Bears

Could Barber, Williams' days in Chicago be numbered?

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Could Barber, Williams' days in Chicago be numbered?

DENVER One hope last offseason was that a handful of veteran acquisitions would give the Bears quality depth. Chris Spencer has at guard and Amobi Okoye has at defensive tackle.

But running back Marion Barber and Roy Williams have given some inkling in the past eight days why the Dallas Cowboys no longer considered them essential personnel.

Lovie Smith has seldom cut players abruptly after a disastrous game, as Dallas coach Jimmy Johnson once did. Johnson cut running back Curvin Richards after Richards fumbled twice in a meaningless final-game loss to the Bears in 1992.

Barber likely will not be the victim of a quick hook (with Matt Forte out, the Bears have only Kahlil Bell on the running-back depth chart). But Barber has had a lead role in two straight Bears losses, and Williams contributed his own drop of a TD pass in the Kansas City game.

Williams is a virtual lock to be gone after this season. Barbers future is suddenly very much in question after three mistakes that would be major if made by a rookie, which he isnt.

Barber cost the Bears a touchdown against the Chiefs when he failed to line up properly. That was compounded Sunday when he stepped out of bounds late in the fourth quarter and eventually provided the Denver Broncos with time for their tying field goal in regulation.

Then he fumbled within field-goal range in overtime, a drop that the Broncos turned into winning points.

Marion Barber is a heck of a football player, insisted linebacker Lance Briggs. Marion Barber is going to help us get into the playoffs.

At this point, however, he has helped the Bears out of them.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

Bears Season in Review: Eddie Goldman

It seems like an annual talking point at this time in the offseason: Bears nose tackle Eddie Goldman is one of the best yet most underrated players in Chicago. His performance in 2019 continued that career narrative. 

Goldman finished the year making 15 starts with 29 tackles and one sack. He earned the eighth-highest Pro Football Focus grade among all Bears defenders and remained the consistent run-stopping force in the center of Chicago’s defensive line. 

To be fair, Goldman wasn’t as dominant as he was in 2018, when his 89.1 PFF grade was one of the best at his position in the NFL. But in terms of his role with the Bears, he’s irreplaceable. 

Goldman is entering the third year of a four-year, $42 million contract and will quickly become a source of contract negotiations once again. If he has another strong season in 2020, GM Ryan Pace will have little choice but to lock him up on another extension. Sure, that seems like it’s way down the road, but big-time defensive linemen get paid big-time contracts; Pace has to be prepared. There are currently six defensive tackles making at least $14 million per season.

Quality nose tackles are hard to find. They don’t fill up the stat sheet and rarely do they ever become league-wide superstars; but the Bears’ defense simply wouldn’t possess the upside it does without Goldman anchoring the defensive line, and that remained true in 2019.