Bears-Chargers: And the winner is...


Bears-Chargers: And the winner is...

Teacher and pupil approach Monday night from similar difficult circumstances: the Bears at 2-5, the San Diego Chargers standing 2-6, losing four straight. Coach John Fox and Chargers coach Mike McCoy, who was on Fox’s staffs in Carolina and Denver, share a common contributing factor, that of coaching injury riddled teams.

McCoy saw 12 different players come out of last Sunday’s San Diego loss to Baltimore, capping an injury run that quarterback Philip Rivers described as “just crazy.” That has included wide receiver Keenan Allen, on pace for one of the best pass-catching seasons in Chargers history, now done with a kidney injury.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

The Bears won’t have wideout Eddie Royal (knee) and will have had Royal and Alshon Jeffery active for the same game just three times in eight games. They lost their projected field-stretcher Kevin White before even training camp started when the rookie suffered a stress fracture to his lower right leg. They will be starting their fifth different offensive line in the span of eight games on Monday night.

The Bears were in position to win each of the last four games, escaping with wins over Oakland and Kansas City but losing the division games to Detroit in overtime and Minnesota on a last-second Vikings field goal. The Chargers are just 2-2 at home, with their only wins coming over Detroit (1-7) and Cleveland (2-6). They’ve lost their last four straight, by four, seven, eight and three points.

Neither team is likely to pull far away from the other (San Diego amasses huge yardage but without points to show for it. In the end,

Moon's Prediction: Bears 19, Chargers 17

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.