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 haven't read anything about Jay Cutler beginning to work with new Bears coach Marc Trestman. Has Cutler been meeting with Trestman to get a jump on learning the new offense?
Lake Villa, Illinois
The NFL's collective bargaining agreement prohibits players and coaches from meeting with each other until the official start of the offseason program in April. Here's the passage from the CBA: "Players are not permitted to participate in Club-supervised workouts, Club-supervised practices, group or individual meetings with coaches, group or individual film study with coaches, or group or individual playbook study with coaches." Teams with new head coaches such as the Bears are allowed to begin their offseason program on the first Monday in April, while teams without new head coaches aren't permitted to start their offseason programs until the third Monday in April.
Do you think the Bears will try to trade for the Vikings' Percy Harvin this offseason? Picturing him in the slot with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery outside seems dangerous to defenses.
Percy Harvin is a dynamic playmaker who would be an asset for any team. But trades within a division are extremely rare, so I wouldn't hold your breath until Harvin joins the Bears. If the Vikings end up trading him, they probably will try to deal him to an AFC team, reducing the likelihood that he will bite the hand that once fed him.
There's been a lot of talk about the Bears passing game with the hiring of head coach Marc Trestman, but do you see Matt Forte's role on offense changing? We all know he can do a number of things and I was wondering how he will be utilized in the new offense.
We'll have to see how Matt Forte is used during OTA and minicamp practices before discussing his role with any certainty. But I can tell you that general manager Phil Emery indicated while speaking to the media Dec. 31 that he would like to see Forte utilized more as a pass receiver. Here's what Emery said at the time while discussing the need for the Bears to utilize the middle of the field more: "Matt was brought back and I was excited about his signing because a big part of that is him as a pass receiver. For whatever reason, whether it was protection or utilization or catching, we didn't utilize Matt or he didn't have the opportunity to be fully utilized."