The Bears are clearly a team in transition at this point, switching full regimes for the second time in three or four years, including scheme changes and personnel changes. It makes quite a bit of sense, then, that if the Bears aren't quite sure of their future, they probably won't appear on this list.
For you link-shy folks, it's a list Fox Sports put together of ten players set to lead the NFL into the next decade. The list is a fair amount of what you'd immediately consider: three quarterbacks, three wide receivers, Rob Gronkowski, JJ Watt, a linebacker and a safety. However, most of them have two things on their side - some variety of input in the passing game (offensively or defensively), and youth. Aaron Rodgers is the only one on the list currently above the age of 26.
It makes sense no Bears found their way to the list, since defense over the last two years has been a forgotten part of the game, and offensively, last year wiped out any potential steps forward any offensive players might have taken towards this most prestigious of offseason lists.
So let's look at a couple players who could have been in the running:
Two names jump out in Kyle Long and Alshon Jeffery, the former of whom has been a Pro Bowler at guard the last two seasons, and the latter of whom takes the early reins as the team's number one receiver. It's very notable that no offensive lineman made that list, despite some very talented young linemen currently in the league. And over the last two years, Jeffery picked up 174 receptions for over 2500 yards.
It's really hard to pick anybody from this side of the ball, isn't it? Kahlil Mack made the list as a second-year player, but the Bears don't have a player who's been that good (and a second-year undrafted free agent like Christian Jones wouldn't make a list like this). Jones, unfortunately, may well have been the team's best shot. With so many free agents, untested rookies, or underwhelming-to-date young players, there are relatively few choices.
What do you think? Is there anybody on the Bears who should have been considered for the list of players set to lead the league into the future? Who on the team is going to lead the Bears into the future?