Bears

As Brian Hoyer exits, Bears in danger of being forced into sin of 'reach' for Mike Glennon

As Brian Hoyer exits, Bears in danger of being forced into sin of 'reach' for Mike Glennon

As Brian Hoyer moved out of Halas Hall, literally and figuratively, and other teams began looking hard at him as their 2017 quarterback, the Bears' circumstances at the quarterback position tilted dangerously close to an area that teams typically seek to avoid at all costs.
 
Hoyer cleaned out his locker on Tuesday and said goodbye's to coaches, according to NFL sources. The Bears now may be without real leverage, i.e., options, in negotiations with Mike Glennon and facing an almost bizarre scenario in which the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers backup quarterback can effectively dictate terms to the Bears.
 
The result is potentially a situation in which the Bears are forced to "reach" — to use a draft team, meaning drafting a player improperly above his talent grade — and slip into something Ryan Pace and NFL personnel chiefs abhor.
 
Is the Tampa Bay backup a "value" at a price expected to be significantly beyond the $8 million the Buccaneers were prepared to pay him as insurance behind Jameis Winston? Value is in fact a consideration, whether in the draft or free agency.
 
"I think you have to get value," Pace said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "I think when you talk about reaching at any position, it's hard. I've referenced teams that I've been a part of before where I feel like we've done that. And I've learned from that experience. You just have to be careful about doing that."

[FREE AGENCY TRACKER: Bears deal with Mike Glennon 'all but done']
 
Pace was speaking in terms of the draft but the principles and pitfalls apply no less to free agency, where a wrong contract and player can have consequences for years.
 
"I think what happens with us is that you get competitive and you know you need this position," Pace said. "You start convincing yourself that you need to start pushing a certain position up the [draft] board. And that's when the mistake is made. So we have to be conscious of that at any position."
 
Regardless of free agency, the Bears are expected to address quarterback in this year's draft. But in the meantime, the absence of Hoyer, in a market that already has options Kirk Cousins in Washington and Jimmy Garoppolo in New England ostensibly beyond the Bears' reach, creates pressure on the Bears front office. The Bears may have had interest in having Hoyer back, but have made no known offer to back that up.
 
The organization still does have Jay Cutler under contract at a livable financial point ($12.5 million base, $2.5 million in earnable bonuses). Pace said last week that Cutler remains as one of the solution scenarios.
 
But coaches had expressed satisfaction with what they had in Hoyer, who was 1-3 in full games played last season, including losses to Indianapolis and Jacksonville in which the defense failed to hold fourth-quarter leads (4 points at Indianapolis, 13 vs. Jacksonville).
 
"Brian's unique in that he makes very quick decisions," coach John Fox said last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. "He's very smart, been in a lot of different systems. He's been on the field a lot in the NFL. I thought he did a good job. I think his touchdown total, he didn't have an interception on the season, which for the number of passes he threw, I think probably ranked No. 1."

Under Center Podcast: Should Bears have added Cam Newton over Nick Foles?

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Should Bears have added Cam Newton over Nick Foles?

JJ Stankevitz, Cam Ellis and Adam Hoge debate and discuss which quarterback GM Ryan Pace should have gone after this offseason.

Later, they discuss hurdles the NFL still has to go through in order to start the season, and also dive into Jay Cutler's chicken mystery.

Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bears news and analysis.

(1:51) - Did the Bears make the right decision by going after Nick Foles?

(7:47) - Is Cam Newton's upside bigger than Foles'?

(18:00) - What can the NFL learn from MLB's return-to-play plan?

(30:23) - NFL will shorten the preseason to two games

(37:00) - Bears coverage will change this year

(45:13) - Jay Cutler's missing chickens

Listen here or below.

Under Center Podcast

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Robert Quinn says he wants to be 'icing on the cake' for Bears defense

Robert Quinn says he wants to be 'icing on the cake' for Bears defense

The failures of former Bears first-round pick Leonard Floyd have been well documented. His inability to develop into the kind of pass rusher GM Ryan Pace was expecting when he selected him with the ninth overall pick in 2016 forced Chicago to make a massive investment in the position this offseason when they signed Robert Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal.

The Bears' decision to move on from Floyd was the result of his absolute failure to consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks. He managed just 18.5 sacks in four seasons in Chicago, including a career-low three in 2019. 

Quinn represents a massive upgrade opposite Khalil Mack, and he told Terrell Owens on the 'Getcha Popcorn Ready' podcast that he wants to be the missing piece on what could be a championship-caliber defense.

"They already have the talent there," Quinn said of the Bears defense. "I'm just trying to bring the icing on the cake. I believe in my talents. I know what I bring to the table and again I know what they had there already. 

"I think with that formula, we can do something special this year."

Quinn had a bounce-back season in 2019 with the Cowboys when he registered 11.5 sacks. It was his first season with more than 10 sacks since 2014, but it wasn't a fluke. Quinn's battled injuries over the last few years (which is obviously a concern moving forward), but when healthy, he's one of the game's top sack artists.

Quinn had a remarkable 19 sacks in 2013 with the Rams.

Quinn's presence off the edge will be a boon for Mack, who's coming off his worst season since his rookie year. His 8.5 sacks broke his streak of four-straight seasons with 10.5 sacks or more. Mack's down season was proof that he isn't Superman, although he sometimes plays like it, and that he needs a complementary edge rusher who can take some focus of pass protection away from him. Quinn will be that guy.

The only thing that will prevent Quinn from making a massive impact with the Bears is his health. He's played a full 16 games just once in the last five years; he appeared in 14 games in 2019.