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The Bear’s Den, June 1, 2022

Goodbye and good luck to Akiem Hicks. Say hi to Tom for us.

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NFL: New York Giants at Chicago Bears Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

BEARRRSSSS

Chicago Bears offseason doesn’t rank worst in NFL - Bears Wire - According to ESPN’s Bill Barnwell, the Bears didn’t have the worst offseason in the NFL. But they didn’t have the best either.

Impressive Justin Fields stat shows why Year 2 leap could be coming - RSN - There's reason to expect big things from a Justin Fields-Luke Getsy offense.

Would Daron Payne trade make sense for Bears' rebuilding plan? - RSN - The Bears need help on the interior defensive line. With Akiem Hicks off to Tampa, does trading for Daron Payne make the most sense for Chicago?

NFL rumors: Ex-Bear Akiem Hicks agrees to contract with Bucs - RSN - We can officially shut the door on Akiem Hicks returning to Chicago.

Are We Ignoring Better (But Less-Obvious) Free Agent Fits for the Bears? - Bleacher Nation - A vast majority of the Bears' signings have been players under 30, which leads us to re-consider the best remaining fits.

Justin Fields lands at 23rd on Chris Simms’ top 40 QBs of 2022 - Bears Wire - Fields landed at 23rd on Chris Simms’ top 40 QBs list, which was 16 spots higher than his 39th ranking at this point last year. Fields also ranks ahead of the likes of other young quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence (24th), Jalen Hurts (25th), Tua Tagovailoa (29th) and Trey Lance (31st).

Don't Close the Door on the Bears Signing DT Larry Ogunjobi (AGAIN) - Bleacher Nation - There is a non-zero chance the Bears could still land defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi (but there's a BUT).

Source: Former Bears DL Akiem Hicks to sign with Buccaneers - 670 The Score - Former Chicago Bears defensive lineman Akiem Hicks is signing a one-year deal worth up to $10 million with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, a source said.

Florio thinks Bears putting 'a lot of pressure on Justin Fields' - 670 The Score - NBC Sports reporter Mike Florio told the Mully & Haugh Show that he believes the Chicago Bears are putting pressure on quarterback Justin Fields by not bringing him dynamic players on offense.

Buccaneers add Akiem Hicks, which likely closes the door on Ndamukong Suh - ProFootballTalk - For the Bucs, “Hello, Hicks” likely means, “See ya, Suh.”

Akiem Hicks joining Bucs after 6 years with Bears - Chicago Sun-Times - Defensive end Akiem Hicks was Ryan Pace’s best free-agent signing as the Bears’ general manager. But he was never a part of the plan under new GM Ryan Poles.

Jaylon Johnson: Why Chicago Bears DB was with 2nd unit - Chicago Tribune - Jaylon Johnson practiced with the second unit Tuesday, but Chicago Bears DBs coach James Rowe echoed instructions not to read into it.

Bears early roster projection and ranking the positions by concern level - The Athletic - Receiver was a concern before free agency and the draft, and it remains one. After Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr., it’s really anyone’s guess who makes the roster.

CHGO Bears Podcast: Should the Chicago Bears be confident in Darnell Mooney and the wide receivers? - CHGO - In this episode, Nicholas Moreano is joined by Luke Stuckmeyer and the two discuss a variety of Bears topics.

Chicago Bears 2022 player preview: Kindle Vildor - CHGO - Kindle Vildor had a rough 2021 season for the Chicago Bears. Here’s his projection for 2022.

Bears early roster projection and ranking the positions by concern level - The Athletic - Receiver was a concern before free agency and the draft, and it remains one. After Darnell Mooney, Byron Pringle and Velus Jones Jr., it’s really anyone’s guess who makes the roster.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Lovie Smith on trading Deshaun Watson: "Sometimes divorce is good" - ProFootballTalk - Smith told Cris Collinsworth that it was past time for the Texans to move on from Watson, who chose not to play for the team last year and remains under investigation after 22 different massage therapists accused him of sexual misconduct.

Three-Time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald Could Retire if Rams Don't Negotiate New Contract - Outsider - Fresh off his first-career Super Bowl win with Los Angeles, the defensive lineman has spent much of this offseason thinking about his future.

Trey Lance: It's not my job to care what reporters or people on social media say - ProFootballTalk - Lance said that he knows how his teammates and coaches feel about him, and that’s enough.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Wiltfong: Akiem Hicks signs with the Buccaneers - Windy City Gridiron - On Tuesday ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have signed Akiem Hicks to a one year deal. The contract could be worth up to $10 million with incentives, but a chance to get...

Borkowski: Bears Super Bowl 57 - Windy City Gridiron - Bears currently have +6500 odds to win this season’s Lombardi. Let’s make it happen!

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