Atlanta Falcons

The Bears want you to know that Robert Quinn definitely didn't flip a coin to decide free agency

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USA Today

The Bears want you to know that Robert Quinn definitely didn't flip a coin to decide free agency

There are any number of ways NFL free agents prioritize their final choice, and there's probably a good argument behind each one. Championship contention, great weather, best paycheck; these are all things that make total sense. And then other times, you just lean into the anarchy and let chaos take the wheel: 

Just tremendous content. Here's the full quote, because you deserve the full quote: 

"It was a tough decision, and I had to finally make it, and Chicago was on the right side of the coin," Quinn said. "Once I made that decision, I kind of put my head down again and just went back to work. Whenever this craziness clears up I'll be ready to get back to work up there in Chicago."

So like, was there actually a coin flipped?

"That's kind of how it came down to the final decision. It was pretty tough. Basically, that's what it boiled down to – it was a coin flip. How about this: the Bears were on the right side of it ... it was here and Atlanta, and it was very tough. My agent was just relaying some messages and I really couldn’t make up my mind, so I had to do it the honest way."

But wait! There's a twist. Read this, from the team's in-house writer Larry Mayer: 

So it was all just a figure of speech. A detailed, well thought-out, very specific figure of speech. That he confirmed twice. The Bears want you to know that Robert Quinn definitely did not let a coin flip decide where he ended up in free agency. Robert Quinn was only speaking metaphorically when he said that a coin flip decided his new team. The whole thing was just a funny bit – especially the part about flipping a coin for free agency, which Robert Quinn definitely did not do. 

The Bears won't be the only team in the NFC North going after TE Austin Hooper

The Bears won't be the only team in the NFC North going after TE Austin Hooper

It's like the Kyle Fuller thing all over again! 

The Bears haven't been subtle about their desire to improve at tight end this offseason, and they've already been connected to Austin Hooper, one of the best free agents available. 

Though what would free agency be without a little bit of drama? A new report today suggests that the Bears aren't even the only NFC North team trying to sign the two-time Pro Bowler: 

Since Hooper is, you know, very good, it's not surprising to hear that the Bears aren't alone in their pursuits. But the idea of losing out on a top-tier tight end, only to watch him torch the Bears twice a year, is spooky for fans who just want something to be optimistic about. How juicy! The impending bidding war will be riveting. 

The Bears' defense was so close, yet so far, from playing a complete game

The Bears' defense was so close, yet so far, from playing a complete game

The Bears’ defense did a lot of good on Sunday. Akiem Hicks had two sacks, Julio Jones was held to four catches and Devonta Freeman barely averaged three yards per carry. 

But there was one glaring negative that washed out a lot of those positives: Austin Hooper’s 88-yard touchdown, which came on a third-and-3 with the Falcons backed up near their own goal line early in the fourth quarter. 

That touchdown put Atlanta ahead, 20-10, and while it didn’t keep the Bears from having a chance to win, it was one of those plays that defenders collectively said cannot happen. The Bears’ defense wasn’t aligned prior to the snap, which happened a few times on Sunday when Matt Ryan quickly set his offense and got the ball snapped. 

“I think we had miscommunication on the call,” coach John Fox said. “The particular call we played was not the call that we called. But I’m not going to throw people under the bus, obviously. We didn’t execute very well."

“We didn’t really think we were in disarray. We didn’t realize we were in disarray until he [Hooper] caught the ball.”

The Bears weren't pointing fingers after the game as to who was supposed to cover Hooper, with players saying they needed to watch the film to diagnose what exactly went wrong. Demps, a team captain, took responsibility for the play. 

“I played bad football,” Demps, who was stiff-armed to the ground on the play by Hooper, said. “I gotta be in the middle of the field.”

While that blown coverage cost the Bears seven points, there were two other key third down plays that led to Atlanta connecting on a pair of field goals. Hicks was whistled for a roughing the passer penalty late in the third quarter that extended a Falcons drive, leading to a Matt Bryant 28-yard chip shot. And late in the fourth quarter, the Bears again couldn’t cover Hooper, whose 40-yard reception on third-and-10 from the Falcons’ 25-yard line set up another Bryant field goal. 

Had the Bears made a stop on either of those third downs — especially the one of the fourth quarter — they could’ve had a chance to kick a game-tying field goal on that final drive instead of needing to get in the end zone. 

“I mean, one play can lose the game,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “But I feel like we played all right, we played good (for) three quarters. The thing is, we gotta play good for four quarters to win the game in this business.”