One of the recent Bears signings this offseason was the signing of tight end Bear Pascoe, with the Atlanta Falcons last season and before that a New York Giants teammate of Martellus Bennett (2012) before Bennett signed a four-year deal as a free agent with the Bears in 2013.
Now Bennett, who has stayed away from this week’s voluntary minicamp, is reportedly looking for a new contract after a 90-catch season in 2014 that got him to the Pro Bowl. That new contract might not be coming from the Bears, who are open to trade offers for the mercurial tight end, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.
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Citing league sources, Schefter tweeted, “Bennett wants a new contract in Chicago or anywhere.”
General manager Ryan Pace gave no indication of issues with either Bennett or running back Matt Forte, also absent from minicamp and hoping for a contract extension.
“I know these are individual choices by each player,” Pace said. “I understand this is all voluntary. With (Forte) and Martellus, of course we want them to be here, especially Year 1 where we’re building chemistry and culture. But those are individual choices, and these are voluntary right now.”
NFL.com recently ranked all of the league's head coaches, because the football season may end but creating content never will.
The top tier consists of all the usual suspects ... except for the guy that literally won the league's award for best coach last season.
Matt Nagy came in at 14 on this list, and not even the highest-ranked NFC North coach. The reasoning is a tad suspect; here's what they had to say:
Matt Nagy more than delivered in his first year as the Bears' head coach, taking Chicago to the postseason for the first time since the 2010 season. What's interesting about Nagy is that his side of the ball is offense, and prior to getting hired by the Bears, he was known for his work with quarterbacks in Kansas City. Yet, it was Vic Fangio's defense that did most of the heavy lifting to get Chicago to the playoffs. A head coach does much more than run one side of the ball, though. In fact, some of them don't do that at all. They run the office, in some respects. Nagy clearly set a tone in the building, so to speak, which should not be taken lightly. Nor should Nagy's work with Mitch Trubisky, who showed improvement from Year 1 to Year 2. Why is Reich ahead of Rivera but not Nagy? Well, Nagy has yet to achieve postseason success and had stronger personnel than Reich did in 2018.
Is this fair? Probably not! But is this important? Definitely not! Still - give your incumbent COY some more love, NFL. Club Dub! Yelling boom! The visors!
Pro Football Focus doesn’t seem to expect much regression for the Bears defense, at least when it comes to run defense.
PFF analyst Mike Renner ranked every team’s ability to stop the ground game, heading into 2019, and Chicago remains on top.
The team retained its entire front seven, top-to-bottom, with the exception of Sam Acho, who spent most of last season on injured reserve anyway.
One of the biggest keys, in Renner’s analysis, is Akiem Hicks, who was among Pro Football Focus’ top performers in the running game.
“The former Saint is proving himself one of the best free agent additions in recent memory,” Renner wrote. “His 13.3 run-stop percentage was the second-highest figure of any interior defender in the NFL last season.”
The Bears allowed the fewest rushing yards and rushing touchdowns of any defense last season, and the 3.8 yards per attempt they gave up was fourth best.
With the whole gang back together for 2019, the team is in a great spot to run it back under Chuck Pagano.