The Bears signed restricted free agent Josh Hill to a three-year offer sheet on Tuesday. The New Orleans Saints have five days to match the offer, according to multiple sources.
Hill, 25, visited Halas Hall last Friday. In three seasons with the Saints he compiled 36 receptions for 340 yards and eight touchdown receptions.
The Bears have been busy this offseason addressing the tight end position. The team re-signed Zach Miller to a two-year deal, and traded Martellus Bennett and a sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots for a fourth-round pick. They also have Rob Housler and Khari Lee on the roster.
General manager Ryan Pace hinted at Tuesday's NFL owners meetings at the possibility of adding another tight end, telling reporters "we’re still entertaining some other options that are out there. So that’s sort of an ongoing, fluid process as we speak."
Pace mentioned this year's crop of tight ends in the NFL Draft as just "OK."
"The tight end, the way offenses are now in college, the tight end is becoming harder to evaluate," he said. "A lot of the time those guys are spread out so you don’t get to see them in-line and blocking as much. So I’d say it’s OK."
All of the good graces Bill Belichick may have won on Tuesday afternoon -- when he compared the Bears' offense to Kansas City's -- are officially gone.
Today, when talking to reporters, a Khalil Mack-Lawrence Taylor comparison came up. Belichick, who coached LT as the New York Giants’ defensive coordinator in the 1980s, was NOT having it:
"Wait a minute, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor now. I’m not putting anybody in (LT’s) class. Put everybody down below that. With a lot of respect to a lot of good players, we’re talking about Lawrence Taylor."
A bit harsh, Bill.
For what it's worth, here's Khalil Mack's 2018 projection, assuming his latest ankle injury doesn't make him miss time:
20 sacks, four interceptions, 16 forced fumbles, 4 fumble recoveries
That's .5 sacks less and four INTS, 16 FFs and 4 recoveries more than LT had in his 1986 MVP season. And yeah, maybe "they didn't record tackles/fumbles in 1986" and "16 forced fumbles would not only blow the current record (10) out of the water but is just plain unrealistic" but whatever, we're just sayin'.
UPDATE: shocker, LT agrees:
The Bears have seemingly dodged a bullet, for now.
Following Tuesday's announcement that Khalil Mack would undergo further tests on the right ankle injury he sustained during Sunday's loss, Bears head coach had more optimistic news on Wednesday:
It could obviously get a lot worse than a day-to-day diagnosis, though not practicing on Wednesday might raise some eyebrows.
It sounds like Mack is expected to be a go for Sunday's matchup with the Patriots, though as the Bears saw with the Dolphins' QB situation last week, things can change in a heartbeat.