Alabama's Calvin Ridley sure sounds like he wants to be drafted by the Bears

USA Today

Alabama's Calvin Ridley sure sounds like he wants to be drafted by the Bears

INDIANAPOLIS — A few weeks ago, a Bears fan account on Instagram posed a question: Who would you want the Bears to pick at No. 8? 

The second comment on the post was from justdoit_cb3, Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley’s verified account. His response: “Cal.” It wasn’t the first time Ridley publicly stated his hope he’d land with the Bears on social media, either:

In his media session on Friday at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Ridley was asked about the Bears and offered plenty of praise about the franchise. 

Does this mean anything? Probably not much as the Bears build a cloud of players they’d be comfortable with drafting at No. 8. It’s not Ridley’s decision to make on if Ryan Pace will draft a wide receiver with a top-10 pick for the second time in four years. 

But if the Bears do want to use another high draft pick on a receiver, Ridley is — at this point — the most likely guy to be taken there. 

The 6-foot-1, 190 pound Ridley caught 63 passes for 967 yards in 2017 and follows Amari Cooper and Julio Jones in a strong line of top receivers to come out of Alabama. He may be the best route runner in this year’s draft class, has a highly regarded work ethic and good football intelligence, which is what the Bears are looking for out of the guys they’re targeting to rebuild a barren receiving corps in 2018. 

“I like looking for guys that are just natural receivers, guys that know how to play football,” coach Matt Nagy said. “It's easy to get caught up in some of the other stuff, but at the same time that's why we're here. That can maybe move a guy because of a 40 time, I might move a guy because of another test that he has. For me, it's nice to be able to be in the interview process, get to see how they are as people. What's their intel? How well do they reciprocate what you talk about? How do they recite what you say? Then you kinda get an evaluation of that.”

The biggest dings on Ridley’s game is his size and strength, which led him to sometimes struggle against press coverage in college. That could also lead to some concerns about his durability in the NFL, which would be concerning for a Bears team that’s seen its last top-10 receiver, Kevin White, play only five games in the last three years. 

The No. 8 pick may be a shade too high for Ridley, though the same argument has been made about Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, for what it’s worth. But maybe getting a receiver who thinks highly of the franchise and Trubisky wouldn’t exactly be a bad thing come April. 

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

USA Today

Kyle Fuller believes he's a Top 5 cornerback in the NFL

Kyle Fuller caused a bit of a panic late Friday afternoon when a report dropped that he signed an offer sheet with the Green Bay Packers. For a few hours, the prospect — even if it was always unlikely — of the Bears losing their best cornerback to their arch rivals to the north loomed over Chicago. 

For Fuller, though, he said he barely had time to think about the possibility of cashing in on his breakout 2017 season with the Packers. The Bears quickly matched the offer sheet, officially announcing the four-year deal Tuesday that makes Fuller one of the highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL. 

“It was crazy not really knowing what to expect,” Fuller said. “I would have never expected it. But when (the Packers’ offer sheet) came, it was definitely something to consider, just on the business side of it. At the end of the day, how it all played out, I’m definitely happy.”

Fuller sounded like someone who took a more passive role to his quasi-restricted free agency that was set about when the Bears placed the transition tag on him, allowing them to match any offer sheet that he were to sign. Fuller said he didn’t know all the details of what was going on with offer sheets coming in and negotiations with the Bears.

“I kinda was just getting the information from (my agents) and going with the flow of everything and knowing that at the end of the day it would end up working out,” Fuller said. 

The $14 million average annual value of Fuller’s contract ranks fifth among cornerbacks, behind only Washington’s Josh Norman ($15 million), New York’s Trumaine Johnson ($14.5 million) Minnesota’s Xavier Rhodes ($14.02 million) and Arizona’s Patrick Peterson ($14.01 million), according to Spotrac. 

Fuller said he considers himself a top-five cornerback in the league, and he played like someone who could wind up in that discussion in 2017. The 2014 first-round pick was one of four players to break up 20 or more passes last year, and he picked off two passes in December while providing excellent support against the run. 

“We could not be happier to have Kyle under contract for four more years,” general manager Ryan Pace said. “We feel he is an ascending player on our top 10 defense and we look forward to him having many more productive seasons here in Chicago.”

That's right, Chicago. John Fox is coming to a studio near you


That's right, Chicago. John Fox is coming to a studio near you

So apparently John Fox is getting bored.

The former Bears head coach who led the team to three consecutive last-place seasons from 2015-17 just signed with ESPN as a NFL studio analyst.

He’ll be getting paid to dish out insider information on players and what’s happening on the field — details that frustrated Bears fans could not get out of the often elusive Fox

This is great news if you had a void in your heart that only John Fox quotes could fill — especially in case his “We don’t know exactly what we’re doing” and "Sometimes it's hard to measure what's behind the left nipple"  hot takes weren’t cutting it anymore

But more importantly, Fox’s new position brings up a new burning question: What ex-Bear will be a better analyst?

What will the Fox say? Will he be able to muster more than 10 words out of Jay? The NFL season needs to get here sooner.