Now that the 2020 season is officially over for the Chicago Bears, it’s already time to begin building next year’s roster. The Bears wasted no time, signing 10 free agent players to reserve deals Monday, the team announced via its official Twitter page. The majority of the 10 spent the bulk — if not the entire — season on the team’s practice squad.
Due to new rules implemented by the league this season, teams were allowed to cap their respective practice squads at 16 players, a measure meant to help fill rosters in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks — something we saw happen to multiple teams this season. It’s common for players signed after the season to wind up with the team on the PS again the following season — but it’s equally common for them to be released.
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Bears Ink 10 Players, Including Ledarius Mack & Teez Tabor
Here’s a list of the 10 players Chicago inked to futures contracts Monday:
Defensive back Marqui Christian
Defensive back Xavier Crawford
Offensive lineman Dieter Eiselen
Tight end Jesper Horsted
Wide receiver Thomas Ives
Wide receiver Rodney Adams
Defensive tackle LaCale London
Linebacker Ledarius Mack
Defensive back Teez Tabor
Offensive lineman Badara Traore
The younger brother of Khalil, Ledarius Mack is arguably the most notable name to make the list. The Mack brothers are close, and the younger spent the entire season on Chicago’s practice squad after signing as an undrafted free agent last summer.
Tabor is also a notable signing because he was a former second round draft pick (53rd overall) for the divisional rival Detroit Lions in 2017. He had a hugely successful college career at the University of Florida, where he was a first-team All-SEC selection two of his three years. He was released by Detroit in 2019, however, due to performance-based issues.
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Bears Looking Ahead to Next Season After Up and Down 2020
After making the playoffs at 8-8 only to lose in the Wild Card round to the Saints, several Bears players spoke to the media after a rough season played amidst a global pandemic. Now, looking ahead to next season, head coach Matt Nagy addressed the team Monday morning, and wide receiver Allen Robinson revealed what he told the team, per the Chicago Sun-Times:
[Nagy said], you know, just basically, that we obviously didn’t finish how we wanted to, but at the same time, we have a resilient group. I think with everything going on, guys have made a lot of sacrifices this season, obviously with the COVID testing. We had some people opt out, guys risking, being away from their families and things like that. So a lot of guys put a lot on the line this year. Regardless, that’s no excuse for us coming up short, but at the same time, I think everybody can acknowledge with the craziness of this year how guys had to prepare, how guys had to go about things, not being with their families for the holidays. Guys sacrificed and put a lot on the line this year.
Whether Robinson — or any/all of the 10 players signed Monday — remain with the Bears next season is anyone’s guess, but the team does deserve credit for sticking together during such a uniquely rough season. That said, buckle up, Bears fans. The offseason may be more of a wild ride than the regular season was.