The Bears have to feel a little snake-bitten right about now. Last year it was Jay Cutler and Matt Forte, and now it's Brian Urlacher going on the shelf. It didn't take long before I was asked if this could hurt Urlacher's chances of re-signing with the team next year, and you have to admit it's now going to become a hot topic. Before the season began, I thought it would be a long shot to bring back the aging linebacker, but I started thinking today it may not be so far-fetched for him to get a short deal in the two-year range IF the Bears' brass believes he is still capable of playing at a high level. If they don't think he can do that and stay healthy, all bets are off. Perhaps the biggest thing working in Urlacher's favor is the progress made by so many young defensive players. Henry Melton, Stephen Paea, Major Wright, Chris Conte and Corey Wooton have all shown they are the future of this defense, which means the organization isn't forced to immediately invest in defensive players. The current crop of young guys are not high priced, and only Melton is in line to get big money. That means paying Urlacher shouldn't hurt the team from a cap standpoint. On the flip side they may have to invest on the offensive line, which will no doubt be the number one focus when the off-season arrives. Even if that is the case, a top level offensive line free agent will cost big dollars and it's unclear if Phil Emery would spend that on a veteran or invest in a young player in the draft. Regardless, I'm not sold that this is the end of Urlacher in a Bears Uniform, and if not he can thank the young kids on defense for him sticking around.
Eloy Jimenez looks set to make his White Sox return this week, Javier Báez exited Sunday's game with a minor injury and is it time for the Bulls to think outside the box in the NBA Draft? Here's what you may have missed from the weekend in Chicago sports:
All indications point towards Eloy Jimenez returning to the White Sox this week, as the rookie outfielder was not in Triple-A Charlotte's lineup on Sunday. Jimenez's return comes just in time, as the White Sox play two of the best teams in baseball this week.
On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber discuss James McCann's breakout season.
Javier Báez exited Sunday's game against the Nationals with a right heel contusion, though he could be back in the lineup on Monday.
Jon Lester's hot streak came to an end on Saturday, though the bigger story from the game is the Cubs questioning if Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle's delivery is legal.
Former Cubs starter Carlos Zambrano made his return to the mound over the weekend with the independent Chicago Dogs.
On the latest Cubs Talk Podcast, Luke Stuckmeyer and NBC Sports Chicago producers Eric Strobel and Nate Poppen breakdown Monday's matchup between Yu Darvish and Jake Arrieta.
NBC Sports Chicago's Mark Schanowski wonders if it's time for the Bulls to think outside the box in the NBA Draft.
In the latest Blackhawks mailbag, Charlie Roumeliotis discusses Blackhawks trade probabilities and playoff chances in 2019-20.
Chuck Garfien and Vinnie Duber talk about James McCann's breakout season with the White Sox (1:15).
Then Chuck speaks with McCann about all the preparation he does for every game (9:20), why he'll never use a cheat sheet scouting report behind the plate like many catchers do (11:30) and what McCann has been badgering Lucas Giolito about since spring training (14:30).
Plus, why Evan Marshall and Aaron Bummer have been so successful out of the bullpen (16:30), why McCann acts as a karaoke host on the team bus (17:40) and more.
Listen to the entire podcast here or in the embedded player below.
White Sox Talk Podcast