The offseason ended today as the Chicago Bears veterans reported for training camp and general manager Ryan Pace and first-year head coach Matt Nagy meet the media.
It has been a long journey from when the season ended on New Years Eve 2017 in Minnesota and today, July 19, 2018.
There was a coaching search, the draft, free agency and more.
It was a lot and with the new season coming, it seems like a good time to quickly look back, hit the highlights and remember all the twists and turns of the offseason. It will help fans that are plugged in, as well as those that could care less about the draft or minicamps.
If you’re returning for a new regular season after months away from WCG; welcome back, I hope you’re as excited for 2018 as I am. If you’re new to the community; welcome aboard, what took you so long?
Let’s look at how we’ve gotten here:
Jan. 9 - A quick coaching search ends with the hiring of Matt Nagy, the hot-shot Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator. The hire comes two days after the Chiefs lost to the Tennessee Titans and before Nagy has a chance to meet with other teams.
Jan. 11 - In a surprising move, Nagy’s first hire is former Oregon head coach Mark Helfrich. Helfrich brings uptempo and spread elements to Nagy’s Run-Pass Option West Coast scheme.
Jan. 12 - After a couple days of hand-wringing by fans, Nagy nets his another big “hire” by convincing defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to stay on board. Fangio signs a three-year deal.
Feb. 5 - Nagy brings former Vikings head coach and Chiefs consultant Brad Childress aboard as a consultant, adding another offensive mind to the Bears’ new quarterback brain trust.
Feb. 27 - The Bears formally announce their coaching staff, which includes the above mentioned but also Harry Hiestand as OL coach and Chris Tabor as ST coordinator, among others.
Cuts - Pernell McPhee, Quintin Demps, Josh Sitton, Willie Young and Jerrell Freeman
March 16 - The Green Bay Packers sign Kyle Fuller, on whom the Bears placed the transition franchise tag, to an offer sheet. The Bears announced within hours they would match the deal, but still waited the maximum amount of time to file the paperwork, perhaps in a subtle dig at the Packers.
April 11 - After getting a good amount of interest from a few teams, an offer from the New Orleans Saints and a low tender from the Bears, Cam Meredith departs the team for the Big Easy as Chicago declines to match their offer.
Other notable departures: Mitch Unrein, Markus Wheaton, Christian Jones, Kendall Wright
Other additions/re-signings: K Cody Parkey, CB Sherrick McManis, CB Marcus Cooper, QB Chase Daniel, TE Daniel Brown, CB Bryce Callahan, OLB Aaron Lynch, OLB Sam Acho, RB Benny Cunningham
The Bears had a seemingly good draft, especially one year after many pundits thought they may have gotten too cute by drafting a number of small school and unproven players.
First round: Roquan Smith, ILB - The way the board fell this was a slam dunk pick
Second round: James Daniels, C/G and WR Anthony Miller - Daniels was seen as one of, if not the, best interior lineman in the draft and Miller was ultra productive.
Fourth round: Joel Iyiegbuniwe, LB
Fifth round: Bilal Nichols, DT
Sixth round: Kylie Fitts, LB/DE
Seventh round: Javon Wims, WR
Smith remains unsigned, but the first three picks could (and perhaps should) be Day 1 starters and there’s a good chance that at least three or four are regular contributors this season.
On May 2 the Bears declined the fifth-year option on WR Kevin White, a not surprising decision.
On June 4, in a class move, the Bears re-signed Zach Miller and immediately moved him to the PUP list, ending his season but allowing him to get a guaranteed 2018 salary and access to Bears team doctors and rehab facilities.
The Bears hired a new training staff, hopefully steering away from the injury issues that plagued them during the John Fox era.
What did I miss? Was the offseason too long for you?