Bears continue upgrades, add ex-Packer Pro Bowl G Josh Sitton

Bears continue upgrades, add ex-Packer Pro Bowl G Josh Sitton

The Bears convinced Josh Sitton to make them his first visit after the Green Bay Packers release the three-time Pro Bowl guard on Saturday. Once they got him to Halas Hall, they then convinced him to stick around, signing their one-time adversary to a three-year contract reportedly topping out at $21.75 million, of which $10 million is guaranteed.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported the signing. Sitton, 30, was also being sought after by the New Orleans Saints but never got on a plane out of town once the Bears made their pitch to him late Sunday afternoon.

The signing marks yet another major Bears move to overhaul their offensive line this offseason. In no particular order: signing center/guard Ted Larsen and tackle Bobby Massie from the Arizona Cardinals; selecting guard Cody Whitehair in the second round of the 2016 draft; and moving Pro Bowler Kyle Long back to right guard from right tackle, along with signing Long to a four-year contract extension worth $40 million, of which $30 million is guaranteed.

Sitton, a fourth-round Green Bay selection in the 2008 draft, started 16 games in six of the last seven seasons, first at right guard, then at left guard the past three seasons. Sitton also filled in at left tackle for the Packers last season.

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.