ESPN

ESPN thinks two Bears players have good odds of making the NFL Hall of Fame

ESPN thinks two Bears players have good odds of making the NFL Hall of Fame

When ESPN publishes sweeping pieces that compare all 32 NFL teams, it's usually – pardon my expression – bad news for the Bears. 

There were the QB rankings, and the offensive rankings, and the future outlook, and the offseason grades; whatever the topic is, things usually don't end well for Chicago. But not today Bears fans. Not today. 

Today, ESPN's Bill Barnwell published a piece titled 'Projecting future Hall of Famers for all 32 NFL teams.' It's a fun look at every team's best players, and for once, it doesn't have to be a hate-read for Bears fans. 

First up, obviously, is Khalil Mack. Barnwell lists Mack in the 'likely' range, giving the edge rusher a 70-99% chance of heading to Canton: 

He has made five consecutive Pro Bowls and has three first-team All-Pro nods to go with his Defensive Player of the Year trophy from 2016. He has been one of the five best players at the second-most lucrative position in football over the past five years, and the fact that he was traded for two first-round picks and then delivered a wildly successful season with all of that attention in 2018 helps him. He probably needs two more All-Pro seasons to finalize his case.

Fair enough. Next up is Eddie Jackson (!!), who Barnwell says is "in the running" (40% to 69%): 

A starter from Day 1, Jackson was a first-team All-Pro while leading the league in interceptions in 2018. Jackson and teammate Kyle Fuller both slipped last season, but each earned Pro Bowl nods, and that's going to matter more to voters 15 years from now than how either player actually performed in 2019. The reason Jackson is in this section and Fuller's in the next group is that Jackson has made two Pro Bowls in three seasons, while Fuller has two across six years.

The last two cases Barnwell examines are Fuller and Jimmy Graham, with the irony of the later being *chefs kiss.* He ultimately goes against putting Graham in, noting that, "[Graham's] peak is Hall of Fame-worthy -- he has two of the three best seasons in fantasy football history by a tight end -- but it really only lasted four seasons." 

So there you have it. Anytime you read another article about how abysmal the Bears' offense is, just remind yourself that it's happening during an era where the defense has 2-3 Hall Of Fame caliber players! That helps right?

ESPN thinks Bears' immediate future is more bleak than all but one NFL team

ESPN thinks Bears' immediate future is more bleak than all but one NFL team

Before you read any further, go ahead and take a moment to look inward and wonder why you clicked on this. Why are you doing this to yourself? You could have been spared.

As is becoming somewhat of a weekly tradition, ESPN unveiled another NFL Power Rankings on Monday morning. This week's spin was Future Projections for all 32 teams over the next three years, and reader, the Bears were ripped to shreds. Of all 32 NFL teams, only the Jaguars were ranked lower. Five subjects – roster, quarterback, coaching, drafting, and front office – weighed into the list, with teams being given an overall letter grade (100 being elite, 90 being an 'A', 80 a 'B' etc) based on the combination. The Bears got a 68. Here's what Field Yates wrote: 

Being ranked this low is not a reflection of where the team probably will finish in 2020 -- there's enough reason to think Chicago can hang around for a while in the NFC North with good quarterback play -- but a reflection of some recent major personnel decisions: GM Ryan Pace hand-picked Trubisky, has been heavy-handed at times in free agency (Jimmy Graham as a recent example) and mortgaged much draft capital for a win-now approach. 

And here's what Louis Riddick (cough cough who's supposedly close with Nagy cough cough) said: 

Many things are in place in Chicago: solid coaching staff, strong defense, improved skill position players, and an OL that has some good pieces to improve. But the QB competition will decide the fate of this franchise both short and long term. I happen to believe that it has to be Foles' time in the Windy City, or there could be major changes on the horizon.

Here's Jeremy Fowler's take: 

This one is pretty simple: The quarterbacks on the Bears' roster in 2020 aren't guaranteed to be the answer for future years. Let's see if Foles and Matt Nagy can reignite their Kansas City chemistry. But if Dak Prescott is available as a 2021 free agent, the Bears would be foolish not to explore that possibility.

And one last gut punch from Seth Walder: 

Foles' cap hit is more than six times what New England will pay Cam Newton this year. And that's not counting Foles' 2021 guaranteed roster bonus and the rest of his prorated bonus. That Chicago actually traded a fourth-round pick for Foles instead of waiting for Newton or Winston was a failure by the front office at the game's most important position

Of all five previously-mentioned metrics involved, the Bears ranked 20th, 31st, 22nd, 32nd, and 30th, respectively. Just don't think about this anymore. We'll cross this bridge when we get to it. 

ESPN names Bears' Mitch Trubisky as one of 2020 NFL offseason's 'losers'

ESPN names Bears' Mitch Trubisky as one of 2020 NFL offseason's 'losers'

It's been a tough few months for Mitch Trubisky. 

The Bears opened his job up for competition, declined the 5th year option on his contract, and traded for Nick Foles – guaranteeing him quite a bit of money in the process. It's hard to argue many people have had a worse offseason than Trubisky, and he unsurprisingly made an appearance in a piece addressing 2020 offseason 'winners' and 'losers' from ESPN's Bill Barnwell: 

They have spent years trying to surround Trubisky with talent to confirm their belief that he was a franchise quarterback in the making. Now he has to overcome their skepticism and the odds.

Barnwell points the less-than-illustrious history of quarterbacks who didn't get their 5th year options picked up as an ominous sign of Trubisky's future, but notes Kyle Fuller's similar situation as a source of potential inspiration and motivation. You can find the entire write up right here – though you've been warned: immediately under Trubisky's write-up is one about how Jordan Howard was a winner. Have a stress ball near by.