Bears don't view Jay Cutler's shoulder injury as season-ending

Bears don't view Jay Cutler's shoulder injury as season-ending

John Fox has been surprised by Jay Cutler’s toughness in the relatively short time Fox has been Bears head coach. And Cutler may do that yet again, with Fox announcing that the injury to Cutler’s right (throwing) shoulder is “not season-ending contrary to the reports you hear,” Fox said on Wednesday.

The Bears did not place Cutler on injured reserve. He did not practice on Wednesday, leaving Matt Barkley and David Fales to handle the throwing duties in the first day of on-field work leading up Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans. Fox said only that Cutler had a shoulder injury, noting that “he’s a tough son of a gun so he doesn’t go typical of the [recovery] lengths people put into it as far as weeks [inactive] and what not.

“So, right now he is day to day.”

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With that “diagnosis,” typical for a head coach not wanting to declare a starter out for an upcoming game, Fox did not rule Cutler out for Tennessee.

Nonetheless, Barkley took the starter’s snaps on Wednesday, which already puts him ahead of where he was when he was forced into the Green Bay game after then-starter Brian Hoyer went down with a broken arm.

“It’s still up in the air about what’s going to be happening,” Barkley said. “But I’m preparing like I’m starting. Getting the reps is big in any quarterback’s development, so taking advantage of those, just getting timing down with the receivers, getting in and out of the huddle, just little things like that. But whatever happens Sunday I’ll be ready.”

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.