Bears

Vikings open to trading No. 3 pick

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Vikings open to trading No. 3 pick

The Bears are expected to pursue a wide receiver with the No. 19 pick of the draft in April. That well could be.

But until free agency has played out, making any draft prediction outside of the Indianapolis Colts and Andrew Luck is dicey at best. If the Bears acquire a Marques Colston or Vincent Jackson, they will look at other needs when their time comes.

But the Minnesota Vikings have not discouraged talk of trading their pick at No. 3 overall, expected by many observers to be USC tackle Matt Kalil. Frankly that pick should appeal to the Vikings, who landed Trojan tackle Ron Yary with the No. 1-overall pick of the 1968 draft. Yary at right tackle contributed to the Vikings reaching (albeit losing) four Super Bowls and wound up in the Hall of Fame.

But Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, once the Bears pro personnel director under Mark Hatley, announced that offers are now being entertained.

If someone wants to come up and get our pick, were going to be more than willing to listen, Spielman told NFL Network.

One of the elite-grade picks of this draft is expected to be Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who isnt likely to last past No. 5. If the Vikings are shopping, No. 3, a deal would seem worth exploring.

Dont count on it.

The Bears have done a trade with the Vikings involving a draft choice just once (1966) in Minnesotas history. Teams dislike dealing with division partners, who are less likely to give anything of value to a rival and want to avoid the chance of strengthening a rival.

Spielman knows the business. He also knows the Bears, Lions and Packers. Unless he is confident of a deal that will weaken one of them, his deal wont be with Chicago, Detroit or Green Bay, at least not directly.

Are expectations too high for Bears WR Allen Robinson?

Are expectations too high for Bears WR Allen Robinson?

Allen Robinson was signed in free agency to become the alpha dog of the Chicago Bears' wide receiver corps. The three-year, $42 million contract that general manager Ryan Pace signed him to is proof of how high expectations are for the fifth-year pro.

Robinson isn't coming to Chicago with a flawless resume, however. His massive breakout year in 2015 (1,400 yards, 14 touchdowns) was followed by a pedestrian 883 yards in 2016 and a torn ACL in Week 1 last year. That begs the question: Is the forecast for Robinson's impact in 2018 too high right now?

According to Bleacher Report's Doug Farrar, the answer is yes. Robinson was named as the Bear most likely to disappoint this season.

Robinson practiced for the first time since the injury during the Bears' May minicamp, but it's safe to say Chicago isn't sure what it has in Robinson. If he gets back to his 2015 numbers, that would be huge for the Bears' passing offense, but given his 2016 regression and the specter of the 2017 injury, that's a tough bet.

Robinson will have an impact that goes beyond the traditional box score, and it will happen this season. Is he a lock to reach 1,000 yards and double-digit touchdowns? No, but his presence on the field will be enough to see a return on investment. The Bears haven't had the kind of threat he poses to defenses in several seasons, and his ability to pull a defensive coordinator's attention away from the running game will do wonders for Chicago's offensive output.

Determining whether Robinson is a disappointment in 2018 will depend on who's evaluating his season. Sure, he may disappoint in fantasy football circles if he doesn't re-emerge as a game-changing stat monster. But if he makes the Bears offense a more well-rounded and productive group, he'll live up to the expectations set by Pace and coach Matt Nagy.

As long as Robinson is pleasing Pace and Nagy, nothing else really matters.

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Mitch Trubisky jersey sales trending in right direction

Positive press about the Chicago Bears' offseason is having a strong impact on the jersey sales for the team's highest-profile player, Mitch Trubisky.

According to Dick's Sporting Goods, Trubisky's No. 10 is the fifth-most popular jersey among offensive players over the last 30 days. He's No. 6 among all players, regardless of position.

The Bears' offseason has been full of superlatives since their aggressive approach to free agency. The signings of Allen Robinson, Trey Burton and Taylor Gabriel put the spotlight on Trubisky and the potentially surging passing game. The second-round selection of Anthony Miller and word of Kevin White's offseason emergence has turned positive momentum into higher-than-anticipated expectations for Trubisky this season.

For Chicago to have any chance at meeting those expectations, Trubisky, who's entering his first full season as a starter with a new head coach and offensive system, has to thrive. Fans must be confident that he will, considering the investment they're making in his jersey.

Trubisky ended his rookie season with four wins in 12 starts, throwing for 2,193 yards with seven touchdowns and seven interceptions. He completed 59.4 percent of his passes. He should have a much more productive season in 2018 with his new arsenal of skill players and an innovative coaching staff, led by coach Matt Nagy and offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich.