Bears

NFL Free Agency Tracker: Latest news from around the league

NFL Free Agency Tracker: Latest news from around the league

The tampering is about to become a reality as teams can officially put the pen to paper with free agents when the new league year begins at 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Equipped with just under $52 million — a number that will climb once the Jay Cutler release becomes official — the Bears will be extremely active in this year's free agency market.

Check out the latest free agency news below:

1:38 p.m.: The Bears have reached an agreement with free agent tight end Dion Sims, reports NFL Network's Mike Garafolo.

1:14 p.m.: Alshon Jeffery is leaning towards choosing the Eagles when free agency starts, according to ESPN's Josina Anderson.

12:32 p.m.: The Jay Cutler era is reportedly over in Chicago, and a reunion with Matt Forte in New York is possible.

10:27 a.m.: Mike Glennon's contract with the Bears will be a three-year, $45 million deal, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

10:20 a.m.: The Eagles and Colts are making a strong push to sign Alshon Jeffery, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

9:10 a.m.: The Bears have offered Alshon Jeffery $13 million per year, reports the Chicago Tribune.

8:10 a.m.: After losing out on the former Bills cornerback, the Bears have made a strong offer for A.J. Bouye, according to ESPN's Jeff Dickerson.

7:56 a.m.: Potential Bears target cornerback Stephon Gilmore is expected to sign with the New England Patriots, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

And according to ESPN's Josina Anderson, Gilmore was disappointed the Bears weren't "more serious" with their offer.

6:20 a.m.: Mike Glennon is reportedly expected to make big money when he signs with the Bears.


Wednesday's notes

4:43 p.m.: The Bears' talks with free agent cornerback Stephon Gilmore have hit a snag, according to Bleacher Report.

1:54 p.m.: Brian Hoyer has agreed to a two-year deal with the 49ers, according to Ian Rapoport.

12:54 p.m.: The Dallas Cowboys will release quarterback Tony Romo on Thursday, reports ESPN's Adam Schefter.

12:53 p.m.: Tyrod Taylor has restructured his contract with the Buffalo Bills.

12:32 p.m.: Brian Hoyer is expected to pick a team on Thursday. The 49ers and Jets both appear to the strongest suitors, according to ProFootballTalk.

11:43 a.m.: Cross one Bears' free agent target off the board. According to Rand Getlin, offensive tackle Ricky Wagner has agreed to a deal with the Detroit Lions.

10:53 a.m.: A deal between the Bears and free agent quarterback Mike Glennon is all but done, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport. The deal is expected to fall in the three-year, $45 million range.

10:44 a.m.: The Bears and Bills "are all over" free agent offensive tackle Ricky Wagner, according to The Ringer's Mike Lombardi.

10:29 a.m.: The 49ers and Jets are showing the most interest in former Bears quarterback Brian Hoyer, reports Ian Rapoport.

9:21 a.m.: Former Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall agrees to two-year deal with the Giants.

Tuesday's notes

4:59 p.m.: Bears making "big push" to sign top free agent corner Stephon Gilmore, according to SiriusXM NFL Radio's Alex Marvez.

1:09 p.m.: The New England Patriots' asking price for rumored Bears trade target Jimmy Garoppolo has been revealed.

12:47 p.m.: According to Adam Jahns of the Sun-Times, the Bears are interested in free agent wide receiver Andre Holmes.

12:38 p.m.: The Bears may not have any competition for free agent quarterback Mike Glennon, according to CSNChicago.com's John "Moon" Mullin.

11:47 a.m.: SiriusXM's Alex Marvez reports the Bears are showing interest in offensive tackle Ricky Wagner.

11:18 a.m.: D.J. Swearinger could be a free agent target of the Bears, reports the Chicago Tribune.

9:36 a.m.: Sources tell Alex Marvez the Bears are expected to pursue wide receiver/returner Cordarrelle Patterson.

6:44 a.m.: The Bears will make a strong push to sign free agent quarterback Mike Glennon, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Bears still see Dion Sims as a valuable piece to their offensive puzzle

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USA Today Sports Images

Bears still see Dion Sims as a valuable piece to their offensive puzzle

Dion Sims is still here, which is the outcome he expected but perhaps wasn’t a slam dunk — at least to those outside the walls at Halas Hall. 

The Bears could’ve cut ties with Sims prior to March 16 and saved $5.666 million against the cap, quite a figure for a guy coming off a disappointing 2017 season (15 catches, 180 yards, one touchdown). But the Bears are sticking with Sims, even after splashing eight figures to land Trey Burton in free agency earlier this year. 

“In my mind, I thought I was coming back,” Sims said. “I signed to be here three years and that’s what I expect. But I understand how things go and my job is come out here and work hard every day and play with a chip on my shoulder to prove myself and just be a team guy.”

The Bears signed Sims to that three-year, $18 million contract 14 months ago viewing him as a rock-solid blocking tight end with some receiving upside. The receiving upside never materialized, and his blocking was uneven at times as the Bears’ offense slogged through a bleak 11-loss season. 

“The situation we were in, we weren’t — we could’ve done a better job of being successful,” Sims said. “Things didn’t go how we thought it would. We just had to pretty much try to figure out how to come together and build momentum into coming into this year. I just think there were a lot of things we could have done, but because of the circumstances we were limited a little bit. 

“… It was a lot of things going on. Guys hurt, situations — it was tough for us. We couldn’t figure it out, along with losing, that was a big part of it too.”

Sims will be given a fresh start in 2018, even as Adam Shaheen will be expected to compete to cut into Sims’ playing time at the “Y” tight end position this year. The other side of that thought: Shaheen won’t necessarily slide into being the Bears’ primary in-line tight end this year. 

Sims averaged 23 receptions, 222 yards and two touchdowns from 2014-2016; that might be a good starting point for his 2018 numbers, even if it would represent an improvement from 2017. More important, perhaps, is what Sims does as a run blocker — and that was the first thing Nagy mentioned when talking about how Sims fits into his offense. 

“The nice thing with Dion is that he’s a guy that’s proven to be a solid blocker,” Nagy said. “He can be in there and be your Y-tight end, but yet he still has really good hands. He can make plays on intermediate routes. He’s not going to be anybody that’s a downfield threat — I think he knows that, we all know that — but he’s a valuable piece of this puzzle.”

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

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USA Today

Bears logo ranked in bottom five of NFL in recent fan poll

The Chicago Bears logo has withstood the test of time. In a sports era full of uniform changes, the Bears have maintained the classic orange 'C' for most of their nearly 100 years in Chicago.

Unfortunately, tradition doesn't equate to popularity.

Chicago's logo ranked 28th in the NFL, according to a recent poll of nearly 1,500 football fans. Only the Redskins (29), Bengals (30), Jets (31) and Browns (32) were worse.

I’m not sure how I feel about the underbite on the “C.” I can see how this would be a polarizing feature of this logo. I wish to an extent that it met up more evenly. I think they could have had the bottom meet up in a more even fashion and still maintained the sharpness, of the “C,” which I like. I don’t mind the point [ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE “C”], without the point it would be super boring. The point actually does add something from a design standpoint that makes it stand out.

Bears fans will take exception with the results. Wins have been hard to come by in recent seasons, but there's still something special about seeing the familiar navy and orange on Sundays in the fall. The 'C' is arguably the biggest part of that. Sure, it's not a complex design overflowing with colors, but it represents a long and storied history. 

It's interesting that each of the bottom five teams have struggled to string together winning seasons. On the flipside, teams like the Saints, Falcons, Rams, Vikings and Eagles rank in the top six. Maybe it's recency bias.

In the NFC North, the Lions rank No. 2 (which is a shocker) and the Packers are No. 20.