By: Will Farlow
This afternoon the Chicago Bears made an alteration to their roster, but this was a set of two subtractions. The Chicago Bears released wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and cornerback Prince Amukamara making both players free agents.
The Bears were set at about only 13 million dollars in cap space, and the subtractions of Amukamara and Gabriel extend their cap room to about 26 million. The Bears have needs of depth at their offensive line, linebacker, and especially at the quarterback position. GM Ryan Pace over his tenure with the Bears thus far has made creative moves to bring the team back to success. However, as the offseason come and passed each year, free agents at specific positions become expensive leaving the Bears to compete with other teams with more cap space.
Taylor Gabriel previously signed a four year 26-million-dollar contract with the Bears back in 2017 to add support to the receiving core of young starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The 29-year-old receiver in two seasons with the Bears amassed a total of 96 receptions,1041 yards, and 6 touchdowns. Gabriel had effectiveness for the Bears in the slot receiver role, but his injury problems and consistency led to his release. Gabriel faced injuries during the 2019 season that hindered his effectiveness in the Matt Nagy style offense. Gabriel’s departure leaves the Bears with a receiving core of Robinson, Miller, Ridley, Wims, and veteran Cordarrelle Patterson.
Gabriel took to Twitter after the news broke of his release thanking the Bears and fan support during his time in Chicago. Gabriel excited fans when he first signed with Chicago and said he was excited for what quarterback Mitch Trubisky could do.
Prince Amukamara agreed to a one year 7-million-dollar contract to join the
Chicago Bears in 2017. Amukamara found his first season as a Bear successful leading the Bears to offer him a three year 27-million-dollar extension. During his three seasons for the Monsters of the Midway the 30-year-old cornerback achieved 166 tackles, three interceptions, and two fumble recoveries as a Bear. The cornerback was a good veteran presence for the younger Bears defensive players along with making good contributions to Bears supported charities during his three seasons in Chicago. Amukamara’s departure leaves the Bears cornerback depth with Fuller, Shelley, Skrine, Roberson, Tolliver, and Denmark.
These moves by GM Ryan Pace and Chicago Bears front office leave questions as to the free agents the team will pursue to fill its team needs prior to the 2020 NFL Draft. Suring the free agent frenzy the qualities of a good team and money talk to free agents as they choose their new home for the 2020 season and beyond. The 2020 NFL league year officially begins on March 18th meaning free agents can officially sign with NFL teams. The question is which offensive lineman, quarterbacks, and other players the team will target. The Chicago Bears will need to fill those holes in free agency and the draft to bounce back toward contention in 2020 along with filling spots left by Taylor Gabriel and Prince Amukamara.
By: Will Farlow
As I was watching Super Bowl 54 at home with my parents, I had various thoughts both during and after the game. I saw two teams that built from the ground up just three to four years ago with the support of two good coaches both new and veteran. Andy Reid has worked hard his whole career as a head coach in the NFL and finally got what he deserved as his Kansas City Chiefs won the first Super Bowl for Kansas City in the last 50 years.
The San Francisco 49ers featured a great young defense with role players such as rookie Nick Bosa, Deforest Buckner, and veteran cornerback Richard Sherman. Moving over to the 49er’s offense players such as Raheem Mostert, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Deebo Samuel played an incredible team effort game behind their strong offensive line. 49ers fullback Kyle Juszczyk was well utilized in the Kyle Shanahan offense tonight which lead to a 49er touchdown in the first half of the game.
I found the use of the fullback tonight can send a message to other teams how to use the fullback in a similar way , and it reminds me of the time the George Halas coached Chicago Bears utilized in a similar way Gale Sayers and Brian Piccolo. Both teams making it to the Super Bowl connected significantly to something I have said many times both on my podcast and to others around me. The best thing about sports is seeing different teams work hard and have the chance to play for a title game in the postseason showing to expect the unexpected in any game from any team.
The Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl victory was the third comeback victory in a row for a team that did so previously to advance through the postseason. Super Bowl 54 was a victory in another form for the Chiefs to show the NFL teams they can be a team to beat moving forward in the AFC. The San Francisco 49ers made a simple mistake of not running the fourth quarter clock down on an offensive drive against Kansas City with about 8 minutes left in the game. The 49ers running the ball effectively in that strategy could have helped them change the outcome of the game. The saying also goes where that still doesn’t prevent other things from unfolding like in this case the Chiefs still could have found a chance to score and win after that possible scenario. I think that is one thing that is the beauty of sports is thinking of the what if type of situations about a game in the past or one upcoming in the future.
Each football fan after tonight’s Super Bowl game is thinking their own what ifs along with what the offseason can bring moving forward. As the Kansas City Chiefs celebrate their first Super Bowl in 50 years, Monday morning begins the start of another NFL offseason where every team has a chance through the draft and free agency to improve their teams where one will emerge around this time next season hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy.