The jokes are too easy on this one, but it's probably still too soon for most Bears fans.
Jones kicked at Tulsa, but went undrafted out of college in 2017. He will likely be one of a handful of kickers the Bears try out or bring to training camp before deciding on a starter, but this is a further indication that Parkey's time with the Bears is over.
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It's been 13 years since Devin Hester took the opening kickoff of Super Bowl XLI back for a touchdown in one of the most electrifying moments in Chicago sports history.
As the football world converges in South Beach for only the second time since that night, Hester –– who will be in Miami all week on behalf of the NFL-affiliated company On Location Experiences -- talked with NBC Sports Chicago about what it was like in that moment.
"Oh man, it was nerve-wracking for me," he said. "Being a rookie coming into the NFL and then playing in the one of the biggest games of the year, the Super Bowl, and not only that, but to be the first one to touch the ball, it was intense."
"I was very nervous. At the same time, I was one of the players that always wanted the ball in my hands on big stages, so knowing that opportunity was a 50/50 chance of me getting it first, I just wanted to make that opportunity if I did get that chance to get my hands on the ball the first play of the game."
And if that wasn't impressive enough, the touchdown isn't even the clear-cut favorite for Hester's favorite play, and for good reason:
"I would say it had to be in the top 2. My other one was pretty much the same thing, my first year in college, first game of the season. Pretty much the same thing, taking the opening kickoff back. Those two have to be the favorite moments of my career."
It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative.
Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line.
To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable.
Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.
Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.