Adam Shaheen being the first, but Cohen — a fourth-rounder — has played an impact role from the start.
  • While Cohen will receive his first chance to display the elusiveness that enticed the Bears to a national audience, the Packers will be down several key players. Both starting tackles — David Bakhtiari and Bryan Bulaga — are out, and Mike Daniels will miss the Week 4 tilt as well. The Packers are already down would-be backup options in Don Barclay, Jason Spriggs and Kyle Murphy — each on IR — so Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com tweets a four-guard lineup could be on tap. Justin McCray, who started at tackle for Bakhtiari in Week 2, and fellow rookie Adam Pankey join second-year player Lucas Patrick in the mix to protect Aaron Rodgers on Thursday. Each of those players entered the league as a UDFA. The Packers played without both starting tackles against the Falcons, with Murphy and McCray receiving the replacement starts.
  • The Bears aren’t judging Mike Glennon in their impending quarterback swap but rather are monitoring Mitch Trubisky to determine when the rookie will be ready to take over, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes. Glennon has struggled during his first three starts, and Biggs categorizes the season’s plan — once based around Trubisky redshirting as a rookie — as a week-to-week arrangement.
  • Ka’Deem Carey‘s Bears injury settlement was worth $273,529, Biggs reports. The Bears placed the backup running back on IR just before the season, and the settlement came shortly after.
  • Not known for particularly expansive pressers, Jim Caldwell succinctly assessed Taylor Decker‘s status. The fourth-year Lions coach said Decker is “progressing towards” a midseason return, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press notes. The left tackle was given a four- to six-month timetable upon a labrum tear in June. Midseason would fall in that range. Greg Robinson currently mans the left edge for the Lions.
  • Tests done on Danny Shelton‘s injured calf don’t look to reveal a serious malady, Rapoport tweets. The Browns defensive tackle injured the calf in practice Wednesday. He has not missed a game in his three-year career.

Draft Pick Signings: 5/11/17

Thursday has been chock-full of draft signings. Here are the latest rookies to ink deals:

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

  • Round 4 (No. 119): Tarik Cohen, RB (North Carolina A&T)
  • Round 5 (No. 147): Jordan Morgan, OL (Kutztown)

Cleveland Browns

Denver Broncos

  • Round 3 (No. 101): Brendan Langley, CB (Lamar)

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

  • Round 7 (No. 222): Jalen Myrick, CB (Minnesota) [via John Oesher of Jaguars.com, on Twitter]

Tennessee Titans

  • Round 7 (No. 236): Brad Seaton, T (Villanova) [Twitter link via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle]