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.
I enjoy your work from its insightful news to your sense of humor. I am wondering what your gut is telling you when it comes to whether or not the Bears will be making a big free agent signing this year. I liked the Pernell McPhee signing last year and in my opinion it panned out. Anything of that caliber or higher on the horizon?
Rochester, New York
Thanks, Andy, I appreciate it. Based on what general manager Ryan Pace said during his post-season press conference Jan. 4, it seems that the Bears will pursue several different players on the free-agent market like they did last year and not make just that one marquee signing. Pace believes in that strategy because it limits risk and will enable him to fill multiple needs on a team that needs to add playmakers, especially on defense. Here's what Pace told reporters: "I don't like to put all our eggs in one basket in free agency. I don't think you're going to see us make one splash free-agent signing. I think it's going to be kind of spread-out-your-resources a little bit."
Would I be going out on a limb thinking the Bears need a good backup or quarterback of the future? Jay Cutler has been better, but if he gets hurt even for a game, we all saw what happened in Seattle. Will the Bears use a second- or third-round pick on a quarterback or trade for a quality backup?
Jay Cutler will be 33 in April and obviously won't play forever, so I do think that the Bears will consider selecting a quarterback to groom as his eventual replacement in this year's draft. But it has to be a prospect they like who has value at that point in the draft. The other side of the equation is that taking a so-called "quarterback of the future" with a high draft pick means that you're passing up a quality player that could provide more of an immediate impact. So that's always a difficult decision to make. In terms of a backup, I don't think the Bears necessarily look at David Fales as their quarterback of the future. But they are high on him and believe that he could adequately fill in for Cutler if necessary. If they didn't feel that way, they wouldn't have promoted him from the practice squad last year and cut Jimmy Clausen after Fales attracted some interest from other NFL teams.
Will the Bears get any draft picks or other compensation from the Dolphins for Miami hiring Adam Gase as head coach?
Hickory, North Carolina
When an assistant on one NFL team becomes the head coach of another team, no compensation is required, even if the coach is under contract. The only time a team would have to trade a draft pick for a coach is for a head coach who's under contract. I know there was talk about that possibly happening with Sean Payton this year and it did occur in 2002 when Jon Gruden was traded from the Raiders to the Buccaneers.