Bears free agency rumor tracker: Tuesday

USA Today

Bears free agency rumor tracker: Tuesday

After the Bears agreed to a deal with Allen Robinson in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, the NFL rumor mill continues to churn...

9:00 p.m. update

CB Prince Amukamara

The news: His deal is worth $27 million over three years

Amukamara gets the multi-year deal he wanted after playing on one-year deals in each of the last two seasons. Amukamara made $7 million in 2017, so he gets a pay raise in terms of average annual value. How much of that contract is guaranteed will be interesting to see, given that would be a lot of money to tie up to use a first-round pick on a cornerback. That Amukamara got a larger contract in terms of total value than Bashaud Breeland is interesting, too. 

7:45 p.m. update

CB Prince Amukamara

The news: Will re-sign with the Bears

This isn't surprising given the Bears probably didn't want to pay $22-$25 million in 2018 for their two starting cornerbacks (few, if any teams, would want to do that). Amukamara was solid, if not spectacular, in 2017: He didn't pick off any passes, but he wasn't targeted as frequently as Kyle Fuller was. His veteran leadership resonates in the Bears' defensive backs room, too. 

QB Mike Glennon

The news: Will sign with the Arizona Cardinals

This can't happen until the new league year begins and the Bears release Glennon. The Bears will face the Cardinals in 2018, but with Sam Bradford signed to a one-year deal and the possibility of Arizona drafting a quarterback this year, chances are Glennon won't get a shot at facing his former team. 

6:20 p.m. update

CB Trumaine Johnson

The news: Will sign with the New York Jets

CB Malcolm Butler

The news: Will sign with the Tennessee Titans

Johnson will get $15 million annually from the Jets, while Butler will get a little over $12 million from the Titans with a good chunk of that contract guaranteed. It'll be interesting if Kyle Fuller uses either of these contracts as a baseline for what he wants in a long-term deal, or if the Bears would rather use Bashaud Breeland's contract as a starting point:

More likely is Fuller's deal trending toward Butler, but not as high as Johnson. Either way, the top cornerbacks on the market are taken, so a team that missed out on one could approach Fuller with an offer sheet that would further help set his market. Expect the Bears to look for a less-expensive option to pair with Fuller -- reuniting with Prince Amukamara could make some sense -- and then possibly use a top draft pick on a cornerback in April. 

3:20 p.m. update

WR Taylor Gabriel

The news: Will sign a four-year deal with the Bears

The speedy 5-foot-8, 167 pound Gabriel fills the Bears' need for a slot receiver. He exploded for 579 yards and six touchdowns with 35 catches as part of the Atlanta Falcons' Super Bowl run in 2016, but tailed off a bit last year (33 catches, 378 yards, 1 TD). Perhaps worth noting is Gabriel's big year in Atlanta came when he played a little over 40 percent of the Falcons' snaps, as opposed to over 50 percent in 2017. Perhaps Matt Nagy can find a way to dynamically interchange him and Tarik Cohen in the offense to keep both players fresh and at their best. That's an exciting possibility. 

TE Jimmy Graham

The news: Will sign with the Green Bay Packers

The NFC North arms race just got another jolt, with the Packers landing the 31-year-old Graham, who caught 10 touchdowns last year for the Seattle Seahawks. But as part of signing Graham, the Jordy Nelson era is over in Green Bay:

CB Bashaud Breeland

The news: Will sign with the Carolina Panthers

The money for Breeland, perhaps more than Aaron Colvin, will go a long way toward setting the market for a contract extension for Kyle Fuller. We'll see what that is. 

2:30 p.m. update

CB Aaron Colvin

The news: Will sign a four-year deal with the Houston Texans

This is the first concrete movement we've seen on the cornerback market besides some rumors linking Malcolm Butler to the Detroit Lions on Monday. Colvin was a part of that elite Jacksonville defense in 2017 as a nickel corner, but there were some concerns his strong season was more due to the level of talent around him. What the value of his contract is could be a determinant for what Kyle Fuller's market value is as an outside guy, as well as the other top corners in this year's free agent class. 

WR Marqise Lee

The news: Will re-sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars

Another receiver goes off the board, though like with Richardson, it was unlikely the Bears were going to sign Lee and pay Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Cameron Meredith. 


12:30 p.m. update

LB Christian Jones

The news: His contract is worth $7.75 million over two years

This may have been more money than the Bears were willing to commit to a guy who may not have had a starting role on the 2018 team. Good for Jones, though, for cashing in on his strong play the last few years.

WR Paul Richardson

The news: Will sign a four-year, $50 million deal with Washington

RIchardson is a burner who averaged 16 yards per reception and caught six touchdowns last year for the Seattle Seahawks, and the soon-to-be 26-year-old has upside. The Bears were unlikely to sign Richardson if this was his market, though, meaning they'd be committing about $30 million in 2018 to three free agent pass-catchers, as well as some cash to restricted free agent Cameron Meredith.

QB Sam Bradford

The news: Will sign a one-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals

This doesn't take Arizona out of the market to trade up in April's draft and pick a quarterback. It could be a competitive market to move up with the Buffalo Bills, which would benefit the Bears either in their ability to trade down from No. 8 or their ability to get the guy they want (Quenton Nelson? Tremaine Edmunds? Denzel Ward? Josh Jackson?) at No. 8. 

11:25 a.m. update

LB Christian Jones

The news: Will sign a two-year deal with the Detroit Lions

It's a little surprising the Bears didn't retain Jones, who proved to be a solid player with good knowledge of Vic Fangio's defense over the last few years. Perhaps the Bears want to move forward with Nick Kwiatkoski as a starter next to Danny Trevathan at inside linebacker, or will target an inside linebacker like Virginia Tech's Tremaine Edmunds or Georgia's Roquan Smith in the NFL Draft next month. For Jones, he'll stay in the division and will join outside linebacker Devon Kennard in Matt Patricia's defense:

QB Mike Glennon

The report: He could wind up in Arizona after the Bears release him

Glennon will be released when the 2018 league year begins on Wednesday, and the Arizona Cardinals could do what the Bears did a year ago and sign him, and then draft a quarterback in April. He certainly won't get close to the money he got from the Bears, of course. 

11:00 a.m. update

PK Cody Parkey

The news: Will sign with the Bears

Parkey is 26 and made 21 of 23 field goals last year for the Miami Dolphins, which would represent a massive upgrade over the ineffective Connor Barth/Cairo Santos/Mike Nugent trio from a year ago. He hit all 14 of his field goals from inside 40 yards, but oddly missed three PATs, and made seven of eight kicks from 40 or more yards, including a 54-yarder. The Chicago Tribune was the first to report the Bears' interest in Parkey. 

Parkey made the Pro Bowl his rookie year with the Philadelphia Eagles, making 32 of 36 field goals in 2014, but struggled early in 2015 and then went on injured reserve with a groin injury. He re-surfaced with the Cleveland Browns in 2016 and made 20 of 25 field goals -- and overlapped with current Bears special teams coach Chris Tabor there -- before moving on to Miami last year. 

QB Kirk Cousins

The report: Will sign a three-year, fully-guaranteed deal with the Minnesota Vikings

There you have it. The NFC North will be stacked with quarterbacks, and if the Bears are able to take a major step forward, it could compete with the NFC West as the NFL's best division. But that's a big "if" right now. More immediately, the Vikings getting Cousins likely means we'll see more quarterbacks go off the board before the Bears pick at No. 8 in April's draft, with the Jets missing out on him and the Arizona Cardinals potentially eyeing a trade into the top 10 along with the Buffalo Bills. 

10:40 a.m. update

TE Trey Burton

The news: Will sign a four-year, $32 million deal with the Bears

The Bears may not be done adding to their offense, either, with the expectation being they could agree to sign at least one more wide receiver to pair with Allen Robinson. 

10:05 a.m. update

QB Kirk Cousins

The report: Minnesota is the front-runner to sign him

If this visit goes well and the Vikings can eventually hammer out a deal with him, the NFC North will have Cousins, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Mitch Trubisky as its quarterbacks, further underscoring the Bears' absolutely needing to be right on using last year's No. 2 overall pick on Trubisky. The Vikings are going for it, knowing their window to win is relatively narrow, and grabbing Cousins to throw the ball to Stephon Diggs and Adam Thielen would certainly boost those efforts. The Broncos are expected to sign Case Keenum, taking them out of the mix and realistically leaving the Vikings, Jets and Cardinals as the three teams to sign him. But all signs seem to be pointing toward Minnesota right now. 

8:50 a.m. update

WR Albert Wilson

The news: Will sign a three-year, $24 million deal with the Miami Dolphins

Last night, Rapoport reported the Dolphins were the front-runner for Wilson, and that came to fruition Tuesday morning, it would appear. The thought was the Bears would be a natural fit for Wilson, who had some success under Matt Nagy in Kansas City, but the Dolphins will give him $8 million annually to replace Jarvis Landry. Still, expect the Bears to be in the market for another receiver or two, or a tight end, as we hurtle toward 3 p.m. on Wednesday. 

CB Bryce Callahan

The report: The Vikings could target him

The Bears have the right of first refusal on Callahan (and Cameron Meredith and Josh Bellamy) but will not receive a draft pick if they decline to match an offer sheet. Callahan flashed some playmaking ability with two interceptions and a forced fumble last year, but has been banged up at times over the last few years. 

7:25 a.m. update

WR Allen Robinson

The news: Will sign a three-year, $42 million deal with the Bears

We'll have plenty on Robinson throughout the day here on NBC Sports Chicago, but we'll start here: He's coming off a torn ACL suffered on the third play of the 2017 season, but expects to be cleared for training camp

WR Sammy Watkins

The news: Will sign a three-year, $48 million deal with the Kansas City Chiefs

Couple this move with Robinson, and the two top wide receivers have their landing spots. Most importantly, though, they have their contracts, with Robinson getting $14 million annually and Watkins netting $16 million annually with more than half his contract guarnateed. This now opens up the free agent market for the second-tier receivers in it, like Seattle's Paul Richardson and Jacksonville's Marqise Lee. The Bears could still be in on those guys, as well as Kansas City's Albert Wilson (though NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Miami Dolphins are the front-runners for him). Expect some news about the top tight ends in this free agent class to trickle out on Tuesday, too, with the Bears potentially in on those guys. 

OL Andrew Norwell

The news: Will sign a five-year, $66.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars

If you were wondering why the Bears weren't in on the best guard on the free agent market to replace Josh Sitton...this is why. Norwell is a great fit for a Jaguars team with Leonard Fournette, but his contract is the largest ever given out to a guard. 

QB Case Keenum

The news: Will sign with the Denver Broncos

The begs the question: Are the Minnesota Vikings so confident they'll sign Kirk Cousins that they were willing to let Keenum, who QB'd them to the NFC Championship, walk to Denver? Maybe, maybe not, but for the Bears' draft purposes, Keenum going here doesn't necessarily take Denver out of the quarterback market. If it does, though, Denver could look to trade down, with the No. 5 pick more enticing to a team like the Buffalo Bills than the Bears' No. 8 pick. A lot to consider here. 

After releasing him, Bears reportedly bringing back Marcus Cooper


After releasing him, Bears reportedly bringing back Marcus Cooper

Marcus Cooper's offseason has resembled a will they, won't they relationship.

The corner back signed a three-year deal with the Bears last offseason, but struggled last year and was released by the Bears after one year of that deal. However, Adam Caplan is reporting that Cooper could be back in a Bears uniform this season.

Cooper was officially released by the Bears on March 14 and visited the Arizona Cardinals earlier on Friday. Cooper started for the Cardinals in 2016.

Cooper began the year as a starter for the Bears, but finished with just four starts. He finished 2017 with 18 tackles and three passes deflected in 15 games.

His play with the Bears didn't exactly make him Mr. Popular with fans, as can be observed by looking at the savage replies to Caplan's report.

Cooper's original contract for the Bears with valued at $16 million over three years so the reported $2.5 million number is a significant pay cut and could mean he is being brought back for depth as opposed to last year when he was expected to start.

Plenty of possibilities loom ahead of Bears' draft pick

Plenty of possibilities loom ahead of Bears' draft pick

As the Bears begin to fill out their draft board in earnest, they’ll do so by evaluating the players they like and the players they think will be available when they pick eighth in April. And what players check both those boxes and go into their draft “clouds,” as Ryan Pace calls them, will depend largely on how many quarterbacks are taken ahead of the Bears’ pick. 

With about a month until the draft, it seems clear two teams will take a quarterback with a top-seven pick: the Cleveland Browns and New York Jets. The Browns own the Nos. 1 and 4 picks; the Jets traded up from No. 6 to No. 3, and teams rarely invest that kind of draft capital to not draft a quarterback. 

That leaves a few hinge points in how many quarterbacks are picked by the time the Bears are on the clock:

New York Giants (No. 2 overall)

The Giants still have an aging Eli Manning but could move to use the second pick to draft his long-term replacement. Or, alternatively, they could use this deep class of top-end quarterbacks as an avenue to trade down, add some picks and build out a young core that way. Either of these scenarios would be good news for the Bears, as we’ve seen Penn State running back Saquon Barkley, N.C. State defensive end Bradley Chubb and Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson connected to the Giants at No. 2 as well, if they were to stay there. The Buffalo Bills could be motivated to trade up to No. 2 to make sure they get the guy they want with quarterbacks almost assuredly going off the board at Nos. 1 and 3. 

Cleveland Browns (No. 4 overall)

If the Browns get their quarterback with the first pick — Sam Darnold? — they could be sitting in an ideal spot at No. 4. If the Giants draft a quarterback, Cleveland could play hardball and tell teams they’re fine keeping the fourth pick and drafting Barkley with it. That could create a bidding war between the Buffalo Bills (No. 12) and Denver Broncos (No. 5) to trade up and draft the last of the four clear-cut top quarterbacks in this class. In this scenario, Cleveland adds a bunch of picks to an already-sizable stash and accelerates their growth through the draft. 

If the Giants were to trade out of the No. 2 pick, let’s say to the Bills, it may lessen Cleveland’s desire to trade down from No. 4 unless a team in need of a quarterback like the Arizona Cardinals (No. 15) or Miami Dolphins (No. 11) starts lurking around. But as we saw last year with the Bears trading up one spot to draft Mitch Trubisky, teams don’t want to leave things to chance if they have conviction on the quarterback they want. So that brings us to the…

Denver Broncos (No. 5 overall)

The Broncos signed Case Keenum to a two-year deal and still have 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch on their roster, though he hasn’t shown much in only five games as a pro. Does Denver absolutely, positively have to draft a quarterback? No. They’re probably in the same boat as the Giants in that regard. But what if they really like Josh Allen and/or Baker Mayfield, both of whom their coaching staff worked with at the Senior Bowl, and one of them is still on the board when the Browns’ pick comes up at No. 4? Or what if Josh Rosen has been their guy all along? 

In that case, John Elway may make an aggressive move to guarantee he gets the quarterback he wants, and not risk losing that guy if a team were to cut the line by trading with the Browns. 

The other scenario is less positive for the Bears: Maybe the Broncos only have one or two quarterbacks out of this group they want, and they either can’t find a trade partner to move out of No. 5 or don’t want to. If three quarterbacks are drafted in the first seven picks, the Bears may not have the opportunity to draft one of Nelson, Chubb or Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick. That’s not necessarily a bad thing — Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds, for example, is a super-talented prospect — but we seem to be moving toward a consensus that Nelson, Fitzpatrick, Chubb and Barkley are the four best non-quarterback prospects in this draft. And in all likelihood, the Bears will only be able to draft one of them four quarterbacks are taken before they pick. 

The wild card here is Nelson, given his position (guard) is rarely seen as worthy of being a top-10 pick. But those who saw him up close in college believe he’s a future perennial Pro Bowler, possibly beginning as soon as his rookie year. The Bears’ fit is obvious, with Harry Hiestand coming to coach the offensive line from Notre Dame and the team — as of right now — still having a fairly clear need for another interior offensive lineman. Perhaps Nelson falls to the Bears even if there are only three quarterbacks off the board before they pick, but having four go off the board would make things a little less stressful at Halas Hall in late April. 

Indianapolis Colts (No. 6 overall) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (No. 7 overall)

The Colts already traded down once, and likely did so with the confidence that Chubb would still be on the board at No. 6 to help their limp pass rush. Fitzpatrick seems to be a good fit with Tampa Bay, though a player of his caliber would be a good fit anywhere. Either of these teams still could be persuaded to trade down, especially if the Giants and/or Broncos pass on a quarterback.

Chicago Bears (No. 8 overall)

If four quarterbacks are off the board by the time the Bears pick, that’s ideal for Pace. If three are, he still could get someone from his No. 8 pick “cloud” and be content staying there. If only two are — and this doesn’t appear to be a likely scenario — that means the Bills haven’t found a trade partner and may want to leapfrog the Dolphins at No. 11 to get their guy. More likely, if the Bears are able to trade down from No. 8, it would be because a team like Arizona wants to make sure the quarterback they want isn’t snagged by an opportunistic team ahead of them. 

But Pace's draft history has seen him trade up far more frequently than trade down. If someone who's in his draft cloud is available when the Bears go on the clock, chances are he'll pick that guy and not trade down. 

Plenty can and will change between now and when the draft begins on April 26. But for right now, the landscape ahead of the Bears suggests only positive things setting up for their first-round pick.