Bulls

Urlacher back, but not all the way

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Urlacher back, but not all the way

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. Brian Urlacher was back at practice on Saturday after missing 10 days because of knee sorenesspersonal reasons. But he is still wearing a hat instead of a helmet.
Unfortunately, he is not the only Bears linebacker in soft headgear.
Dom DeCicco, a top player on multiple special teams, is down with a groin injury and expected to miss a significant chunk of time. Jabara Williams also has been out with a hamstring injury.
"Brian Urlacher is back after hes taken care of some business," said coach Lovie Smith. "So it was good to get him back out on the practice field even though hes not practicing yet. He still has some soreness with the knee. Well continue to monitor it.
Exactly when hell be back, I cant tell you that.
The injury to DeCicco, second on the team last season with 17 special-teams tackles, sent the Bears into the free-agent pool and signing for VikingTexan Xavier Adibi and K.C. Asiodu, an undrafted free agent.
DeCicco pulled it pretty good for him, so hell be out a while, Smith said. So thats another reason we had to bring in a couple of guys. We had five linebackers out of uniform, and its hard to practice that way.
Dom has done some good things, but hes going to be on the shelf for a while.

Bulls Talk Podcast: 2018 NBA Draft primer (and some Kawhi talk)

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AP

Bulls Talk Podcast: 2018 NBA Draft primer (and some Kawhi talk)

On this edition of the Bulls Talk Podcast, Mark Strotman and Scott Phillips get you set for the 2018 NBA Draft. They put together their own mock draft, analyzing each of the first seven picks, analyze a handful of options the Bulls should look at at No. 22, and answer questions from Twitter. They also discuss the Kawhi Leonard trade rumors and whether the Bulls could put together a package that would entice San Antonio.

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Predicting the value of Roquan Smith's rookie contract with Bears

Chicago Bears first-round pick Roquan Smith remains unsigned, a situation that prior to the rookie wage scale would've been cause for concern. With contracts now based on slotting, or where a first-round pick is selected, there's little reason or room for agents to haggle over terms. A holdout isn't expected.

There have been some exceptions to this general principle, however. Joey Bosa, who was selected with the third pick by the Chargers in 2016, held out until August 29 over offset language and his signing bonus. So, while a holdout for Smith is unlikely, it's not impossible.

Assuming he agrees to a contract on time, here's what the terms of his deal should look like, according to CBS Sports:

2018 Cap Number: $3,349,485
Signing Bonus: $11,517,940
Four-year value: $18,477,168

If the numbers are correct, Smith will have the 17th-highest cap hit for the Bears in 2018, according to Spotrac. By comparison, Danny Trevathan has a $7.15 million cap hit this season.

Drafting well is critical for long-term success. If a general manager misses on first-round picks, the cap consequences mount over time. Consider Kevin White, the seventh-overall pick in 2015. He has zero touchdowns in his pro career but has a $5.27 million cap hit this year. Leonard Floyd, the team's first-rounder in 2016, has a $4.30 million cap hit and Mitch Trubisky, last year's second pick overall, is $6.59 million. Pace's four first-round picks, when counting Smith's expected deal, are four of the top-17 paid players on the payroll even though none of them have the production to back it up.

Smith, however, is as close to a bust-free prospect as the Bears have drafted in Pace's tenure. He was considered one of the best pure football players in the entire 2018 draft class and will start immediately alongside Trevathan as a rookie, assuming he's under contract in time to contribute in Week 1.