Bears

Here's how the new CBA impacts the Bears' roster

Here's how the new CBA impacts the Bears' roster

The NFLPA voted to approve the ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) on Sunday, bringing labor peace to the NFL through 2030.

The headline items from the new deal are the expanded playoff format (which begins in 2020) and the potential for a 17th regular-season game beginning in the 2021 season. But there will be significant impacts that extend beyond the schedule and revenue sharing.

Rosters will look different, and general managers will have more flexibility to work with.

Gameday rosters increase from 46 to 48 players

Naturally, with more games come more injuries. And the only way for teams to prepare for those injuries is by having more players available. One of the most difficult decisions that face coaches each week is who the final two or three players should be on game day. Now, with two more players available for active duty, the end result will be a more well-rounded Sunday squad.

One extra offensive lineman 

So, here's the catch. One of those two extra gameday spots has to be an offensive lineman. Teams can now carry three backups on Sundays (or Monday night...or Thursday night) instead of the traditional two.

12-man practice squad in 2020; 14 in 2022

One of the biggest benefits for roster building is the expansion of the practice squad from 10 players to 12 in 2020. It grows to 14 players in 2022. And practice squads will be more appealing to players than any competitor leagues, too, with salaries for those players rising from $8,000 per week to $11,500. This is especially good news for teams like the Bears who have a well-established roster of starters and veteran backups but may want to have developmental options in the pipeline. The larger practice squad gives them the chance to do that (especially at quarterback).

Two practice squad promotions each week for an expanded 55-man roster

Speaking of those practice squads, NFL teams will be given the option to promote two practice squad players to their new 55-man active roster every week. Remember: the current structure allows for 53 players on the active roster which gets cut to 46 on game day. With the two practice squad promotions, the active roster grows to 55.

The best news? NFL teams can send those players back to the practice squad without having to clear waivers (and risk losing them to another team). Each player can be called up and sent back to the practice squad twice without the risk of waivers.

Under Center Podcast: Should Bears have added Cam Newton over Nick Foles?

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Should Bears have added Cam Newton over Nick Foles?

JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and Adam Hoge debate and discuss which quarterback GM Ryan Pace should have gone after this offseason.

Later, they discuss hurdles the NFL still has to go through in order to start the season, and also dive into Jay Cutler's chicken mystery.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bears news and analysis.

(1:51) - Did the Bears make the right decision by going after Nick Foles?

(7:47) - Is Cam Newton's upside bigger than Foles'?

(18:00) - What can the NFL learn from MLB's return-to-play plan?

(30:23) - NFL will shorten the preseason to two games

(37:00) - Bears coverage will change this year

(45:13) - Jay Cutler's missing chickens

Listen here or below.

Under Center Podcast

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Robert Quinn says he wants to be 'icing on the cake' for Bears defense

Robert Quinn says he wants to be 'icing on the cake' for Bears defense

The failures of former Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd have been well documented. His inability to develop into the kind of pass rusher GM Ryan Pace was expecting when he selected him with the ninth overall pick in 2016 forced Chicago to make a massive investment in the position this offseason when they signed Robert Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal.

The Bears' decision to move on from Floyd was the result of his absolute failure to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks. He managed just 18.5 sacks in four seasons in Chicago, including a career-low three in 2019. 

Quinn represents a massive upgrade opposite Khalil Mack, and he told Terrell Owens on the 'Getcha Popcorn Ready' podcast that he wants to be the missing piece on what could be a championship-caliber defense.

"They already have the talent there," Quinn said of the Bears defense. "I'm just trying to bring the icing on the cake. I believe in my talents. I know what I bring to the table and again I know what they had there already. 

"I think with that formula, we can do something special this year."

Quinn had a bounce-back season in 2019 with the Cowboys when he registered 11.5 sacks. It was his first season with more than 10 sacks since 2014, but it wasn't a fluke. Quinn's battled injuries over the last few years (which is obviously a concern moving forward), but when healthy, he's one of the game's top sack artists.

Quinn had a remarkable 19 sacks in 2013 with the Rams.

Quinn's presence off the edge will be a boon for Mack, who's coming off his worst season since his rookie year. His 8.5 sacks broke his streak of four-straight seasons with 10.5 sacks or more. Mack's down season was proof that he isn't Superman, although he sometimes plays like it, and that he needs a complementary edge rusher who can take some focus of pass protection away from him. Quinn will be that guy.

The only thing that will prevent Quinn from making a massive impact with the Bears is his health. He's played a full 16 games just once in the last five years; he appeared in 14 games in 2019.