Chicago Bears – Recent News
Things are slowing down for the Bears after an action packed first-wave of free agency which saw the Bears sign thirteen players over the last few weeks. Last year, between now and the draft, the Bears made six roster moves so it’s certainly possible they could make a few more roster transactions over the next month.
There aren’t many impact players left, but there are a few starting caliber guys still available in free agency and the Bears could always make a trade considering they have a few extra drafts picks and there are players on the block (Mohammed Wilkerson) whom the Bears could be targeting.
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With transactions few and far between during this stretch of the off-season, I don’t blame you if you took the week off from following the Bears and I’m here for you to offer a quick recap of the Bears moves over the last few days.
Bears re-sign KR/WR Deonte Thompson
After joining the team around mid-season last year, Thompson revitalized the Bears return game. He averaged 29.2 yards per kick return which was good for 2nd in the NFL behind the Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson (31.8).
Thompson wasn’t used much as a wide receiver and only caught two passes, but used his explosive speed to average 40.5 yards per catch. The Bears re-signed him for his kick return ability, but as he gets more familiar with the offense the Bears may utilize Thompson more as a big-play threat.
Thompson was signed for just over the league minimum on a one-year, $840k deal. The former Florida Gator is just 27 and despite producing every chance he’s been given, Thompson hasn’t been able to lock down a consistent job in his brief NFL career. It looks like he should finally have one this year as the Bears primary kick returner.
Bears schedule visit with DB / ST ace Omar Bolden
The former Bronco is familiar to John Fox and has been a valuable player on special teams in both coverage and as a returner. The 4th round pick in 2012 hasn’t played much on defense, appearing in only nine games with one start over four years as a defensive back. His main value to the Broncos has been as a kick returner and on coverage teams.
Bolden has the second most coverage tackles on the Broncos since 2012 with 27. As a return man, Bolden isn’t as explosive as some (4.51 speed) but has averaged a respectable 24.7 yards per return, which would have finished 11th overall in 2015.
Bolden has only returned one punt in his career, so it’s a bit odd that the Bears are bringing him in for a visit after re-signing kick returner Deonte Thompson. It’s certainly possible that the Bears are adding him primarily for his special teams coverage ability with the bonus of added depth at kick returner and safety. We’ll see next week when he comes to Halas Hall for a visit.
Bears schedule visits with WRs Laquon Treadwell and Corey Coleman
There haven’t been many rumors about the Bears bringing in draft prospects for visits, but today it was rumored that the two top ranked wide receivers in this year’s draft are coming to Halas Hall next week. Both Laquan Treadwell (Ole Miss) and Corey Coleman (Baylor) are projected to go anywhere from late in the top ten overall to late first / early second round.
It’s possible the Bears are bringing them in just in case they slip to 39th overall, but both players will most likely be long gone by then. Are the Bears just doing their due diligence? Teams are limited to 30 player visits, so I don’t think they would bring both players in if there wasn’t significant interest.
Could the Bears draft a wide receiver in the first round two years in a row? The only reason I can think of for that happening is… if contract talks with Jeffery aren’t going well. It’s pure speculation, but if the Bears lose confidence in re-signing Jeffery they might consider trading him and using another top pick on the position.