The Oakland Raiders won't be the Oakland Raiders for much longer.
NFL owners approved by a 31-1 vote Monday the Raiders' move to Las Vegas, meaning Sin City will soon have its own NFL team.
With the Raiders playing in the AFC, the move doesn't affect the Bears much. But there eventually will be a road trip to Nevada.
When's the first time the Bears could play in Vegas?
Now, that's contingent on a couple things.
First, the NFL needs to keep its current scheduling model, which pits certain divisions against one another every few seasons.
Second, will the Raiders even be playing in Vegas by 2019?
A new stadium needs to be built, and NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said Monday that the Raiders will stay in Oakland for the 2017 and 2018 seasons, potentially getting to Vegas for the 2019 season — when the Bears could play there in the team's inaugural campaign in the desert. But a new stadium might not be done by then, keeping the Raiders in Vegas another season. Or, maybe the Raiders could play where UNLV plays.
Whether it's two years down the road or more, there will one day be a Bears road trip to Vegas, one it's fairly certain Chicago fans will be interested in joining.
According to reports, the Bears have signed defensive back Marqui Christian:
Christian's a four-year veteran who's spent his entire career with the LA Rams. Terms of the deal haven't been disclosed yet.
Christian's played 55 games in his NFL career, with his lone start coming last season. More of a special teams guy, Christian played almost 80% of the Rams' snaps there last season. He'll more than likely factor into the Bears' safety battle, where Deon Bush and Tashaun Gipson were slated to take equal snaps with the starters. If he makes the team, he'll be suspended for the first two games of the season.
Bears wide receiver Ted Ginn has always been known for one thing: Speed.
Even at 35 years old, Ginn is considered one of the NFL's most dangerous vertical threats. He's been that guy since the Dolphins selected him in the first round of the 2007 NFL Draft, and while he hasn't been the most productive receiver from a catches and yards standpoint, he's entering his 14th season in the league for a reason. Speed matters on offense, even if it's just to serve as a decoy.
"You know he's still a 4.3 and he's still got it and so that's that fear factor that he still has and we're glad to have it," Bears wide receivers coach Mike Furrey said last week. "And when he lines up DBs are going to be scared to death that he's going to take the top off on them but I think you can add his route running into that, that he's a very veteran route-runner."
The Bears could use Ginn's speed after cutting ties with Taylor Gabriel earlier this offseason. Aside from Allen Robinson, Chicago's wide receiver room is full of what-ifs and maybes. Anthony Miller might evolve into an exceptional playmaker this season, or he could continue his pattern of inconsistent and frustrating play. Riley Ridley and Javon Wims are bigger and more physical catch-point guys. Darnell Mooney is a speedy rookie who has to beat the odds stacked against a sub-180-pound wideout.
So that leaves Ginn, who at the very least will force cornerbacks and safeties to pay attention to him on third-level routes. As a result, he'll open the second level for players like Robinson and tight ends Jimmy Graham and Cole Kmet to make plays in the intermediate passing game.
Don't expect Ginn to light up the box score in 2020, but he could help Chicago light up the scoreboard on offense.
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