Bears Grades: Kyle Long impresses protecting Cutler's blindside


Bears Grades: Kyle Long impresses protecting Cutler's blindside

Kyle Long moving to right tackle was a story line going into the game but not so much coming out of it. Long stood up well against the expected myriad of looks from Green Bay defensive coordinator Dom Capers and was generally solid outside of being beaten cleanly by Julius Peppers with an outside move that led to a sack and forced fumble.

“Especially on the offensive line, I have a great group of guys around me,” Long said. “Just have to continue to push forward and compete. Not everything is going to be rainbows. You have to continue to push and compete.”

[MORE GRADES: Quarterback ¦ Running back]

Peppers finished with another half-sack shared with B.J. Raji who was able to get leverage on center Will Montgomery and collapse the pocket around Jay Cutler.

More serious were the pre-snap penalties on Long’s replacement at right guard. Vladimir Ducasse drew a first-quarter false-start penalty in the red zone that contributed to thwarting the opening possession, forcing a field goal after turning a second-and-6 into a second-and-11.

As damaging, Ducasse was guilty of a false start at second-and-2 with the Bears driving for a tying touchdown late in the fourth quarter. The Bears were able to salvage a first down but three snaps later Cutler was intercepted by Clay Matthews to set up Green Bay’s clinching score.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans]

But the Packers managed just five total hits on Cutler, plus the two sacks. The last time the Bears saw Green Bay, the Packers sacked him four times and hit him seven more.

“Without watching the tape and individually evaluating every guy, especially from where I stand on the o-line, it’s not the best seat in the house,” said coach John Fox. “But I don’t think protection was the reason we lost.”

Moon's Grade: B

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.