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Chalk Talk: Are Bears eligible for 'Hard Knocks?'

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

I know there's certain criteria for the teams that are picked to be on HBO's "Hard Knocks" and was wondering if the Bears are eligible for the show?
Paul G.
Evanston, Illinois

Well, any team can volunteer to be on "Hard Knocks," but because most of them, including the Bears, would rather not have camera intrusively follow their every move during training camp, they choose not to participate. As a result, the NFL picks from a group of teams that 1) Do not have a first-year head coach; 2) Have not made the playoffs the past two seasons; and 3) Have not appeared on "Hard Knocks" the past 10 years. The Bears are exempt because they made the playoffs last year. There are five teams that fit the criteria for "Hard Knocks" this year: the Broncos, Cardinals, Lions, Jaguars and Steelers.

I'm excited about watching LSU and Clemson face off for the national championship. Are there any alums of those two schools on the Bears?
Clayton W.

The only Bears player who attended either of the two schools playing for the NCAA championship is cornerback Kevin Toliver II, who appeared in 28 games over three seasons at LSU from 2015-17. Toliver recorded 82 tackles, two interceptions, 16 pass breakups and one forced fumble for the Tigers.

When do the Bears have until to decide whether to pick up Mitchell Trubisky's fifth-year option for the 2021 season?
Will P.
Palatine, Illinois

NFL teams have until May 4 to exercise the fifth-year option on players they selected in the first round of the 2017 draft. So the Bears have nearly four months to make that move with quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. At the team's end-of-season press conference Dec. 31, general manager Ryan Pace committed to Trubisky as the Bears' starting quarterback in 2020 but added that it was too early to say whether the team would pick up Trubisky's fifth-year option, saying: "We're not at that point right now with the season ending just two days ago."

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week.
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