Bears HC Matt Nagy anticipates a close battle between QBs Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles for the starting job and the decision will be based on a number of factors including efficiency, accuracy, adjustments at the line, communication, and play in the red zone.
“To me, you can sense it, you feel it, the efficiency, the productivity within the special situations that you have,” Nagy said. “Is it base first or second down — are you making the correct adjustments at the line of scrimmage to pick up the blitz? How accurate are you on specific throws? Are you playing smart in the red zone? What’s your mentality? What’s your communication like at the line of scrimmage with the wide receivers when you’re going two-minute, no-huddle?
Nagy explained that a players’ ability to handle coaching will be the “most challenging part” given the loss of an offseason program this year.
“And how are you handling the coaching? And then — and this is the most challenging part, with where we’re at with losing out on the offseason — is there improvement? Everybody has bad days,” Nagy said. “But do you respond to that … or are there three bad days in a row?”
Nagy mentioned that preseason games and finding more repetitions for players this offseason should help their decision.
“Preseason games, reps, playing more, creating more reps,” Nagy said. “Having both those quarterbacks play with the same wide receivers and tight ends against the same defenses — that’s going to be important. I do believe it’ll naturally happen. I feel good about that. We have a good plan. And they understand it.”
- Over The Cap’s Nick Korte lists Bears C James Daniels and RB David Montgomery as players who are helped by the new CBA’s PPE rules and are on track to get raises in their fourth season.
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer notes LaFleur returned to the team facility last Friday while making it optional for the rest of the coaching staff.
- Over The Cap’s Nick Korte lists Packers OL Elgton Jenkins as a player helped by the new CBA’s PPE rules and on track to get a raise in his fourth season.
- Packer LT David Bakhtiari declined to provide any specifics about contract negotiations with the team. He’s entering the final year of his deal in 2020: “I’m the left tackle and I’m under contract for another season and that’s what I’m focused on. Whatever the organization decides they want to do moving forward with me, we can have that conversation when it’s there.” (Ryan Wood)
- Bakhtiari said he doesn’t care if he’s blocking for Packers QB Aaron Rodgers or first-round QB Jordan Love: “I’m indifferent. My goal throughout my career has been to not let my emotions get the best of me in a business setting … I was more shocked that they traded up, but how I feel about the pick doesn’t really matter. My job is to protect the QB.” (Matt Schneidman)
- Rodgers still has plenty left in the tank, per Bakhtiari: “We were out there running around today on our conditioning day and the guy’s still got his wheels … We still compete. I know that fire still burns in him deep. He still will in his own way make sure that he’ll still try to win in every facet.” (Schneidman)
- Bakhtiari expects Jenkins to improve in his second season and propel the line to “another level of dominance.” (Schneidman)
- CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry notes that if Vikings RB Dalvin Cook follows through on his holdout and does not receive a new contract before the start of training camp, he will become a restricted free agent next year, as opposed to an unrestricted free agent. The new CBA requires players to attend training camp on time in order to get another accrued season towards free agency.
- Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald says being a restricted free agent would be a big hit to Cook, as the Vikings could use the original round tender on the former second-round pick which was $2.025 million this past year. Draft compensation alone would likely discourage teams from giving Cook an offer sheet.
- Courtney Cronin believes something will likely come to fruition between the two sides, as the Vikings can afford to pay Cook a salary that will put him in the top five for running backs at around $13 million per year.
- Cronin hears that Cook is looking for north of the $16 million per year Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey is making in his record deal, while the Vikings do not want or cannot be in that ballpark.
- The Athletic’s Chad Graff writes that so far Cook has been asking for a salary that would put him in the top three at his position.
- Cronin reports Minnesota’s initial offers have been below $10 million a year, which Cook’s camp did not view as “reasonable.” She adds sources say Cook would gladly accept an offer in the $13 million per year range.
- Sources tell Cronin that Cook absolutely will not play for the Vikings in 2020 without a new deal.
- David Chao thinks that the longevity of Cook’s career may be on his mind as he is coming off of ACL, shoulder, and joint issues which caused him to miss several games in his career so far.
- Spotrac notes the Vikings have until July 15th to extend the contract of franchised S Anthony Harris, who will likely be seeking around $15 million per year and that Cook’s contract may be explored after Harris re-signs with the team.
- Cronin and Graff each pointed out the Vikings have a history of getting long-term deals done right before the start of training camp, so there’s still plenty of time for a resolution to Cook’s situation.
- Over The Cap’s Nick Korte lists Vikings OT Brian O’Neill and TE Irv Smith as players who are helped by the new CBA’s PPE rules and are on track to get raises in their fourth season.