Bears

Should the Bears sign free agent running back Devonta Freeman?

Should the Bears sign free agent running back Devonta Freeman?

Former Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman remains unsigned after being released earlier this offseason following a 2019 season that totaled 14 games and a career-low 3.6 yards per carry.

Freeman, who earned back-to-back trips to the Pro Bowl in 2015-16, was at one time considered one of the NFL's top dual-threat running backs. His best season came in 2015 when he ran for 1,056 yards and 11 touchdowns while adding another 578 yards and three scores as a receiver. In 2016, he ran for a career-best 1,079 yards and 11 scores.

Injuries derailed what was a promising start to his career. He hasn't played a full 16 games in any of the last three years and in 2018, he missed 14 games with foot and groin injuries. 

Are Freeman's best days behind him? Maybe. Running backs tend to decline the closer they get to 30 years old, and at 28, Freeman is inching closer to the end of his career than its beginning. But that doesn't mean he doesn't have value for a team like the Bears, who lack any semblance of depth behind starter David Montgomery.

Chicago's running back depth chart is void of any real NFL talent behind Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, and let's face it, Cohen is more of a satellite weapon than he is a true running back.

So what's stopping the Bears from pursuing Freeman? Money.

Freeman is holding out for a reasonable payday that, apparently, involves demands beyond what the Seahawks offered in May (one-year, $4 million). The Bears, who still have in-house business to take care of, including an extension for wide receiver Allen Robinson, aren't going to offer Freeman a contract in that range. And they shouldn't. Montgomery is the unquestioned starter and that won't change even if a player like Freeman is added. As a result, he'll get a contract consistent with what's paid to a backup with starter's upside.

Remember: Freeman signed a five-year, $41.2 million extension with the Falcons in 2017, and like most players who believe they still have a lot left in the tank, he doesn't appear willing to lower his value by such an extreme amount.

Still, the market will determine Freeman's next deal. And if he's still hanging around and unsigned as training camp approaches, the Bears could find themselves in a favorable position to land an extremely talented running back at a mega-discount.

Chicago's offense will hinge on how productive the running game is in 2020. It would make sense to improve its chances of success by adding more talent. Freeman could be that guy, at the right price.

10 Chicago Bears who were 'one-season wonders'

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10 Chicago Bears who were 'one-season wonders'

 

In a sports sense, what defines a “one-season wonder?”

Is it, statistically speaking, one great season followed by several mediocre ones? Or simply one solitary out-of-this-world game? Is it a fantastic rookie season followed by a never-ending sophomore slump? It could be all of those.

But “one-season wonder” may not be the pejorative term you may be thinking. It could be, literally, the one season an athlete had playing for a team—which was bookended by either a trade of a free agency pickup/release. Or, perhaps, it could be the one astronomical season in a well-defined, well-landmarked career.

For our purposes, it’s all of the above.

We’re taking a look at the top-10 Chicago Bears who had one shining (season-long) moment.

Allen Robinson fires back at LaDainian Tomlinson over consistency comments

Allen Robinson fires back at LaDainian Tomlinson over consistency comments

So, apparently the NFL Network employs former running back LaDainian Tomlinson now. And apparently LaDainian Tomlinson was asked about the Bears. And apparently LaDainian Tomlinson thinks that, for some reason, the team's wide receiver group is the biggest question mark? And that Allen Robinson – the same Allen Robinson who had at least 5 catches in 14 of the Bears' 16 games last season – needs to be more consistent? 

Anyway, I'll let you guess what Allen Robinson thinks about all this:

Couldn't have put it better myself. LT: Football Reference exists! You can look at it for free!