NFC Notes: Bears, Buccaneers, Saints

     

Bears

  • The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain and Adam Jahns note that while everyone knows Bears QB Mitchell Trubisky has to be better, the team and outsiders all acknowledge he wasn’t in the most advantageous situation last season.
  • Specifically, the two noted that Trubisky’s left shoulder injury limited him more than was initially let on, particularly running the football. 
  • Chicago is not expected to be a major player for Falcons TE Austin Hooper given his salary should exceed $10 million per season. 
  • Fishbain and Jahns list Buccaneers TE Cameron Brate, Broncos TE Jeff Heuerman, Steelers TE Vance McDonald, Titans TE Delanie Walker and Packers TE Jimmy Graham as potential trade options for the Bears. 
  • New Bears TE Demetrius Harris‘ one-year deal includes a $1.15 million base salary and a $500,000 signing bonus. 
  • While it’s not out of the question the Bears re-sign S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Fishbain and Jahns note the veteran is expected to have multiple suitors in free agency. 

Buccaneers

  • The Athletic’s Greg Auman notes the biggest draw for the Buccaneers in their potential pursuit of Patriots QB Tom Brady would be the supporting cast on offense and the presence of HC Bruce Arians
  • Auman also points out Buccaneers GM Jason Licht spent six years overlapping with Brady in New England, which could help get Tampa Bay in the conversation ahead of some other teams. 
  • ESPN’s Josina Anderson reports “All QB options remain open” for the Buccaneers, adding that a high contract demand from QB Jameis Winston would not help the case for him staying in Tampa Bay going forward. 
  • According to ESPN’s Jenna Laine, the Buccaneers will be monitoring Brady, Titans QB Ryan Tannehill, Chargers QB Philip Rivers and Saints QB Teddy Bridgewater during the tampering window before free agency. 
  • Laine writes that so far LB Shaq Barrett‘s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, hasn’t been inclined to give Tampa Bay a discount in negotiations, and Barrett is the team’s higher priority for the franchise tag if a long-term deal isn’t reached. 
  • Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times notes Raiders QB Derek Carr is not someone the Buccaneers are that high on, as he isn’t a good fit for Arians’ offense. 
  • Per ESPN’s Matthew Berry, a member of the Buccaneers’ offensive coaching staff was just as perplexed as anyone about TE O.J. Howard‘s struggles in 2019, saying he worked as hard as anyone last year. They remain excited about his prospects. 

Saints

  • The Athletic’s Larry Holder reports the Saints are concerned about G Larry Warford despite making the Pro Bowl as an alternate, as they believe his play has slipped in recent seasons. 
  • With other starting G Andrus Peat likely to leave via free agency, interior offensive line is seen as a major need by New Orleans. Some internal options include G Nick Easton or kicking C Erik McCoy out to one of the guard spots. 
  • Holder adds the Saints are interested in re-signing S Vonn Bell but have a cap on how high they’re willing to go.
  • Holder would be surprised if the Saints don’t keep CB Janoris Jenkins as their No. 2 starter and allow CB Eli Apple to depart in free agency. 
  • The Saints are expected to hire Maryland DB coach/defensive passing game coordinator Cory Robinson, potentially as an assistant DB coach. (Matt Zenitz)
  • The Saints are making plans to meet with or work out Florida International QB James Morgan following the combine. (Aaron Wilson)
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