The offseason activities have all ended and now we enter into the NFL dark period: The time between the end of offseason workouts and training camp.
The void of these four weeks, mostly bereft of good NFL news, if any at all, is the only quiet period for the most popular sport in America.
The player acquisitions are over. The draft is a distant memory. Free agency long gone.
The next time we’re talking about football being played though, it will be so close to actually mattering. It will be on grass, there will be fans watching and there will be actual pads and 11-on-11 scrimmages.
In the meantime fans are left to think and ponder about their teams and how things will start to shape up for the approaching season.
Without much real on-field stuff to talk about then, let’s address some of the things that are still worrisome as the Bears head in to 2016.
The Bears were 6-10 last season and finished last in their division. A big jump forward is certainly possible but there are a lot of questions still surrounding the team.
What is the biggest concern for Chicago as the team heads into the break before camp?
Is it Alshon Jeffery’s contract status?
So much energy and so many articles this offseason have revolved around the Bears’ most-proven playmaking receiver. Does he want to be in Chicago? Does John Fox and Ryan Pace see Jeffery as pat of the future? What kind of money will Jeffery sign for?
All are valid questions and all still need to be answered. Jeffery stayed away from the offseason program until this week when he showed up, practice twice and will now be away until training camp. The July 15 deadline for him to sign a contract extension will keep his storyline in the forefront but there’s a lot of moving parts here. I still think a deal gets done.
If you’re sick of the Jeffery contract talk then perhaps Pernell McPhee’s knee injury is your concern.
McPhee has missed all of the on-field portions of the offseason programs while recovering from his knee surgery earlier this year.
McPhee has now had three knee scopes before the age of 28. If that is not concerning for the long-term prospects of the Bears’ best pass-rusher then I don’t know what is.
The Bears will need McPhee to be at his best, his first-half of last season best, if the team wants to get to where they want to be.
While Willie Young and Lamarr Houston finished with better sack numbers, few would say that either player is better than McPhee when he is at 100 percent.
Questions also still linger in the backfield where the running back committee is murky as a Lake Michigan fog.
Will Jeremy Langford take a healthy leap in his sophomore season and take the lead RB role or will Jordan Howard or Ka’Deem Carey put up a fight? Can any of them be a lead back? Are there enough carries to go around?
On the offensive line, who will be the left guard? How much depth is there since Manny Ramirez retired and Matt Slauson was released?
There are many questions to be answered in July in Bourbonnais. Until then, which one has you wondering the most?