The NFL saw two of its biggest stars traded this week, with a third signing a lucrative contract with a new team after sitting out all of the 2018 season in a contract dispute.
The movement of Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell in such close proximity is somewhat unprecedented, but the Bears made have set the precedent with the Khalil Mack trade back in September.
Former NFL executive Joe Banner believes Mack’s holdout helped empower these other superstars to take their contract situations into their own hands.
The main difference between Mack’s move and the other three is that the outside linebacker was considered much less of a “distraction” in the locker room for his former team.
In his situation, Jon Gruden received most of the blame for the split, while Bell, Brown and Beckham are seen as forcing their way out of their respective teams.
Mack wasn’t the first player to ever holdout for a new contract and get traded, but he may have set the hottest new trend for the top NFL players in 2019.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.
The Chicago Bears avoided the dreaded 0-2 start by defeating the Denver Broncos last Sunday in what's become something of an instant classic for Bears fans. Eddy Pineiro's 53-yard game-winner injected life into an otherwise lifeless start to the season, and while it was incredible to watch unfold live, NFL Films' recap of the final minute is goosebump-inducing.
"We need one second and the ball," Matt Nagy said in the Bears locker room after the win. "And that's a credit to you guys for never giving up. I dont care about stats, we got the dub!"
The Nagy-booms that followed were epic. Check it out:
It's only been two games, but the Bears offense has quickly become one of the more disappointing storylines of 2019. From the questionable playcalling of Matt Nagy to Mitch Trubisky's inability to execute, the Bears have faded from an NFC favorite to a team with more questions than answers.
In order for the offense to get on track, the players have to believe in each other. According to RB Tarik Cohen, they still do.
"I feel like everybody's optimistic right now," Cohen said from Halas Hall Thursday. "We haven't put it out there on the field yet, but we all feel like we're capable of putting 30 points up."
As for the quarterback? Cohen hasn't lost any faith in Trubisky.
"I just see how he's bringing everybody along with him, just trying to stay up, keeping the offense positive, the things he tells us in the huddle to get us going. Him never giving up. That's the main thing I see."
Confidence is a very important variable when approaching any obstacle, especially in football. Cohen certainly has confidence the Bears will soon silence the chatter about the offense. And when they do, they won't look back.
"Once you start putting points on the board, it’s like, alright, we’re here now. Let’s not regress.”