Bears

Report: Kareem Hunt expected to have a job 'sooner rather than later'

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AP

Report: Kareem Hunt expected to have a job 'sooner rather than later'

Kareem Hunt might not be a free agent for too much longer.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Hunt is expected to have a job "sooner rather than later."

In the Bears' end-of-season press conference, head coach Matt Nagy didn't shut down the possibility of bringing in the 23-year-old, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs on Nov. 30 after a video surfaced online in which the running back is seen kicking and shoving a woman. 

Will the Bears be the team that signs him? 

According to Schefter, multiple teams are interested in Hunt.

Here's what Nagy — who talked to Hunt on the phone last week — had to say about the possibility:

“I’m a guy that, I don’t care who you are….here is what I’m going to say to this…everybody has, when you talk about second chances, well, what’s the second chance? Is it, what’s your situation? And so, with him, that’s not for me to decide. I will say this, me personally, depending on certain peoples’ situations, I’m a guy that has always been, now I was raised that way to give guys second chances, not third chances, now I’ve learned that from coach (Andy) Reid, he’s done that several times with some people, but I will say that every situation is different. That’s his situation and I wanted to talk to him as on the true, personal side.”

General manager Ryan Pace added:

“I think every one of those is unique. Each one is different. The circumstances are always different.  We’re not even there yet. I mean, I know what he is as a player obviously from watching. Matt knows more about him as a person. We’re not even close to that point.”

Hunt is currently on the commisioner's exempt list, so he would need to be reinstated by the NFL in order to sign.

Why Tom Waddle believes Nick Foles will be Bears' QB1, not Mitch Trubisky

Why Tom Waddle believes Nick Foles will be Bears' QB1, not Mitch Trubisky

The central issue surrounding the Bears heading into the upcoming season concerns the starting quarterback situation, and that previous statement could apply to many more seasons than just 2020. Longtime ESPN 1000 host Tom Waddle is no stranger to QB drama, as the former Bears receiver has been a leading voice in analyzing the team for over a decade on the station’s highly-successful “Waddle & Silvy” show. When the Bears made their move to trade for Nick Foles in March, Waddle’s immediate reaction was a strong one, as he recounted to Laurence Holmes on the Under Center podcast.

“You don’t trade a fourth-round pick and give up $20 million guaranteed to a quarterback and sit him behind a QB that you don’t have full faith in,” Waddle explained. “I immediately thought this is going to be their starting quarterback. I think the familiarity that Nick Foles has with John DeFilippo and Bill Lazor and Juan Castillo and obviously Matt Nagy, I think you put that all together and you couple the familiarity with the uncertainty that is in the mind of the head coach about what the existing quarterback is capable of doing, and to me, it all added up to they got a guy that they trust and a guy that they see as their starter from Day 1.”

That doesn’t mean Foles will be an automatic savior. Of course, he led the Eagles to a Super Bowl title with a brilliant string of play in January and February of 2018, eventually outdueling Tom Brady to win the title in a shootout. But Foles has started more than eight games in a season just twice in his eight-year pro career, the last coming in 2015 with the then-St. Louis Rams.

RELATED: 2020 Bears Roster Review: Breaking down the Mitch Trubisky-Nick Foles battle

However, the fact that the Bears were aggressive in identifying Foles and then trading with Jacksonville speaks volumes about how they feel about him and it’s that conviction that truly sells Waddle on Foles being the starter. “If you were just looking for somebody to compete with Mitch, you could have waited out the Bengals, who were more likely to release Andy Dalton,” hypothesized the former Boston College Eagle. “You could have signed Case Keenum, but I don’t think the Jags were releasing Nick Foles at any point because of the contractual obligation they had to him. They had to go get him and once they went and got Nick Foles, that was the surest sign of all, in my world, that Nick’s got the edge.”

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Khalil Mack didn't rank as high as you might think on PFF's top 50 players

Khalil Mack didn't rank as high as you might think on PFF's top 50 players

Chicago Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack didn't have the kind of season fans were expecting in 2019, but to be fair, Chicago's entire defense went through a bit of regression last year. Mack ended 2019 with just 8.5 sacks. It was the first season that he failed to crack double-digit sacks since his rookie year (2014).

Still, there's no denying Mack's place among the NFL's elite players, regardless of position. Barring injury, he's a surefire Hall-of-Famer and certainly one of the 10-best players in the league.

According to Pro Football Focus, that may not be the case.

In PFF's ranking of the NFL's top 50 players, Mack ranks 18th.

Pro Football Focus is counting down their top 50 on Twitter, and so far the following players have been ranked higher than Mack:

17: Bobby Wagner
16: Chris Jones
15: Fletcher Cox
14: Richard Sherman
13: J.J. Watt
12: Stephon Gilmore
11: Drew Brees

All of those names are worthy of being ranked in this range, especially following a 2019 campaign that brought Mack back to the pack. 

2020 should produce different results for Mack and the Bears after adding Robert Quinn in free agency. The healthy return of Akiem Hicks will be a huge plus, too, giving Mack some much-needed help along the Bears' front-seven.

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