On the receiving end: Bears add WR depth with Markus Wheaton as Alshon Jeffery exits with 'pay cut'

On the receiving end: Bears add WR depth with Markus Wheaton as Alshon Jeffery exits with 'pay cut'

Among the Bears’ early moves in Free Agency 2017 was the signing of former Pittsburgh Steeler wide receiver Marcus Wheaton, a speed wideout of considerable promise with 53 catches in 2014 and 44 in 2015 before going on injured reserve with a shoulder injury after three games. The Bears have been search of increased speed and Wheaton, timed at 4.45 in 40-yard dashes, brings that to what is expected to be an extensively reconfigured depth chart in 2017.

Alshon Jeffery probably didn’t plan on a pay cut this year, but that’s kind of what he got for himself. Color him an NFL-wide casualty of a John Fox axiom posted on a Halas Hall corridor: “Ability is important. Dependability is critical.” Jeffery missed seven-plus games in 2015 with injuries, four games to a PED suspension last year and now a big payday this offseason, his second without the long-term deal he sought.

The Philadelphia Eagles signed Jeffery on Thursday to a one-year contract worth $14 million, down from the $14.599 million Jeffery was paid under the Bears’ franchise tag. If he can put together a year harkening back to his 2013-14 levels, he’ll make it up next deal. But for now, the Bears look like they knew what the market was, and wasn’t, for a bit of a puzzling player.

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At this point the starting wide receivers for the 2017 Chicago Bears look to be Cameron Meredith (14 games, 66 catches, 888 yards, 4 TD’s) and Kevin White, who’s been in this position now in each of the two previous offseasons before leg injuries did him in. White has been rehabbing his broken leg and showing enough to inspire at least optimism if not full-blown confidence.

“He’s coming along fast,” said GM Ryan Pace last week at the NFL Scouting Combine. “I still have a lot of confidence in him. He has a lot of confidence in himself. We’re getting daily reports on his progress. I just want to see steady, consistent progress from him. Right now he’s getting his body all in alignment, and he’s feeling good. When I see footage of kind of where he’s at now, I get excited. I just want to see steady improvement.”

“The last two years we haven’t seen a lot. I have a confidence in our doctors and his rehab and his work ethic to get to the point we need to get to.”

Report: Former Bears tight end Greg Olsen to call games at Fox after retirement

Report: Former Bears tight end Greg Olsen to call games at Fox after retirement

Former Bears tight end Greg Olsen will reportedly join Fox Sports’s broadcast booth, whenever he calls it quits on his playing career.

The New York Post reports that Olsen and Fox agreed to a contract that would make him Kevin Burkhardt’s partner as the No. 2 analyst for the network, behind Troy Aikman.

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Olsen signed a one-year deal with the Seahawks this year. If he chooses to play beyond 2020, the New York Post says that Fox will wait for him.

Olsen got rave reviews when he called the Cardinals-Giants game last season. He was also popular calling XFL games with Burkhardt.

The only question now, is how much does Olsen have left in the tank before he heads to the booth?

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Brian Urlacher joins A-Rod, J-Lo and others in bid for New York Mets

Brian Urlacher joins A-Rod, J-Lo and others in bid for New York Mets

You may know Brian Urlacher for a number of different things. Bears legend, billboard icon, that guy whose jersey the obnoxiously loud dude you met at a party was wearing, etc. He contains multitudes. 

But sometime in the near future, apparently, you may know Brian Urlacher as part-owner of the New York Mets: 

Urlacher has joined a group with Travis Kelce, DeMarco Murray, Joe Thomas, Bradley Beal, and Mason Plumlee, all of whom "are part of a group of investors who have joined power couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez in a bid to buy the New York Mets." Urlacher's even quoted!

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"Being a former athlete and having a chance to be a part of a group trying to purchase a professional team, it's pretty cool," Urlacher told ESPN on Monday. "It's especially cool to be involved with Alex. Alex is the man. You've got Kelce, Joe Thomas, DeMarco Murray. It's great to be in a group with them."

The group has already put in a $1.7 billion bid, presumably from all the revenue that RESTORE has accumulated thanks to their mission of being in every single Chicago sightline possible. There are, in fact, too many punchlines to this story to pick one (ok fine I lied, there's only one way for Bears fans to grow more miserable and that's to adopt the Mets), but just know that I heartily approve of each and every one you decide on.