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Chalk Talk

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Chalk Talk: How often have Bears not had first-round pick?

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 ChicagoBears.com.

How many times have the Bears not had a first-round draft pick?
Don L.
Burbank, Illinois

Barring a trade up, this year will be the ninth time since the inception of the draft in 1936 that the Bears will not select a player in the first round. Five of the first-round choices were traded to acquire quarterbacks: In 1977, the Bears dealt a fourth-round pick and their 1978 first-round selection (No. 23) to the Browns in exchange for Mike Phipps; in 1997, they sent their first-round choice (No 20) to the Seahawks for Rick Mirer and a fourth-round pick they spent on running back Darnell Autry; in 2009, they sent their first-round selections in 2009 (No. 18) and 2010 (No. 11) as part of a package to acquire Jay Cutler and a fifth-round choice they spent on receiver Johnny Knox; and in 2021 they traded their 2022 first-round pick to the Giants to move up nine spots to select Justin Fields at No. 11. The other times the Bears dealt their first-round choices came in 1970 when they sent the No. 2 pick to the Packers in exchange for linebacker Lee Roy Caffey, center Bob Hyland and running back Elijah Pitts; in 2006 when they dealt the No. 26 selection to the Bills in exchange for choices in the second and third rounds they spent on safety Danieal Manning (No. 42) and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek (No. 73), respectively; and in 2018 when they traded first-round picks in 2018 (No. 24) and 2019 (No. 19) as part of a package to acquire outside linebacker Khalil Mack from the Raiders.

Do you think the Bears will cut receiver Byron Pringle after his arrest?
Johnny T.
Rockford, Illinois

Listening to general manager Ryan Poles discuss the situation during his pre-draft press conference Tuesday, it didn't sound like he's planning to release Byron Pringle. The free-agent acquisition was arrested, as you mentioned, and charged with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license last weekend in Florida. Poles was the Chiefs' assistant director of player personnel in 2018 when Kansas City signed Pringle as an undrafted free agent, and Poles remained in that role until becoming the team's executive director of player personnel in 2021. Here's what Poles said when asked about Pringle's arrest: "I know him very well. It's not a reflection of who he is at all. You don't want your guys in the news at all. It's disappointing. But we had good conversations about it. We're in a good place."

Why did Bears coach Matt Eberflus have No. 90 on his jersey when he threw out the first pitch at a Cubs game last weekend? What's the significance?
Pete K.
Roselle, Illinois

Matt Eberflus wore No. 90 when he played linebacker at the University of Toledo. Arriving as a walk-on, he developed into a four-year letterman and three-year starter from 1988-90 under three coaches: Dan Simrell, Nick Saban and Gary Pinkel. Eberflus led Toledo in tackles and earned first-team All-MAC honors as both a junior and a senior. He was named the Rockets' Most Valuable Player as a senior and was inducted into the school's athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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