Bears

Kyle Fuller's future with Bears in question as he continues to sit

Kyle Fuller's future with Bears in question as he continues to sit

One thing that coach John Fox has held to as part of his mission statement coming in as Bears head coach has been getting not only players with talent, but also ones with a football mindset to be part of an all-in, team-first culture overhaul. Talent was not enough for Fox and the Bears to want Martellus Bennett, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall and others around going forward.

Whether Kyle Fuller fits into the Fox player template now is a question of some significance.

Even a glaring need at cornerback may not be enough for the Bears to want Fuller back next season as the former first-round draft pick (2014) continues, four months after knee surgery never described as serious, to stay off the field at a time when teammates have been in need of any quality help they can find.

The choice to stay out now appears to be Fuller’s.

“Any time a guy’s hurt, there’s three stages to getting back to the field,” said defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. “One is you’ve got to get medical clearance. Two, the player’s got to say he’s ready to go and feels confident and he’s champing at the bit to go play. And then the coaches get involved and see if he’s better than what the other choices are and if he really is back to being able to play.

“A has happened. B hasn’t, so C is a non-issue.”

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The Bears held the door open for Fuller, designating him as the one player allowed to be brought back from injured reserve onto the active roster. Fuller was designated as that player rather than wide receiver Kevin White and could have returned as long ago as the Nov. 27 game against the Tennessee Titans.

But the weekly Fuller watch has taken on a deeper question about his future, particularly if coaches are in question about his desire to play.

A decision regarding his return still has not reached the coaches.

“I don't try to get into the medical part, until they're medically cleared and until the player's ready to go and says he's ready,” Fangio said. “Then I try and put my two cents in. Until then I try not to think too much about it.”

NFL Network analysts David Carr, Reggie Wayne make the case for Bears to trade for Antonio Brown

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USA Today

NFL Network analysts David Carr, Reggie Wayne make the case for Bears to trade for Antonio Brown

Ryan Pace isn’t afraid to go out and make a splash to add elite talent to the Bears.

He shocked the football world when he traded for Khalil Mack in September, and a pair of former players on the NFL Network could see the general manager making another big trade.

David Carr and Reggie Wayne listed the four teams they thought were trade options for disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown.

The Bears were at the top of the list.

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“I think they’re a big, explosive player away on offense — they’ve got a great defense — from being a really good football team,” Carr said in the segment.

Brown met with the Steelers Tuesday and said the two sides agreed to work toward parting ways, officially laying the stage for the trade rumors.

The idea of trading for Brown might be nice for the Bears, but the logistics of the deal make it extremely unlikely.

His back-loaded contract will cost at least $18 million per year over the next three seasons, although the Steelers would have to offset some of the guaranteed money in the trade.

The Bears also don’t have many draft picks left for trade compensation, and they invested a lot in the wide receiver position just last offseason.

A trade for Brown would take a lot of maneuvering from Pace, but after September’s blockbuster, never say never.

Bears and Adrian Amos have ‘been talking back and forth’

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USA Today

Bears and Adrian Amos have ‘been talking back and forth’

The Bears have some difficult decisions to make with their 20 pending free agents and limited projected salary cap space.

Ryan Pace is already in discussion with safety Adrian Amos, who told the The Opening Drive on Sirius XM that he’d like to return to the team.

“I want to be back in Chicago. Chicago has been talking back and forth, they want me back,” Amos said. “But we’ll see how things shake out. Nothing is certain right now. It’s still a little early.”

He also mentioned a potential reunion with Vic Fangio on the Denver Broncos could be a fit for him, given his familiarity with the defense.

The free agent safety market was volatile last offseason, but the projected crop of available talent this offseason makes Amos’ value harder to pin down.

The former fifth-round pick said he’s “prepared for all scenarios” in free agency, and Pace is likely doing the same thing.