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.
In a couple mock drafts, some analysts have the Bears picking running back Ezekiel Elliott. Do you think he will be there when the Bears go on the clock at No. 11?
I realize that the running back position has supposedly been devalued over the past several years with the proliferation of the passing game in the NFL. But I think seeing the type of impact that Todd Gurley made with the Rams after getting picked 10th overall last year could convince some teams to select Ezekiel Elliott in the top 10. I've heard nothing but great things about the former Ohio State star, with some analysts comparing him to the Vikings' Adrian Peterson. So, no, I don't believe that Elliott will still be on the board when the Bears pick at No. 11.
With the returning veterans and all the people the Bears have signed and kept in free agency, how many guys are under contract right now?
Charleston, South Carolina
The Bears currently have 73 players on their roster, giving them 17 open spots. (The NFL requires teams to have no more than 90 players during the offseason before mandatory cuts down to 75 and 53 in the weeks leading up to the regular season.) If the Bears use all nine of their draft picks, that would leave them with eight spots for undrafted rookie free agents.
I'm planning on traveling from Southern California to Chicago this summer for training camp. I'd like to catch a practice or two in Bourbonnais as well as the practice at Soldier Field., What are the dates for training camp this year?
Los Angeles, California
Training camp dates have not yet been released, but my best guess is that the Bears will report to Bourbonnais sometime during the week of July 25. Teams are permitted to begin camp no earlier than 15 days before their first preseason game, so when the preseason schedule comes out just count back 15 days from the opener and that's probably when the Bears will report to Bourbonnais. Of course, we'll have a complete schedule on our website as soon as it's announced.