Bears add desired speed, explosiveness with Cordarrelle Patterson

Bears add desired speed, explosiveness with Cordarrelle Patterson

Back at the NFL Combine last month, Bears general manager Ryan Pace was asked what he wanted to see in terms of offensive growth from his team in 2019. His response was telling:

“I think we’re an exciting offense to watch and I think we’ve got a lot of pieces that can do a lot of different things and that’s only going to grow in Year 2,” Pace said. “Now from a personnel standpoint, do we need to add to that? Yes. Do we want to get faster and more explosive? Yes. And that’s our challenge.”

The Bears will get faster more explosive on offense with the addition of Cordarrelle Patterson, who is reportedly expected to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with the Bears on Wednesday when the new league year begins. These sort of deals for important reserve/depth pieces are what the Bears can be expected to hammer out moving forward, not a big-splash signing, after freeing up $11 million in cap space Tuesday morning.  

Patterson’s best value, of course, is as a kick returning solution for a team that averaged a league-worst 19.1 yards per kick return in 2018. He’ll keep Anthony Miller and Tarik Cohen away from kick returns, which is a win in itself given Miller’s shoulder problems and Cohen’s role in the Bears’ offense. Patterson returned a kick for a touchdown against the Bears in Week 7 last year. 

But he can play all over the field on offense, including at running back, where the New England Patriots gave him a shot in 2018:

Patterson ran a 4.42 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine in 2013 and was a first-round pick of the Minnesota Vikings later that year. At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he can be used to create favorable matchups by Matt Nagy with his speed and versatility to line up in the backfield, slot and out wide.

The Bears needed a reserve receiver behind their primary trio of Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller, they needed a kick returner and they needed to add an element of explosiveness to their offense. Agreeing to terms with Patterson would appear to accomplish all three of those goals. 

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Robbie Gould-Bears reunion appears to be all but dead

Robbie Gould-Bears reunion appears to be all but dead

Any chance of a Robbie Gould-Bears reunion happening for the 2019 season seems to be all but dead.

Monday, 49ers general manager John Lynch said that Gould will be with the team in 2019.

“Robbie is going to be a part of us this coming year, I know that,” Lynch said. “We would like it to be longer than that. We’ve made an attempt to make it happen. We haven’t come to an agreement as of yet, and we’ll see where that goes.

“But Robbie will be a part of us this coming year, and we’re excited for that because he’s very good at what he does and he’s also a big part of this team.”

Gould joined the 49ers in March 2017 on a two-year, $4 million contract. The 49ers placed the franchise tag on him on February 26, though the 36-year-old kicker has yet to sign the one-year, $4.9 million tender.

According to NBC Sports Bay Area, Gould is not participating in the 49ers' offseason program—he isn't obligated to do so— instead working out in the Chicago area. NBC Sports Bay Area also reported that the 49ers hope to re-sign Gould to a multi-year deal and spoke to the kicker's representation at the NFL Combine.

Lynch's declaration doesn't guarantee that Gould will sign the franchise tender, but it does indicate that he isn't on the market. Essentially, if Gould plays in the NFL in 2019, he will be with the 49ers. 

The Bears released Cody Parkey on March 13 after a rough first season in Chicago. This offseason, the team has added kickers Redford JonesChris Blewitt and Elliott Fry. The Bears are expected to add more kickers to the competition as the offseason moves along.

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Tarik Cohen admits losing Jordan Howard ‘hurt me a little bit’

Tarik Cohen admits losing Jordan Howard ‘hurt me a little bit’

The Jordan Howard trade was tough for Tarik Cohen.

The two Bears running backs had formed a backfield bond over the last two seasons, and Cohen was there to support him during the rumors and eventual move to Philadelphia.

“I was really following after him as soon as I came to the Bears because I was one year behind him, so he could tell me everything to do because he had already been through it,” Cohen said Monday. “Losing him, it hurt me a little bit. I’m not going to lie. It hurt me, because that’s like my brother.”

Both running backs understand football is a business as they go their separate ways. Cohen’s “brother” will get to work in the city of brotherly love, while the North Carolina native continues to go out in his adopted community.

Cohen and Bears chairman George McCaskey met with members of Heartland Alliance’s Rapid Employment and Development Initiative in Chicago as part of the team’s effort to combat gun violence.

“I wear a ‘C’ on my helmet every Sunday, and every time I play a game,” Cohen said. “So I feel like it’s necessary for me to get inside the community and see what’s going on, and to help any way I can.”

With Howard exchanging his “C” for green wings, Cohen is now the running back a year ahead in Matt Nagy’s offense as Mike Davis joins the backfield.

The former Seattle Seahawk is just getting to know Halas Hall in the first phase of the offseason program, but he and Cohen had already connected through a mutual friend — fellow North Carolina native Todd Gurley.

“Mike, he’s like one of the guys,” Cohen said. “He’s already fitting in the locker room. Everybody’s already getting along cool.”

Just like that, life moves on without Howard in Chicago. Cohen expects Ryan Pace to add a rookie to the backfield too, and then it’ll be his turn to be the mentor.

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