Chicago Bears

Could Bears bump up bid for franchise running back?


Could Bears bump up bid for franchise running back?

The best part of the Super Bowl is the week before it. Not the peripheral events, but the time to connect with some key individuals in the game. Thats where you learn things.

NBC cousin Peggy Kusinski over at WMAQ reported last week that running back Matt Forte was going to meet with Phil Emery this week. Forte has been professing some optimism about getting his contract impasse solved with someone other than Jerry Angelos hand on the tiller.

Dont count on it. Emery knows why theres a franchise tag (a players concession in negotiations to owners so a central figure could be retained, at a nice price) and Angelo wasnt being capricious or personal in the offer the Bears had to Forte back before training camp. A deal of that magnitude had buy-in from Ted Phillips and Cliff Stein, both in their same posts now, and Emery has struck no one as a soft touch.

And Emery was with a Kansas City Chiefs organization that set a price point with Jamaal Charles deal prior to last season. He also saw how that investment can net nothing because of an injury.

New England Patriots guard Logan Mankins told me last week that he strongly advised against holding out because of the tag. Its simply too much money (nearly 8 million in Fortes case). And Mankins knows of what he speaks, having been an unhappy franchise tag-ee not that long ago.

If the Bears decide to bump up substantially the bid for a franchise running back, though, perhaps they would also be looking outside the (tackle) box. If the decision was that the organization was willing to put 20 million guaranteed for a running back, would Forte be the call?

Or would they look at Ray Rice, for example? The Baltimore Ravens are no more likely to let Rice hit the free market than the Bears are with Forte. But Rices numbers through four years are a step up from Fortes, both receiving and rushing, and scoring. And Rice is a year younger than Forte.

Best guess is that something like that never happens. Rice has stated a wish to remain a Raven, but thats also pretty standard rhetoric; Forte says the same about remaining a Bear.

But for the money involved, the mistake would be not thinking outside all boxes.

Pernell McPhee placed on PUP list to start Bears training camp for second straight year

Pernell McPhee placed on PUP list to start Bears training camp for second straight year

After expressing optimism earlier Wednesday that he wouldn't have a player begin training camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, general manager Ryan Pace's first major free agent signing will be held out when practices begin Thursday morning.

For the second straight camp, linebacker Pernell McPhee will be sidelined by a knee problem that's plagued him his first two seasons with the Bears. He'll still be able to attend meetings and receive treatment in Bourbonnais and can be activated at any time. 

A year ago, McPhee was coming off knee surgery and was on injured reserve the first six weeks of the season. He'd spent this off-season getting his weight down to decrease stress on the knee, but when physicals and conditioning tests were held Wednesday, the team determined to hold him out. McPhee was actually recovering from offseason labrum surgery, but their announcement only specifically mentioned the knee.

With several other players coming off injuries and being limited during OTAs and minicamp, it's not certain Wednesday night's announcement means McPhee will be the only player starting camp on PUP. Among others, Kyle Long, Zach Miller, Eddie Jackson, and Jeremy Langford were easing their way back from surgeries. Josh Sitton was another, and John Fox revealed Wednesday Sitton won't join the team until Saturday after his wife gave birth.

With McPhee sidelined, two other outside linebackers coming off surgery, Willie Young and Lamarr Houston would be set for more practice time at the position, along with Leonard Floyd, Dan Skuta and Sam Acho.

Thursday's opening practice is scheduled for 11:15 a.m. at Olivet Nazarene and will not include pads.

You can hold your fantasy football draft at Soldier Field this year


You can hold your fantasy football draft at Soldier Field this year

The CSN Fantasy crew is taking its talents on the road.

CSNChicago fantasy analysts Slavko Bekovic and Scott Krinch will join a Chicago Tribune panel of fantasy football experts for a Draft Party at Soldier Field on Thursday, Aug. 24.

It's the ultimate event to kick off the 2017 fantasy football season.

Sponsored by Jewel-Osco, fans will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to host their fantasy drafts at Soldier Field, complete with insight and analysis from a panel of experts that includes Bekovic, Krinch, Rich Campbell and Phil Thompson from the Chicago Tribune, Bears broadcaster Jeff Joniak and The Score's Hub Arkush. Derek VanRiper and Kevin O'Brien from RotoWire will also be on hand to provide analysis.

The general admission tickets for fans include access to the Soldier Field press box. VIP tickets will give fans access to the private suites around Soldier Field for their drafts. All fans will receive complimentary food and beverages plus photo opportunities on the field and giveaways.

Head to and follow @ChicagoSports and @CSNFantasy for more information.

The CSN Fantasy crew provides analysis all season long, from weekly podcasts and video segments to written articles that include a focus on the waiver wire as well as start/sit for each week.