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.
With the Bears rewarding Cairo Santos for a great season with a long-term contract extension, where does that leave Eddy Piñeiro? What is his contract status with the Bears?
Eddy Piñeiro is due to become a restricted free agent when the new league year begins Wednesday. The Bears are clearly committed to Cairo Santos after he had what was arguably the best season by a kicker in franchise history. But I don't know whether they intend to keep a second kicker either on the practice squad or injured reserve like they did last year, when Piñeiro spent the season on IR. I have no idea what Piñeiro's plans are moving forward, but I imagine he would want to sign with a team that gives him a chance to compete for the No. 1 kicking job.
Why do the Bears pick 20th in the draft when two other teams that also finished 8-8, the Cardinals and Raiders, pick 16th and 17th? I thought the draft order was based on a team's record in the previous season.
That is how the draft order is determined. But the first thing that happens is the 18 teams that did not make the playoffs are slotted in inverse order of their records. Neither the Cardinals nor the Raiders reached the postseason, so they are grouped with those teams. What happens next is that the six teams that lost in the first round of the playoffs are added to the list in inverse order of their records in slots 19-24. The Bears had the second-worst record among those six clubs [behind Washington], so that's why they were assigned the No. 20 pick.
If the Bears trade away their first-round pick [perhaps for a quarterback], that would be three straight years they did not have a first-round selection. Has that ever happened before in franchise history?
The Bears have never gone three straight years without a first-round pick, so that would be a first. Since the NFL Draft began in 1936, the Bears have traded away their first-round selection eight times. Here's a summary of those deals:
The Bears traded the No. 2 pick to the Packers in exchange for linebacker Lee Roy Caffey, running back Elijah Pitts and guard Bob Hyland. Green Bay chose defensive tackle Mike McCoy with the No. 2 selection.
On May 3, 1977, the Bears sent their 1978 first-round pick to the Browns in exchange for quarterback Mike Phipps. Cleveland traded the selection — which turned out to be No. 20 — to the Rams, who chose running back Elvis Peacock.
The Bears dealt the No. 11 pick to the Seahawks in exchange for quarterback Rick Mirer and a fourth-round selection the Bears spent on running back Darnell Autry. Seattle traded the No. 11 choice to the Falcons, who took defensive back Michael Booker.
The Bears traded the No. 26 pick to the Bills in exchange for choices in the second and third rounds that they spent on safety Danieal Manning at No. 42 and defensive tackle Dusty Dvoracek at No. 73, respectively. The Bills selected defensive tackle John McCargo at No. 26.
On April 2, 2009, the Bears sent their first-round picks in 2009 and 2010 to the Broncos as part of a blockbuster trade to acquire quarterback Jay Cutler. The Bears also dealt quarterback Kyle Orton and a 2009 third-round pick and obtained a fifth-round choice they spent on receiver/return specialist Johnny Knox. The players selected with the three picks the Bears traded were defensive end Robert Ayers (No. 18 by the Broncos) and receiver Mike Wallace (No. 84 by the Steelers) in 2009 and tackle Anthony Davis (No. 11 by the 49ers) in 2010.
On Sept. 1, 2018, the Bears acquired perennial Pro Bowl outside linebacker Khalil Mack from the Raiders in exchange for four draft picks. The Bears also received 2020 second-round and seventh-round selections in the deal that they spent on tight end Cole Kmet and offensive lineman Arlington Hambright, respectively. The Raiders spent the picks they acquired on running back Josh Jacobs (2019 No. 24 in first round), cornerback Damon Arnette (2020 No. 19 in first round) and receiver Bryan Edwards (2020 No. 81 in third round). The Raiders also traded a 2019 sixth-round pick they received from the Bears to the Jets, who chose cornerback Blessuan Austin at No. 196.
Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.