Bears DT Eddie Goldman relinquished a $100,000 roster bonus by skipping mandatory minicamp this week. HC Matt Nagy said that he spoke with Goldman earlier this week and expects the defensive lineman to attend training camp next month.
“Obviously, I’m going to keep that (discussion) between us,” Nagy said, via Sean Hammond of the Daily Herald. “But we do expect him to be at training camp rocking and rolling.”
Bears ILB Roquan Smith said he’s not worried about his contract situation after the organization exercised his fifth-year option.
“That’s going to come when it comes,” Smith said. “I’m not too focused on that. My main focus right now is OTAs, getting out here with my teammates.”
Smith added that he’s focused on improving and bonding with his new teammates.
“If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse, in my opinion,” Smith said. “So I feel like there’s a lot of things I’ve learned out there, bonding with some of new guys that are here, with some of the rookies as well, and also just learning little new things into the defense.”
Nagy praised Smith’s presence around the organization as one of their “main leaders” this offseason.
“They don’t make many players like Roquan Smith,” Nagy said. “I’ll just tell you that right now. They just don’t. And we are so lucky to have him as one of the main leaders of this defense. And for him to come in here and just, every day, do his thing and just run around, fly around, help teach these younger guys that’s really neat.”
As for Bears S Eddie Jackson skipping OTAs, Jackson explained that he’s able to train on “more individual things” but is happy to be at mandatory minicamp.
“Just being able to do things more on your own, focus more on your body, mentally, just more individual things,” Jackson said. “I’m honestly happy to be back.”
- The Chicago Bears announced that they have submitted a bid to purchase the land of Arlington International Racecourse in Illinois. If selected, the organization will evaluate the property to determine its viability for a new stadium.
- Bears CEO Ted Phillips announced in an official statement: “We recently submitted a big to purchase the Arlington International Racecourse property. It’s our obligation to explore every possible option to ensure we’re doing what’s best for our organization and its future. If selected, this step allows us to further evaluate the property and its potential.”
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot fired back by saying the Bears’ move is just a negotiating tactic and they focus more on beating the Packers: “Our city is home to some of the world’s finest sports teams who have played a vital role in the city’s re-opening. As part of the city’s recovery, many organizations are doubling down on their commitment to Chicago, and we expect the Chicago Bears to follow suit. The Bears are locked into a lease at Soldier Field until 2033. In addition, this announcement from the Bears comes in the midst of negotiations for improvements at Soldier Field. This is clearly a negotiating tactic that the Bears have used before. As a season ticketholder and longtime Bears fan, I am committed to keeping the ‘Chicago’ name in our football team. And like most Bears fans, we want the organization to focus on putting a winning team on the field, beating the Packers finally and being relevant past October. Everything else is noise.”
- Bears CB Jaylon Johnson said he didn’t undergo off-season surgery on his shoulder and is still rehabbing towards full recovery: “There was no structural damage…just getting my shoulder back to 100 percent. I’ve been rehabbing and staying on top of my treatment. Getting healthy and trying to stay healthy.” (Jeff Joniak)
- Nagy indicated that DT Bilal Nichols sustained a toe injury. (Jeff Dickerson)
Packers WR Devin Funchess said despite opting out last year he has a ton of confidence in himself to return to form.
“I’ll never doubt myself,” Funchess said, via the Associated Press. “The moment you start doubting yourself, you lose. I like to win. I don’t like to lose. So I guarantee I’ll keep a smile on my face and we’re going to be dancing a lot.”
Packers HC Matt LaFleur said the team is looking forward to getting Funchess back.
“We are excited about him and just the depth that he adds to that room, the competition that he brings to that room,” LaFleur said. “Here’s a guy that’s played at a high level in this league. He was on that team that went to the Super Bowl in Carolina, so we’re excited just about his mentality and how he comes out on a daily basis.”