15 on 15: Youre a mean one, Mr. Grinch


15 on 15: Youre a mean one, Mr. Grinch

As if the Bears did not have enough to deal with when facing the Green Bay Packers at full strength, now they are down in numbers at wide receiver and running back.

New quarterback Josh McCown must navigate this group into the end zone repeatedly to keep the Bears playoff hopes alive. Its not looking good for the Bears to pull off the ultimate Grinch who Stole Christmas by beating the Packers.

Anything can happen, but Chicagos offense must be scaled back even more to have any shot of winning. With the Bears dealing with so many new skill-position players, timing is going to be an issue. Mike Martz must make the game plan likeable and learnable with core plays emphasized. Players must then fight the good fight. They must play for pride, competition and love of the game in the NFLs most storied rivalry.

Door open to get back in

This is this type of opportunity that could give McCown a more permanent door back into the NFL. He must show poise, leadership and compete to gauge whether he is worthy to resurrect his NFL career.

If McCown were to nose dive, Nathan Enderle needs to get a look next week against Minnesota. They both may not even be in a Bears uniform next year if Martz is let go at the end of the season.

Lovie Smith says Martz is staying put, so the Bears may as well see both of them in Martzs offense to evaluate against live game action.

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

Which Bears have the highest player rating in Madden 19?

The time has come to start counting down to the release of Madden 19. The most popular football video game franchise of all-time is set to release in early August and as is a tradition with the weeks leading up to the game appearing on store shelves, leaks about features and player ratings have started.

Here are the highest rated Bears players in this year's edition:

Adrian Amos leads the way with an 88 rating, followed by Akiem Hicks (85) and Allen Robinson (85). 

Chicago's offense received a 75 overall rating, which should result in a significant challenge for Bears fans trying to score virtual points later this summer. The defense, however, will be stout, coming in with an overall rating of 81. Amos and Hicks have a lot to do with that.

Ratings are subject to change due to injury. Madden 19 is scheduled for release on August 10.