The Den will be taking a look at one of the Chicago Bears' 2017 unrestricted free agents (UFA's) and restricted free agents (RFA's) each day until we have knocked out the list.
I will be talking about the player, whether I personally would sign the player and to what contract, and what my best guess the Bears will do with him.
Today let’s discuss returner and backup wideout Deonte Thompson. Like many Bears, he had an up-and-down season. He showed off his blazing speed one minute, then made a costly mistake or drop the next.
Thompson will be a fifth year player, here’s a brief bio from the Chicago Bears website: Appeared in 21 games over four season with the Baltimore Ravens (2012-13), Buffalo Bills (2014) and Chicago Bears (2015), grabbing 17 receptions for 228 yards (13.4 avg)... Added 36 kickoff returns for 999 yards (27.8 avg)... Ranked 2nd in the NFL in kickoff return average in 2015, averaging 29.2 yards per return (minimum 10 returns).
Thompson is the only legitimate kick returner on the Bears roster, did he do enough to earn a spot on the 90-man roster?
My take: Absolutely, bring him back and let him compete for both the returner and bottom-end of the roster wideout. He’s cheap, he’s got speed and he’s shown improvement last season.
Do I think the Bears bring him back: Yes, for competition. I think he’s back on the 90-man, but that in no way guarantees him a spot on the 53-man week-one roster.
BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!
Biggs Bears Q&A: Jay Cutler vs. Brock Osweiler vs. Kirk Cousins vs. NFL draft - Chicago Tribune - The Tribune's Brad Biggs answers your Bears questions weekly.
Zeglinski: Coaching the Senior Bowl - The Rock River Times - While the NFL’s final four sets in on conference championship Sunday this weekend, the Bears have already long begun their preparations for next year.
Krinch: Bears set to hire Curtis Modkins as running backs coach - CSN Chicago - According to a report, the Bears are expected to hire former 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins as their running backs coach.
Mullin: Bears challenged to replace coaches involved in three all-rookie selections - CSN Chicago - The position coaches for all three Bears named to PFWA's 2016 All-Rookie team are gone from John Fox's coaching staff.
Mayer's Chalk Talk: When will White recover from injury? - ChicagoBears.com - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses when receiver Kevin White could be cleared to return from his latest injury, the need to address the Bears secondary and the Bears quarterback who is most likely to return next season.
Krinch: Pro Football Focus gives Bears linebacker Jerrell Freeman historical 2016 grade - CSN Chicago - One of the lone positives from the Bears' 3-13 season was Jerrell Freeman, who was graded as the NFL's No. 1 inside linebacker, according to PFF.
Bears’ Kyle Long Talks Surgery Plans, Calls New Offensive Line Coach Hiring ‘Huge’ - CBS Chicago - Long will have shoulder surgery on Feb. 2.
Finley's podcast: Ranking the Bears' offensive needs, and how to fill them - Chicago Sun-Times - Patrick Finley ranks the Bears' offensive needs, position-by-position, and looks at how they'll try to fill them:
Cox: Bears ILB Grades: Free agent additions worth every penny - Bears Wire - Neither one played a full season, but Jerrell Freeman and Danny Trevathan were welcomed addition to the Chicago Bears' linebackers corps.
Perez: Bears among favored teams to land Cowboys QB Tony Romo - Bears Wire - The Chicago Bears are one of the favored teams to trade for Tony Romo this offseason
Video: Howard on Pro Bowl season - ChciagoBears.com - Jeff Joniak sits down with Pro Bowl running back Jordan Howard to talk about his rookie season.
Video: Smashing Pumpkins' Corgan on Bears - ChicagoBears.com - Smashing Pumpkins lead singer Billy Corgan shares why Walter Payton is his favorite player and what it's like to be a life-long Bears fan.
DRAFT / PROSPECTS / FREE AGENCY
2017 NFL Mock Draft – SportsGamingRosters.com - The Chicago Bears pick Jonathan Allen, Sr. The John Fox regime is still around in Chicago, and this might be his last go around as head coach, so he will not want to gamble on a rookie quarterback. Instead, expect the Bears to resign Josh McCown and go that route for another year.
PFW Chicago Podcast: SI's Chris Burke helps preview Senior Bowl and talk QB draft prospects - Pro Football Weekly - We're back from a week off and getting you ready for next week's Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Chris Burke from Sports Illustrated (@ChrisBurke_SI) joins the show to break down the top QB prospects and if anyone is worthy of the #3 pick.
Nazario: Jonathan Allen is the player who can transform the Chicago Bears line - Da Windy City - Jonathan Allen is a big athletic player who can help make the Chicago Bears defensive line become one of the most dominant in the NFL.
Dickerson: Is Chicago Bears' No. 3 pick too steep for Patriots' Jimmy Garoppolo? - ESPN - The Patriots likely will entertain offers for Jimmy Garoppolo, but should the Bears part with the No. 3 pick for a QB who has made only two starts?
Jeremiah: Who will Browns select with top pick of 2017 NFL Draft? - NFL.com - Will the Browns strike for a quarterback at the top of the draft, or will they take the best non-QB available to kick things off? Daniel Jeremiah polls 5 NFL execs, and they're unanimous.
Brandt: Ideas for the QB-needy, Trubisky to Browns? Romo to Texans? Gorapplo to Chicago?- NFL.com - Could Tony Romo turn the Texans into Super Bowl contenders? Should the Browns roll the dice on Mitch Trubisky? Gil Brandt provides a path forward for eight QB-needy teams.
Brandon Marshall is expected to be released by the @nyjets, according to @RichCimini pic.twitter.com/NlOk95Ef7I— 120 Sports (@120Sports) January 18, 2017
Orr: Titans GM Jon Robinson not ruling out draft deal - NFL.com - The Titans dealt the No. 1 overall pick to the Rams last year. General manager Jon Robinson isn't ruling out dealing one of their two first-round picks this year.
Orr: NFC unsung heroes, giving credit where credit is due - NFL.com - Conor Orr identifies key contributors across the NFC who deserve more attention -- like Deion Jones, who has been a force for the Falcons since long before his flashy interception of Russell Wilson.
Alper: Bill Belichick on home field advantage helping: Go ask Dallas and Kansas City - ProFootballTalk - The Patriots finished with the top seed in the AFC playoffs, which assured they wouldn't have to play games anywhere other than Gillette Stadium in order to make it to Houston for the Super Bowl.
KNOW THY ENEMY
Hanzus: The iconic hole in the wall at Lambeau has been fixed - NFL.com - So long to the most popular drywall damage in Wisconsin. Multiple intrepid reporters have tweeted that the hole supposedly caused by Odell Beckham Jr. has been fixed. Five-star spackle job.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON
Wiltfong: Chicago Bears add former 49ers offensive coordinator Curtis Modkins to their coaching staff - Windy City Gridiron - The Chicago Bears have added another new positional coach to their coaching staff.
Silverstein: The greatest kick in Bears history - Windy City Gridiron - Robbie Gould’s game-winning field goal to reach the NFC title game brought the house down. A look back at that wonderful play.
Wiltfong: Chicago Bears 2017 Free Agency: What if Alshon Jeffery leaves? - Windy City Gridiron - In Lester’s latest T Formation Conversation podcast, he talks abut the veteran free agent wide outs that could be targeted if the Chicago Bears allow Alshon Jeffery to leave.
Sunderbruch: Emery’s Best Year, 2013 Final Grades - Windy City Gridiron - In the interest of completeness, it’s time to assign some grades to Emery’s second draft. If fans are honest, Emery did some good work in this draft. However, his best moves were some of his riskiest.
Wiltfong: Chicago Bears’ Senior Bowl North Roster - Windy City Gridiron - Here’s the full North Senior Bowl roster that will be coached up by the Chicago Bears’ coaching staff.
DaBearsFan22: What am I missing about Deshaun Watson? - Windy City Gridiron - So here's what I don't get when I read articles and listen to talent evaluators talk about Watson. 1. He's undersized. He's listed at 6'2 209lbs and Mitch Trubisky the top rated QB out of NC...
JayKen23: Why Does Everyone Love Jonathan Allen? - Windy City Gridiron - What am I missing here? This guy reminds me of the two guys that came out of Bama last year, Robinson and Reed, both of whom were 2nd round picks. I watched a fair amount of Bama's games this...
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