Bears

Bears could find answer to tight end need at Senior Bowl

Bears could find answer to tight end need at Senior Bowl

It has been a position of interest for the Bears ever since they established the early standard for tight end with Mike Ditka a half-century ago. But it has too often been a position of concern ever since, a situation that could be remedied with a draft move based on potentially the right mix of need and grade.
 
Consensus has tight end as one of the deepest positions in the upcoming draft, with Senior Bowl attendees O.J. Howard from Alabama and Gerald Everett from South Alabama rated as two of the top three prospects at a position where the Bears have had moments — and issues — with Martellus Bennett (attitude) and Zach Miller (injuries) over the past several seasons. The Bears got 20 catches from waiver-pickup Daniel Brown last season but little impact from free-agent-acquisition Logan Paulsen. With unsettled situations at wide receiver, a productive draft pick at tight end becomes a priority amid the higher profiled situations at quarterback and defensive back.
 
"I thought [Howard] was the best player on the field if you look at either of the practices," NFL Network draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah said via video on ChicagoBears.com. "He was outstanding, several one-handed catches. Everything he does is just so smooth and easy."

[SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]
 
The Bears had designs on Arkansas' Hunter Henry in the 2016 draft, but the San Diego Chargers snatched the Razorbacks standout with the fourth pick of the second round. The Bears were sitting at No. 10 in the round and, having already traded up in round one for Leonard Floyd, were not in a position to jump up again for Henry, particularly with a good grade on Cody Whitehair, whom they were able to land after two trade-downs. 

Henry put up 36 catches and 8 touchdowns as a rookie, an indication that the Bears had correctly identified a talent.

Bears still have league-average amount of salary cap space left

Bears still have league-average amount of salary cap space left

Free agency has slowed to crawl a little more than a week into the process, and the Bears still have some money to spend.

Ryan Pace made multiple moves to clear up additional salary cap space this offseason, but he spent his money cautiously.

Even with five outside signings under contract, he still has the space to make some more moves.

As of Friday, the Bears have just under $17 million in cap space, the 16th-most in the NFL, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Pace has more money to work with now than he did before the team started releasing players to clear space.

He still has to keep some cap available to sign their draft picks as well as an emergency fund for the season, but the Bears have more than enough money left to add an impact player or two on the open market.

The pool of talent to pick from continues to shrink, but Pace can still find quality options that could come at a bargain the longer they sit on the open market.

 

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Chicago Football Madness Rd. of 32: Chalk dominates the 1st round, with some notable exceptions

Chicago Football Madness Rd. of 32: Chalk dominates the 1st round, with some notable exceptions

Excitement for the Bears are at an all-time high, so while March Madness and the NCAA Tournament begin, we still have Bears on the mind. So we've created Chicago Bears Football Madness, pitting players from the three best Bears teams and legends head-to-head.

THIS. IS. STILL. MARCH. 

The first round of our inaugural Chicago Football Madness Tournament is over, and friends, it was kind of anti-climatic -- except for Jay Cutler advancing, that rules. 

Out of all the 32 Opening Round matchups, only two underdogs moved on: Robbie Gould and The Fridge. Now, Gould's got a tough matchup against 2-seed Lance Briggs, and there's no rest for the Perry (this joke works, right?) as he takes on Walter Payton. 

Keep sending the votes in! You can find all the matchups over on our Twitter account, or on the website, because we like to give you options. 

RD. OF 32 REGIONS:

1985 Bracket

2006 Bracket

2018 Bracket

Legends/Others Bracket

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