The NFL season honors are starting to roll in for 2018, and the Bears are well represented.
They already had five players voted as Pro Bowl starters, and four of those same Bears were recognized by the Pro Football Writers of America on their All-NFL team.
Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller, Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen marked the most players from any franchise to make this year’s team. Akiem Hicks was the one Pro Bowler who did not appear on the PFWA list.
The All-NFL team featured only two defensive tackles — Aaron Donald from the Los Angeles Rams and Fletcher Cox from the Philadelphia Eagles — while the Pro Bowl included all three.
No additional Bears were recognized on the PFWA All-NFC team.
This marked Mack’s third appearance on the All-NFL team, while it was the first appearances for Fuller, Jackson and Cohen.
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The dream plenty of you reading this is dead: Robbie Gould will not be coming back to the Bears.
The placekicker reportedly inked a two-year deal with the San Francisco 49ers Monday morning, beating the NFL's deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multi-year deals:
That figure of $15 million guaranteed is the highest among contracts for active kickers, beating out the $12.5 million the Baltimore Ravens guaranteed Justin Tucker. The Bears guaranteed $9 million to Cody Parkey in their ill-fated four-year deal with him last year.
Gould had refused to sign the franchise tag after the 49ers placed it on him earlier this year, holding out for the team to trade him so he could play closer to his family in the Chicagoland area. He didn't show up to any of the 49ers voluntary and mandatory workouts or practices during the spring, and there was speculation he could hold out well into training camp and perhaps even into the regular season in the hopes of forcing a trade. The Bears always seemed to make the most sense on the surface, though Ryan Pace's preference has been (and still is) to inexpensively find a solution to his team's kicking woes. Gould never represented that, as the hefty contract he and the 49ers agreed to indicates.
EA Sports is stretching out the scale of player ratings in the upcoming edition of Madden, trying to create more discrepancy between the best and worst players in the NFL.
That left the Bears rookie class with lower numbers than expected, but not everyone will see a drop off in the video game.
EA is unveiling the 99 Club for Madden 20, the players receiving the highest possible rating in the game. Khalil Mack is joining the exclusive list this year.
Mack was the third of four players Madden is announcing this week along with Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald and Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner. Fans are speculating that Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins will be the fourth, which will be officially revealed Friday.
Mack’s ratings in Madden 20 include 94 jumping, 94 tackling, 95 pursuit and 97 power moves. They’re also giving him a superstar zone ability called Unstoppable Force that “increases win rate and block shed speed against one-on-one pass blocks” once he hits a certain benchmark while playing the game.
He started as a 98 overall at the launch of last year’s Madden 19 before eventually receiving the bump up to 99 in season.