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The Bear’s Den, May 5, 2021

New faces continue to arrive at Halas Hall as the Bears swing into the next free agency phase

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

PFF: Bears got draft steals in Justin Fields, Teven Jenkins - RSN - The praise for Ryan Pace’s NFL Draft weekend continues to come through.

Tough to Find a Negative Remark - Sports Illustrated - It’s difficult to find a discouraging word among all the critiques of the 2021 Bears draft, as pundits tripped over each other trying to get a hand out in order to pat Ryan Pace on the back.

Did Opt-Out Hurt Draft Status of Thomas Graham Jr.? - Sports Illustrated - It’s never easy to fall down the draft board but Chicago Bears cornerback Thomas Graham Jr. seemed to hold up well after it happened to him when many had him rated higher, and it’s possible an opt-out hurt him.

Unfinished Business for Chicago Bears After Draft - Sports Illustrated - Tackle is only one position where the Chicago Bears need to come up with answers after the draft, and a handfuil of others could have the attention of Ryan Pace in remaining free agencies or from June 1 cuts.

Roster Move: Chicago Bears sign WR Damiere Byrd to 1-year contract - ChicagoBears.com - The Bears on Tuesday signed receiver Damiere Byrd to a one-year contract. Byrd has appeared in 44 NFL games with 20 starts over five seasons with the Panthers (2016-18), Cardinals (2019) and Patriots (2020).

2021 NFL Draft | Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy thinks new Chicago Bears OL Teven Jenkins may be best tackle drafted - ChicagoBears.com - Offensive tackle Teven Jenkins excelled as a senior last season at Oklahoma State, earning first-team All-Big 12 honors. But his college coach is convinced that the best is yet to come for the Bears’ second-round pick.

Bears sign WR Damiere Byrd to 1-year deal - 670 The Score - The Bears on Tuesday signed receiver Damiere Byrd to a one-year deal. Byrd, 28, had 47 receptions for 604 yards with the Patriots last season.

Biggest 2021 NFL Draft Steals: All Seven Rounds (Multiple Chicago Bears Picks On The List) - PFF - The 2021 NFL Draft has officially come to a close. From April 29 to May 1, 259 players were selected to join the NFL. Let’s wrap up the weekend’s action by identifying the steals of the draft.

While Bears QB Justin Fields is celebrated by others, columnist Rick Telander is stuck in doubter space - Chicago Sun-Times - Experts have heaped praise on the Bears’ selection of Ohio State QB Fields, but I’m not ready to call this pick a game-changer.

Bears coach Matt Nagy’s plan for Justin Fields, Andy Dalton’s value and more: 5 takeaways – The Athletic - If the Bears do in fact want the rookie Fields to sit and learn, they’re going to need strong play from Dalton, their veteran starting QB.

Beyond the top-10 draft picks: More new NFL rookies with breakout potential – The Athletic - Teven Jenkins (Bears), Alijah Vera-Tucker (Jets) and Amon-Ra St. Brown (Lions) are among those who will be put to the test early.

Hoge’s 10 Bears Things: The unlikely ‘steal’ of Justin Fields - RSN - The sequence of events that played out over the last few months to bring Justin Fields to Chicago is incredible.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Lamar Jackson among individuals helped by 2021 NFL Draft; Russell Wilson among vets hurt - Should Lamar Jackson be excited by the Ravens’ draft haul? Will Russell Wilson be displeased with the Seahawks’ selections? Jeffri Chadiha reveals individuals who were helped by the 2021 NFL Draft and who was hurt by it.

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Hall of Famer and former star QB Terry Bradshaw rips Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers - Chicago Sun-Times - Fox analyst calls reigning MVP "weak" during appearance on WFAN radio show.

Explaining the salary cap ramifications of a potential Aaron Rodgers trade - Acme Packing Company - Here are the details on why the Packers almost certainly cannot and will not trade Rodgers in the next four weeks.

Would the Packers actually have been better off following the Saints “all-in” model? - Acme Packing Company - An aggressive approach didn’t help Drew Brees win more Super Bowls, but he also never publicly threatened to leave his team either. Ken's Note: Perhaps because he's not a douchecanoe like Rodgers is...

Should the Seahawks and Packers swap their disgruntled quarterbacks? - ProFootballTalk - The Packers have a problem, of which we’re all well aware. The Seahawks have one, too, even though it has subsided in recent weeks.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Salo: Should Rookie Justin Fields Sit Like Mahomes? Not So Fast. - Windy City Gridiron - Do the 2017 Chiefs provide a blueprint for the 2021 Bears to groom their shiny new quarterback? Not if the Bears don’t have the necessary ingredients.

Wiltfong: Bears sign wide receiver Damiere Byrd to a 1-year deal - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears are adding another veteran to their wide receiver room.

Leming: Better Lucky Than Irrelevant: How Landing Justin Fields Might End Up As The Franchise’s Best Told Story - Windy City Gridiron - The glitter of the NFL Draft has worn off for most teams but the Chicago Bears are still sitting atop the highest of a mountain. Here’s a deeper luck into what went right on Thursday night.

THE RULES

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