Saturday, April 1, 2023

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Big changes in Chicago? Is it about time?

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In the eyes of many, the Chicago Bears have had a poor start to the offseason.

We’ve gone from the highs of trading for Russell Wilson, to the less exciting prospect of having a guy like Andy Dalton leading the offence this coming year.

Let’s add to the mix that – unless traded before 3pm today – Kyle Fuller will be the first major cap casualty of the year. Akiem Hicks is likely to follow him out the door with Brad Biggs reporting that he has been made available for trade.

If we are honest as Bears fans, neither of these moves should be very surprising. The talk since the end of the season has been the huge cap hits of both Fuller and Hicks – $20 million and $12 million respectively. We have talked about the possibility that they will be cut or traded. The reason why Bears twitter is having a meltdown is because we thought Russell Wilson would be here and that would make everything better.

Akiem Hicks has been tremendous for the Bears, but he is 31, he’ll be 32 before the end of the season. Moving on from him before he starts to decline might be viewed as a good idea.

Chicago needed to make these changes

Kyle Fuller has been a great player for Chicago. In 2017 and 2018 he had great seasons. However, 2019 could be seen as a bit of a down year by his standards, and last season he ranked 30th out of 93 qualifying outside cornerbacks on PFF. His best years were with Vic Fangio, we won’t get to see if Fangio disciple Sean Desai can have similar success with him.

With Fuller and likely Hicks leaving, it spells the end of an era in Chicago to a certain extent.

It seems that everyone is always clamoring for the Bears to be this defensive monster with a good running game, but guess what? We’ve had a championship defensive and great running games at several points and still struggled to get to the end result that we all want.

The NFL landscape has changed. Recently the teams that are winning playoff games and championships are dominant offensive teams. Maybe the moves that we see happening are the start of that transition in Chicago.

Allen Robinson has suddenly signed his franchise tag offer, after talk that he could hold out well into the summer. Now I’m not saying that Robinson will definitely still be a Bear come September, but there is a greater chance of that now. Of course, trading him away is also a possibility.

The Bears have also met with former Lions WR Kenny Golladay. If Chicago somehow managed to get Golladay on this team and retained Allen Robinson, then I would say that the offensive weapons that will surround Andy Dalton will be some of the best in the league.

I’ve previously said that I do not see Andy Dalton as a playmaking QB, but with a great group of skilled players surrounding him, he can be a success.

So maybe getting rid of high earning, aging defensive starters in order to facilitate a change in philosophy is what we are seeing from Pace and Nagy.

Of course, by cutting or trading two defensive starters we likely will see a regression in the defence unless the Bears can find some way to replace them.

As I’ve said before, the season is a long way off and a lot can change between now and then for the Chicago Bears.

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