Chicago Bears Offseason Guide: Three Moves For Ryan Poles To Make

Chicago Bears Off-Season
Image via Anthony Vazquez//Sun-Times

The Chicago Bears finally have new management. With the Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus era ready to begin, no one knows how they will approach this team. Let’s take a look at three offseason moves the Chicago Bears could make.

1.) Bring In A Veteran Wide Receiver

Darnell Mooney should be a perfect partner for Justin Fields. Mooney’s deep threat ability is impressive and Justin Fields throws the best deep ball Chicago has seen since Jay Cutler. However, this offense needs more than one good weapon.

Allen Robinson is coming off of a brutal 2021 season. Some are pointing out that Matt Nagy iced him out of the offense because of a contract dispute. Others are just saying Robinson is washed up and this is the start of his decline. Either way, Allen Robinson will most likely not be back in 2022. Chicago needs new weapons on offense.

Bringing in a guy like Brandin Cooks could be the perfect solution. Cooks has had over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his last seven seasons. At 28 years old, he still has plenty of juice left in his game as well.

He’s a guy who Chicago would have to eat a lot of money for, but could provide a huge boost to this offense as well as help Justin Fields in his development. His 16 million dollar cap hit isn’t appealing, but Houston could look to trade him for nothing or even give up a draft pick to get him off of their books.

Chicago has 25 million dollars in salary cap space without making any cap saving moves heading into the 2022 off-season. If Ryan Poles wants to surround Justin Fields with talent in 2022, adding a proven veteran playmaker like Cooks would be a good under-the-radar move while gaining a late-round draft pick.

Another possibility is that Brandin Cooks becomes a cap-casualty in Houston and Chicago is able to sign him as a free agent at a much lower salary.

Projected Trade Compensation:

  • Chicago receives: Brandon Cooks, 2022 6th round (183rd overall) draft pick, 2022 6th round (206th overall) draft pick
  • Houston receives: 2022 6th round (185th overall) draft pick

2.) Trade Back From Pick #39

Ryan Poles inherited a less-than-ideal situation from former general manager Ryan Pace. With only five draft picks in 2022 and an aging roster. Chicago needs an injection of youth and talent.

The NFL draft is often times called a “crap shoot” because of how unpredictable it is. Players drafted in the top 50 picks sometimes ‘bust’, players drafted outside of the top 50 sometimes hit. It’s common sense, but taking as many “dart-throws” as possible could be a good way of adding talent without a first round draft pick.

To gain extra picks, Chicago is going to have to trade back from #39 overall. At the top of the second round is where we often see the most trades of the draft. With teams having a night to reassess and reconstruct draft boards, there’s a great chance teams will be calling for that pick.

If Chicago could trade back with a contender trying to win-now, they might be able to add a few extra draft picks in 2022 in the process.

A potential trade with the Los Angeles Chargers could make some sense. Brandon Staley and the Chargers are fighting to make the playoffs in a tough AFC conference.

Los Angeles has eleven draft picks in the upcoming draft. Trading away a few late round picks while jumping up ten spots in the draft could be beneficial for both sides. The Chicago Bears offseason would be a major success if they pulled off a trade of this caliber, while still drafting a difference maker.

*Note: Chicago traded up from 52nd overall to 39th overall last year and gave up their 3rd round pick (83rd overall) in the process as well, a trade of this size isn’t unrealistic.

Potential Trade:

  • Chicago receives: Los Angeles Chargers 2nd round draft pick (49th overall, 4th round (119th overall), 5th round (158th overall), 6th round (195th overall), 7th round (251st overall)
  • Los Angeles receives: Chicago Bears 2nd round draft pick (39th overall)

3.) Prioritize Offense In The Draft

This is slightly more open ended for a Chicago Bears offseason move. Ryan Poles inherited Justin Fields. We assume that he likes Justin Fields and believes in him, but he did not make the choice to trade up for him and name him the next franchise quarterback.

Poles will have to find out as soon as possible if Justin Fields is the answer in Chicago. Similar to why the Bears need to bring in a veteran wide receiver, they also need to bring in young talent at offensive line and also at receiver.

Offensive Line Questions

Last season’s starting left tackle, right guard and right tackle Jason Peters, James Daniels and Germain Ifedi, respectively are all set to become a free agents. Teven Jenkins is still an unknown At left tackle. Poles has to operate as if he is the starter, but that shouldn’t hinder him from adding more talent along the offensive line.

Sam Mustifer was also below average as a starting center for Chicago last year and Poles could look to upgrade there as well.

Questions At Receiver

As mentioned above, Allen Robinson is most likely gone this offseason. Without many proven options on the roster to begin with, Chicago needs to continue to add playmakers, even if they do bring in a veteran like Brandin Cooks.

Drafting a wide receiver on day two of the draft would give Chicago a nice mix of veteran and youth talent.

A player like Chris Olave in the second round would be a perfect fit for Chicago. Although many draft analysts think me may be gone by then, Olave and Justin Fields’ chemistry from Ohio State would help both of their developments immensely.

Another option could be small-school standout, Christian Watson. Watson displayed surprising agility and route-running acumen at the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month. At 6’4” he would also add a different body-style to the receiver room as well when paired with 5’11” Darnell Mooney.

Adding two or three new pass-catchers to this offense should be a priority for Ryan Poles as he tries to distinguish if Justin Fields is a star quarterback or not.

Chicago Bears Offseason Conclusion

“There’s a heigh ceiling. It’s just putting him [Justin Fields] in a position to succeed and seeing how high that ceiling really is.”

— Ryan Poles

The Chicago Bears offseason is going to be filled with moves. The defense is aging and the offense is under-developed. However, finding out if Justin Fields can be a great quarterback will be the priority. Building an offense to cater to his strengths will be offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s number one priority. Getting Luke Getsy all of the players he needs sounds like it will be Ryan Poles’ number one priority.


Be sure to follow us: @bears_atb and @ryanmcaloon on Twitter! Until next time, peace!

Derek Carr Extension? What the Raiders New Regime Will Offer

The Las Vegas Raiders have a new regime and it seems that a Derek Carr extension is on the horizon sooner rather than later.

Derek Carr Extension?

Las Vegas Raiders, QB, Derek Carr (Photo via Las Vegas Review Journal)
Derek Carr Extension? (Photo via Las Vegas Review Journal)

The Las Vegas Raiders are prepared for a Derek Carr Extension.

The Super Bowl is today, but the Las Vegas Raiders are in the news before the final game of the 2021 season. While the new head coach, Josh McDaniels, rounds out – the new regime is allegedly prepared to commit to a Derek Carr extension.

After many years of uncertainty, the eight-year veteran may finally be getting the commitment he has been looking for.

Jon Gruden was never fully committed to Derek Carr.

It didn’t matter who you were to former Las Vegas Raiders head coach Jon Gruden; if he wanted a player gone, he ensured it would happen. The same could be said of Gruden and acquiring players such as Antonio Brown, Richie Incognito, Jordy Nelson, and Marshawn Lynch. The fact of the matter is, Jon wasn’t committed to any specific player after seeing the trades of both former All-Pro’s Khalil Mack and Rodney Hudson. As a result, every sub .500 season combined with offensive hiccups led to Derek Carr being the subject of Gruden’s next impulsive trade. His reign of mediocrity and underwhelming roster-building is over, and Josh McDaniels is already showing he understands the importance of going all-in on a signal-caller.

Josh McDaniels thrives on QB continuity, not chaos.

Josh McDaniels coached the future Hall of Famer Tom Brady for 17 years as both an offensive assistant and coordinator. In addition, he played a vital role in the success of Pro Bowl rookie Mac Jones this season.

Safe to say, Josh knows how important it is to scheme to the strengths of a signal-caller. As a result, there will be no time wasted implementing a playbook that maximizes Carr and other offensive players’ strengths. The only question is, how much will a Derek Carr extension go for?

A Derek Carr extension may not be earth shattering.

Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen command an annual average value of over $40 million; it is safe to say that Derek Carr is not in that stratosphere. He will not be the highest-paid player at the position for a quarterback that led the NFL in turnovers in 2021. Carr will be more apt to fit in the range of $25-30 million AAV for four years with Carson Wentz, Kirk Cousins, Matt Ryan, and Ryan Tannehill. But, again, this is a player that the new regime has yet to witness firsthand. They will more than likely err on the side of caution just in case. It remains to be seen if he can lead the Silver and Black to a Super Bowl victory. One could argue that Derek doesn’t deserve an extension, but the precedent is essential for the organization.

Caleb Williams’ Arrival to SoCal Cements New Era at USC

The USC Trojans have their QB of the future now with Caleb Williams arrival to SoCal. See what this means for Lincoln Riley and Trojan fans!

Former Oklahoma QB Caleb Williams Down to LSU and USC

A new era for USC fans begins with the Caleb Williams’ arrival

If you thought that Lincoln Riley going from Oklahoma to USC was big, something more significant happened today. The Trojan Athletics department announced that Caleb Williams’ arrival to Southern California is complete.

While many in Los Angeles, California, were excited about acquiring the former head coach in Norman, OK, they should have been even more excited about his pairing with his elite signal-caller.

Last year, Williams almost was a Heisman candidate at season’s end despite only playing 11 games after being Spencer Rattler’s backup.

Caleb Williams’ arrival probably wouldn’t have happened without Riley

Say what you will about the college transfer portal, but Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams have taken full advantage of it within the past few months. More than likely, both realized chances at winning a national championship were slim to none in a watered-down Big-12 conference. Especially with the pending departures of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC. With that being said, there was no better time to revive the once feared Trojan program than now.

The time for USC to return to glory is now

After being questionably sanctioned for recruiting violations years ago, USC was looked at negatively for many years from those outside California. In reality, those schools have done similar, if not worse, actions in recruiting talents. Many talented athletes have come out of the state in recent years. Talents such as Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young left the state he grew up in to play elsewhere.

That should be no longer the case, as the Trojans now have both a top coach and quarterback for years to come. There is little resistance to the best school in California returning to glory. Especially with talks of an expanded college football playoff soon.

Josh McDaniels and David Ziegler are perfect for the Las Vegas Raiders

The Las Vegas Raiders have hired two New England Patriots in David Ziegler and Josh McDaniels to re-establish the once great organization. See why they are the two for the job.

Las Vegas Raiders GM & Head Coach Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels (Photo by Raiders.com)
Las Vegas Raiders GM & Head Coach Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels (Photo by Raiders.com)

Josh McDaniels and David Ziegler have entered Las Vegas with authority

Earlier today, the Las Vegas Raiders put themselves back on the map by making the hirings of both Josh McDaniels and David Ziegler official. An introductory press conference had the duo flanking Raiders owner on Mark Davis on each shoulder, while Davis could not help but grin from ear to ear with the fruits of an exhausting coaching search.

In contrast, some in Raider Nation are hesitant about hiring two former New England Patriots for, arguably, two of football’s most important positions in any organization. The fact is this, both have worked tirelessly to get where they are at today.

McDaniels and Ziegler come from humble roots

While many view these two as former New England Patriots, each is much more than that. Both are husbands and fathers and have children while also being from the esteemed John Carroll University, where many top NFL coaches and executives hail from; here are just a few of them:

  • Nick Caserio – Houston Texans GM, former New England Patriots Director of Player Personnel
  • David Caldwell – Philadelphia Eagles Personnel Executive/former Atlanta Falcons and Jacksonville Jaguars GM
  • Greg Roman – Baltimore Ravens Offensive Coordinator/former San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator
  • Don Shula – Hall of Fame NFL head coach
  • Brandon Staley – Los Angeles Chargers head coach
  • Tom Telesco – former Los Angeles Chargers GM and Indianapolis Colts Director of Pro Scouting

As you can see above, there is something in the water at northeast Ohio University. However, a culture of relationships and winning ways brought the two former collegiate teammates in 1997 together in Sin City. With both being from tiny towns in Ohio, the two have prided themselves on working hard.

With that being said, the duo means business.

Josh McDaniels and David Ziegler are setting a new standard for the Raiders

While Rich Bisaccia was beloved by many players and fans, Mark Davis has gone in a different direction. That direction is each member of the organization earning their keep while learning their new leaderships expectations.

This brain trust of McDaniels and Ziegler will not hesitate to acquire players that fit their criteria. While some have questioned the hire of Josh, it is evident that he has raised his standards since his last head coaching stint.

After years of mediocrity and late-season collapses, a coach that holds himself accountable is exactly what the Silver and Black need. Expect things to change dramatically within the organization for the better.

The Dallas Cowboys X-Factors vs The San Francisco 49ers

Dallas Cowboys San Francisco 49ers
Credits: Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys are slated to take on the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday at 4:30 ET at home. This will be the Cowboys first home playoff game since the 2018 season. And The 49ers pose an interesting match-up this Sunday. They have a very unique offensive style. It highlights their almost position-less weapons combined with a head bending and rule-breaking scheme designed by head coach Kyle Shanahan.

In this article, I will highlight three players who could be key components in a Cowboys victory. Whether they take over the game, come up with a big play in a meaningful spot, or just do their job!

X-Factor 1.  Tony Pollard, RB:

Stats: 130 carries, 719 yards, 5.5 YPC, 2 TDs

Tony Pollard, is the 1b to Ezekiel Elliott’s 1a. Pollard is the lightning, game-breaking speed, and big-play ability to Zeke’s headstrong, physical, beat you down running style. Pollard’s five and a half yards per rush this year ranks second in the NFL. Combined with a pretty stout 3.61 yards after contact per attempt, and 17 explosive runs, that makes him one of the most underrated big-play threats in the NFL.

If the Cowboys start to struggle early don’t be surprised if they turn to Pollard to ignite the offense. Hopefully he will be given opportunities to break the game wide open. If given a fair share of touches he could do tons of damage and provide the offense with a spark

X-Factor 2.  Blake Jarwin, TE:

Stats: 16 targets, 11 receptions, 96 yards, 8.7 YPR, 2 TDs

Blake Jarwin has had a pretty disappointing past two seasons of football. After signing a 4-year, $22 million contract before the start of the 2020 season. Starting off the 2020 football campaign Jarwin went down in week one with a non-contact ACL tear, absolutely brutal. With sights set high on 2021 pairing him with Dalton Schultz who gained valuable playing time in Jarwin’s absence.

He looked to set his sights on having a fantastic year, only to have a grueling hip injury and contracting COVID-19 sideline him for 10 weeks. Jarwin made a Week 18 return and is ready to add his skillset to the multitude of playmakers the Cowboys already have.

Blake Jarwin being 6’5 with deceptive seam stretching speed is his best ability. That exact ability is what Dallas was looking for in games this year when teams committed to stopping Amari Cooper and CeeDee Lamb on the outside. Look for Jarwin to get a favorable matchup against a linebacker or strong safety and attack the seam. I’m not expecting a break-out performance from him. But, a few timely catches and possibly a red-zone touchdown could be huge for the Dallas offense.

X-Factor 3.  Jayron Kearse, Safety:

Stats: 75 solo tackles, 16 assists, 30 stops, 2 INTs, 9 PBUs, 2 TDs

Jayron Kearse is a journeyman who has played on three teams in his six years in the NFL coming out of Clemson. He unexpectedly not only became a physical presence as a box safety, but became the green-dot for the Cowboys defense.

Kearse this week in media interviews was tired of hearing about who he will be matched up against in this game. In response after calling George Kittle one of the best TEs in the NFL, per Jon Machota, Kearse said, “He has to go against me, too. I kind of get ticked off when I’m being asked Kittle this and Kittle that. He has to play me, too. We’ll see how that shakes out.”

I’m not going to lie that’s bold for a mostly unknown 6-year vet to go at a top player in the NFL. But I am never going to be against a player having confidence in himself.

Dan Quinn, the Cowboys defensive coordinator, has used Kearse in the box a ton this year, using Kearse as a run defender and a tight end eraser. Facing this offense, it will be paramount for him to do his job. He will need to be a physical force setting the edge, attempting to tightly cover Kittle, and being a sure tackler.

The 49ers as a team lead the league by a mile in yards after contact. They thrive off of short passes that allow their playmakers to get in space and force you to bring their guys down in the open field. This task is no walk in the park with players like Kittle and Deebo Samuel coming at you. I believe this will be how Kearse makes a huge impact on Sundays game.

Conclusion:

These X-Factors for the Dallas Cowboys vs The San Francisco 49ers game are not the household, big-name stars that most know. If the Cowboys do walk out of AT&T Stadium with a victory, these players will be of the utmost importance to their success.

Prediction: Cowboys 31, 49ers 27.

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