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Chalk Talk: Will Bears get comp picks in '21?

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.

In a recent interview, Ryan Pace seemed to imply that the Bears might be receiving compensatory picks in the 2021 draft. Which players so far count towards receiving picks and which players reduce that number? How is the round of the pick determined?
Dave T.
Glastonbury, Connecticut

The formula for determining compensatory draft picks has always been a complicated one. Basically, the NFL awards 32 compensatory picks to teams that suffer a net loss of free agents the previous year, with clubs receiving the same number of compensatory picks as their net loss of free agents, up to a maximum of four. The level of compensation that teams receive for free agents lost is based on a weighted combination of the player's yearly compensation, postseason honors and playing time. Only unrestricted free agents who signed before April 27 this year qualify. There's a very informative article about compensatory picks written by NFL.com's Lance Zierlein that I recommend. He notes that compensatory picks for the 2021 draft won't be determined by the NFL Management Council's formula until after the 2020 season. But he projects that the Bears will receive two picks, both in the sixth round. The Bears were awarded one compensatory choice in the 2020 draft, in the fourth round, and traded it to the Jaguars in exchange for quarterback Nick Foles.

For starters, thanks for Chalk Talk and Lunch with Larry. I have a three-part question all related to schedules and the coronavirus. Do you think the NFL will release the schedule soon and are they prepared for the unimaginable happening and the season playing out without live crowds if need be? Also, will the Bears ban spectators even if training camp can go on as normal?
Pep M.
Lindenhurst, Illinois

Brian McCarthy, the NFL's vice president of communications, tweeted Wednesday that he expects the 2020 schedule to be released by May 9. (I've seen some reports that it will be announced May 7, which is next Thursday.) But we'll have to wait and see. In terms of playing and practicing without fans in attendance, I'm sure the league and the Bears are preparing a variety of contingency plans given the fluid situation with the coronavirus. All I can tell you is that we'll report any developments on ChicagoBears.com as they occur.

Both of the Bears' seventh-round draft picks played tackle in college. But certain writers have them penciled in as guards. Have we gotten an official declaration on what they'll be listed on the roster going into camp?
Jack S.
Lanark, Illinois

The Bears have not officially designated positions for Colorado's Arlington Hambright or Tennessee State's Lachavious Simmons. But I can tell you what general manager Ryan Pace said about both seventh-round picks during his post-draft conference call with the media. While acknowledging that the 6-4, 300-pound Hambright played mostly left tackle in college, Pace said that "we think he's got the body style that could translate to playing guard." Simmons played every offensive line position except center in college. Pace lauded the 6-5, 315-pounder's size and length but didn't specify which position Simmons would compete at, saying: "We feel with Simmons, he could play tackle, he could play guard." While next weekend's rookie minicamp will be held entirely in a virtual format with no workout component, I'm assuming that when coach Matt Nagy speaks to the media via conference call, he'll shed more light on where he sees Hambright and Simmons competing as Bears rookies.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week.
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