Bears need to sort through RB depth chart


Bears need to sort through RB depth chart

If the Bears keep four running backs – something they’ve rarely done without one being a fullback – then some roster decisions won’t have to be made. But that may not be so easy, given possible needs to keep extra players at other positions as insurance against injury concerns.

Put another way: Could the Bears actually keep Ka’Deem Carey, Jeremy Langford and Jacquizz Rodgers as backups to Matt Forte?

Langford, the one roster lock after Forte, broke a long run, with a 34-yarder in the second quarter that included strong second effort to turn a play that appeared to be stuffed into the Bears’ longest play of the first half. Langford had the second-longest play of the Bears’ preseason when he popped a 46-yard run in the loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. Langford finished with 55 yards on nine carries and concludes the preseason as the Bears’ leading rusher with 153 yards on 28 carries, nearly 5.5 yards per rush.

[MORE: Willie Young's comeback continues, giving Bears another option at OLB/DE]

“I’ve been pleased with the young guy,” said coach John Fox. “I think it’s been well documented that we like him. We did draft him. I think he’s had a good camp and he had another good performance tonight.”

Carey, who came into this preseason facing an uphill run to make the roster, led all rushers with 68 yards on 12 carries (5.7 ypc). And he has occasionally appeared on special teams, a weakness in his game as a rookie.

Carey appears to have played his way into a strong discussion on who and how many backs to keep. Rodgers, with a modest 3.7-yard average in four seasons as an Atlanta Falcon, finished the preseason with 23 carries for a total of 86 yards – right at his career average.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up for the 2015 season, Bears fans!]

Unless they commit four of their 25 offensive roster spots to running backs, however, a decision could come down to Carey with an unknown upside vs. Rodgers with a workmanlike if unspectacular track record.

“I think Ka’Deem Carey ran it hard and ‘Quizz’ ran it hard,” Fox said. “It’s never a fun moment making decisions on what 53 to keep. I think all three of them ran the ball very effectively tonight, and throughout camp.”

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.