Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of email questions from fans on ChicagoBears.com.
Which Bears players are slated to become free agents after this season?
Eighteen Bears players are set to become unrestricted free agents in March. Here's the list in alphabetical order: Sam Acho, Alan Ball, Vladimir Ducasse, Matt Forte, Rob Housler, Alshon Jeffery, Jarvis Jenkins, Marc Mariani, Sherrod Martin, Shea McClellin, Sherrick McManis, Zach Miller, Will Montgomery, Ryan Mundy, Tracy Porter, Chris Prosinski, Jacquizz Rodgers and Mitch Unrein. While Forte and Jeffery are the two biggest names, other such as Jenkins, Mariani, Miller and Porter were major contributors in 2015. The Bears also have four restricted free-agents-to-be in Nick Becton, Patrick Omameh, LaRoy Reynolds and Donnie Thompson and one exclusive rights free agent in Josh Bellamy. Teams can match offers presented to restricted free agents, while exclusive rights free agents can only negotiate and sign with their current team.
I remember last year there was quite a bit of talk about Vic Fangio becoming a head coach in the NFL. I'm surprised that his name has not been mentioned for the current vacancies. Is there a reason for this?
It's difficult to explain, but it seems like that's just how the NFL is in terms of some assistants being in high demand one year and virtually ignored the next offseason. One example of that is former Bears special-teams coordinator Dave Toub, who was interviewed by a couple teams a few years ago for their head-coaching positions but hasn't generated much interest since that point. Another factor that may be working against Vic Fangio, who is among the NFL's best defensive coordinators, is that teams throughout the league seem to be trending toward wanting offensive-minded head coaches given the huge emphasis on scoring a ton of points in today's NFL.
When is the last time the Bears didn't have a player representing them in the Pro Bowl?
Bryan via Twitter
This season marks the first time that the Bears did not have a player voted to the Pro Bowl since the 1998 season. One problem is that some Bears players who had made previous Pro Bowl appearances such as running back Matt Forte, receiver Alshon Jeffery and Martellus Bennett missed games with injuries this season.