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.
I'd like to see the Bears trade down with both of their picks in the second round and acquire two additional picks. Do you think that would be a good move?
Generally speaking, I like the idea of trading down to acquire additional draft picks. But it all depends on the cluster of players available. You certainly don't want to move down and miss out on a potential impact player just to add another draft choice. Even though the Bears don't have a first-round pick for the second straight year because of the Khalil Mack trade, they expect to have eight selections in this year's draft. (They only picked five players in last year's draft, all in Rounds 3-7.) They are in much better shape this year with the No. 43 and No. 50 choices in the second round, so I don't think there's as great a need to move down to acquire additional picks. General manager Ryan Pace told reporters this week at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis that he feels good about the selections the Bears have this year, saying: "It's a strong draft. Having two second-round picks is impactful for us."
I've heard that the Bears have limited salary cap space, even after creating about $13.5 million by releasing Prince Amukamara and Taylor Gabriel. Do you think they'll have enough resources to make the moves they want to make in free agency?
General manager Ryan Pace expressed confidence this week at the NFL Combine that the Bears will have the salary cap space required to sign players they'll target when free agency begins with the start of the new league year March 18. Said Pace: "Between myself and [director of football administration] Joey Laine, we have a plan in place to kind of make sure we have the space we need to make the moves we need to make. We feel good about it. We might not have the cap space we've had in previous years, but we don't have as many holes throughout our roster as well either."
Who do you think will replace departed veterans Prince Amukamara and Taylor Gabriel in the starting lineup? Do you think that the Bears would promote receiver Riley Ridley and cornerback Duke Shelley or maybe look elsewhere for new starters?
I think the most likely scenario at this point is that receivers Anthony Miller, Javon Wims and Riley Ridley and cornerbacks Kevin Toliver and Duke Shelley will compete with players the Bears acquire during the offseason for the starting jobs that were held by Taylor Gabriel and Prince Amukamara. Here's what general manager Ryan Pace said this week at the NFL Combine about filling those two positions: "There are some guys [on the current roster] that we like. You think of guys like Kevin Toliver and Ridley and Wims. There's some depth there that we like. But we'll explore other avenues to increase competition there as well."