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The Bear’s Den, February 15, 2019

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Free agency and cap maneuvers dominate the discussion in the NFL this week

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Detroit Lions
Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) makes an interception for a touchdown against Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (not pictured) during the fourth quarter at Ford Field. 
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

BEAR DOWN, CHICAGO BEARS, BEAR DOWN!!!!

BEARRRSSSS

Mayer: Bears awarded “A-“ grade for 2018 rookie crop - ChicagoBears.com - The Bears’ 2018 rookie class, led by inside linebacker Roquan Smith, has earned an “A-minus” from NFL.com writer Jeremy Bergman, the top grade among NFC North teams.

Medina: Sherrick McManis Might’ve Earned Himself More Playing Time Next Season - Bleacher Nation - Sherrick McManis played well in spurts, but does the small sample size of success merit more playing time in 2019?

Well, Scratch Him Off the List: Kicker Josh Lambo Gets a 4-Year Extension from the Jaguars - Bleacher Nation - Josh Lambo, who has made 38 of 41 kicks since joining the Jaguars, isn’t going anywhere.

Hughes: Scheduling, Coaching, Movies & Other Stuff - Da Bears Blog - Two things have leaked regarding the 2019 Chicago Bears schedule: (1) Packers are rumored to open the season on Thursday night at Soldier Field. (2) Bears will be in Detroit on Thanksgiving Day…again. What do these two reports mean, if anything?

2018 NFL rookie report card: Bears #3 ranking each team’s class, 1 to 32 - NFL.com - Which NFL team enjoyed the best rookie class in 2018? The worst? Jeremy Bergman and Nick Shook teamed up to rank every single group, from 1 to 32.

Wiederer’s Bears offseason storylines: Chuck Pagano’s mission, Kareem Hunt’s baggage and the 2019 schedule’s early hints - Chicago Tribune - Dan Wiederer offers insight into Chuck Pagano’s mission with the Bears defense; the potential baggage running back Kareem Hunt brings to the Browns; and the early hints at the Bears’ 2019 schedule.

Moreano: Why Reducing Turnovers is Key for Bears Offense in 2019 - The Chicago Audible blog - There is no doubt the Bears’ offense improved under Matt Nagy, but one area did get worse and it must be corrected for the unit to continue to develop.

2019 NFL mock draft: 3-round projections with big trades, surprises - Draft Wire - Luke Easterling’s latest three-round mock for the 2019 NFL draft is loaded with blockbuster trades and big surprises that start at the top

Chalk Talk: How many draft picks do Bears have? - ChicagoBears.com - Senior writer Larry Mayer discusses how many picks the Bears have in the 2019 NFL Draft, where the Bears ranked in penalties in 2018 and coaches who took over a last-place team and led it to a division title.

Mayer: Cohen wins award as top HBCU player - ChicagoBears.com - Bears running back Tarik Cohen, a former North Carolina A&T star, has been named one of two 2018 Black College Football Pro Players of the Year.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Wiedman: What We Learned From the AAF Inaugural Games - Our Turf Football - The Alliance of American Football had a great reception from fans and critics. OTFB's Wanda Wiedman looks at what we learned after the first weekend of games.

Five 2019 offseason moves each NFC team should make - Bill Barnwell predicts trades, free agency, cuts - The Packers should let Clay Matthews walk. Minnesota should explore the trade market for Trae Waynes. Let's make offseason moves for the NFC North.

Bernstein: Vic Fangio Learns Who's Boss With Broncos - 670 The Score - Denver's trade for Joe Flacco goes against what Fangio had stated.

NFLPA President Eric Winston Prepared For Potential Lockout In 2021 - 670 The Score - "It's not a player-friendly league anymore," Winston said.

NFL bungles Scouting Combine ban – ProFootballTalk - The Ray Rice debacle from 2014 sparked an overreaction at 345 Park Avenue, both as it relates to the discipline of players currently in the league and the handling of players not yet in the league.

NFL has quietly shifted the rules of the Scouting Combine ban – ProFootballTalk - As more people around the league question the wisdom of banning players with off-field issues from attending the Scouting Combine, people inside the league office have applied a wishy-washiness to the rule.

NFC cut candidates: DeSean Jackson, Eli Manning to hit market? - NFL.com - It wouldn’t be a stunner if Sean Lee’s time with the Cowboys ended this offseason, but what about Eli Manning’s future with the Giants? Gregg Rosenthal provides a look at NFC players who could be released, including some names that might surprise you.

AFC cut candidates: Blake Bortles obvious, but Justin Houston? - NFL.com - It’s not hard to imagine Blake Bortles getting released, but what about an expensive veteran like Justin Houston? Gregg Rosenthal spotlights AFC players who could be released, including some names that might surprise you.

KNOW THY ENEMY

Detroit Lions players respond to Bears WR Taylor Gabriel’s trash talk - Pride Of Detroit - It’s on. Ken’s Note: “It’s on.” When writing for Lions fans, it’s important to use really short, easy to understand words. Job well done.

Detroit Lions OC Darrell Bevell talks Matthew Stafford, offensive identity and Lions skill players - Pride Of Detroit - A full transcript of the most interesting questions and answers given by Lions OC Darrell Bevell.

The Packers ended the 2018 season with 15 players on injured reserve - Acme Packing Company - Sorry to put a damper on your Valentine’s Day, but we’re looking back at the massive number of injured Packers from last season.

Which free agent receivers would be good targets for the Packers in 2019? - Acme Packing Company - The Packers could use some additional help at receiver, and there are a few attractive options out there.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Infante: NFL.com lists Miami (FL) safety Sheldrick Redwine as target for Bears - Windy City Gridiron - The former Hurricane standout finished his collegiate career with 164 tackles and five interceptions in four seasons.

WCG CONTRIBUTORS BEARS PODCASTS & STREAMS

2 Minute Drill - Website - iTunes - Andrew Link; Steven’s StreamingTwitch – Steven Schweickert; T-Formation Conversation - Website - iTunes - Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; WCG Radio - Website - iTunes - Robert Zeglinski

THE RULES

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