October 11, 2018 at 6:59 am #2088
The Chicago Bears are set to sign Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson and Philadelphia Eagles tight end Trey Burton Authentic Royce Freeman Jersey , giving quarterback Mitchell Trubisky some playmaking targets.
Robinson told ESPN he plans to sign a three-year, $42 million contract, while two people familiar with the situation told The Associated Press Tuesday that Burton is leaving the Philadelphia Eagles after agreeing to a $32 million, four-year deal.
Chicago also agreed to a deal with Atlanta Falcons receiver Taylor Gabriel, and Miami Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey also plans to sign with the Bears, people familiar with their situations said.
The people spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deals won’t be announced until the league year begins Wednesday.
The Bears also extended one-year tenders to receivers Cameron Meredith and Joshua Bellamy along with cornerback Bryce Callahan, giving them the right to match any offers they receive in free agency.
A 2015 Pro Bowl selection, Robinson was impressed by new Bears coach Matt Nagy and told ESPN, “I like what he did” as offensive coordinator with the Kansas City Chiefs. Robinson also tweeted “What’s good Chicago!!!?” with a picture of himself in a Bulls game jersey on Tuesday.
The Bears were looking to upgrade their struggling receiving corps and give Trubisky more dependable targets.
The versatile Burton gets a chance to be the No. 1 tight end on the Bears after catching 23 passes for 248 yards and five TDs in Philadelphia’s championship season. He also threw a touchdown pass to quarterback Nick Foles in the Eagles’ Super Bowl victory over New England.
Robinson had a strong training camp last year and looked like he would be an integral part of the offense. But he tore the ACL in his left knee on Jacksonville’s third play of the season and had surgery the following week. The Jaguars went on to win the AFC South and advance to the conference title game.
Robinson has missed 21 games in four seasons, though Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said at the NFL scouting combine he is “right on schedule” in his recovery from the torn ACL.
A second-round draft pick from Penn State, Robinson has 202 catches for 2,848 yards and 22 touchdowns in 43 games. He had 80 receptions for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2015, establishing himself as one of the best receivers in franchise history. His production dropped in 2016, with 73 receptions for 883 yards and six scores.
But at 24, he’s young and fills a big need for the rebuilding Bears. Chicago’s leading receiver last year was Kendall Wright with 59 receptions for 614 yards.
Gabriel had 33 catches for 378 yards and a touchdown last season. He has 132 receptions for 1,819 yards and eight touchdowns in four seasons with Atlanta and Cleveland.
The Bears are banking on Trubisky’s development to help them end a string of losing seasons. General manager Ryan Pace staked his reputation to the quarterback by trading up a spot with San Francisco last year to draft him with the No. 2 overall pick.
Parkey made 21 of 23 field goals in his lone season with Miami. He worked with new Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor as a member of the Cleveland Browns in 2016, after spending his first two years with the Eagles.
The Bears waived Connor Barth and signed Cairo Santos in November. Santos then suffered a season-ending groin injury Adidas David Pastrnak Jersey , and Mike Nugent finished the season as Chicago’s kicker.
The Bears fired coach John Fox after going 5-11 and finishing last in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. The Bears have missed the playoffs 10 of the past 11 seasons and have not finished with a winning record since 2012.
AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi in Philadelphia contributed to this report.
ARIZONA CARDINALS (8-8)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Tyvon Branch; CB Justin Bethel and Tramon Williams; QBs Drew Stanton, Blaine Gabbert and Matt Barkley; DT Frostee Rucker; WRs John Brown, Brittan Golden and Jaron Brown; OLBs Karlos Dansby and Kareem Martin; RB Kerwyn Williams; G Alex Boone; ILB Josh Bynes, OT Khalif Barnes; OL Earl Watford; TE Troy Niklas; LS Aaron Brewer.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DT Xavier Williams.
NEEDS: With no QB on roster, team’s No. 1 need is obvious. General manager Steve Keim seems to want to sign veteran, with Cardinals in Kirk Cousins sweepstakes despite salary cap challenges, especially considering large number of departing free agents, some of whom could be re-signed. Expect Cardinals also to address QB in draft. Other needs are at WR, where ranks are thin to nonexistent behind Larry Fitzgerald. With big contracts of aging, oft-injured G Mike Iupati and T Jared Veldeer, Cardinals will be looking at OL help as well as in secondary. With entire new coaching regime and system, team might look for someone to play FB.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $21 million.
ATLANTA FALCONS (11-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE Adrian Clayborn; FB Derrick Coleman; WRs Taylor Gabriel, Andre Roberts and Nick Williams; LBs Jordan Tripp, Sean Weatherspoon and Kemal Ishmael; DTs Dontari Poe, Courtney Upshaw and Ahtyba Rubin; CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: FS Ricardo Allen; RBs Terron Ward and Terrence Magee; G Ben Garland.
NEEDS: Tight end is priority following release of Levine Toilolo. Veteran could be signed to challenge Austin Hooper. Team cut Derrick Shelby and could lose Clayborn, so more pass rush help at defensive end may be needed. If team loses Poe and Upshaw in free agency, another veteran defensive tackle may be signed. Guard is another priority that may be addressed high in draft or in free agency. General manager Thomas Dimitroff said at NFL scouting combine that Gabriel would not be re-signed
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $9 million.
CAROLINA PANTHERS (11-6)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: Gs Andrew Norwell and Amini Silatolu; DEs Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson; DT Star Lotulelei; QB Derek Anderson; TE Ed Dickson, Ss Jairus Byrd and Kurt Coleman; CB Teddy Williams; LB Andrew Gachkar; WR Brenton Bersin; RB Jonathan Stewart.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: TE Scott Simonson; G David Yankey; WR Kaelin Clay; CB LaDarius Gunter.
NEEDS: Panthers need thumper at safety after releasing Coleman Dustin Brown Jersey , as well as pass rushing defensive ends after release of Johnson and with 37-year-old Peppers’ future uncertain. Team allowed All-Pro guard Norwell to walk, but believes last year’s draft pick Taylor Moton can step into that spot. Center Ryan Kalil and outside linebacker Thomas Davis said they will retire after season, so it’s time to address those areas. Carolina cut Stewart, its all-time leading rusher; team needs complement to Christian McCaffrey in backfield. Finding speedy wide receiver remains priority. Don’t be surprised if Carolina drafts quarterback at some point and parts with Anderson.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $24 million.
CHICAGO BEARS (5-11)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: CB Kyle Fuller (transition tag), Prince Amukamara, Bryce Callahan and Sherrick McManis; WRs Josh Bellamy, Dontrelle Inman and Kendall Wright; QB Mark Sanchez; RB Benny Cunningham; TE Zach Miller; G Josh Sitton; DE Mitch Unrein; LBs Sam Acho, Lamarr Houston and Christian Jones.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR Cameron Meredith.
NEEDS: Bears have glaring need for playmaking receivers and could make run at Jacksonville’s Allen Robinson and Rams’ Sammy Watkins in free agency. Chicago needs help on offensive line after declining option on Sitton and with Kyle Long recovering from multiple surgeries. On defense, Bears could use more pass rushers to go with LB Leonard Floyd. Chicago placed transition tag on Fuller, giving them right to match any offer he receives in free agency.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $64 million.
DALLAS COWBOYS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE DeMarcus Lawrence; RB Alfred Morris; WR Brice Butler; T Byron Bell; G Jonathan Cooper; LBs Anthony Hitchens and Kyle Wilber; LS L.P. LaDouceur; C Joe Looney; CB Bene Benwikere.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DE David Irving; FB Keith Smith.
NEEDS: Lawrence will be back after signing for $17.1 million under franchise tag as sides work on long-term deal. Team plans to tender Irving and wants him back. Dallas also wants Hitchens back but likely won’t overpay in scenario that could be similar to last year, when S Barry Church left for Jacksonville. Morris and Butler probably not coming back, and Cowboys could target LG in draft if Cooper doesn’t return. Days of headline-grabbing free agents mostly over with owner Jerry Jones’ son, executive VP Stephen Jones, having strong influence and preferring to avoid big-money deals with players outside organization.
AVAILABLE SALARY CAP SPACE (approximately): $3.2 million.
DETROIT LIONS (9-7)
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: DTs Haloti Ngata and Jordan Hill; LBs Tahir Whitehead, Nick Bellore, Dwight Freeney and LB Paul Worrilow; CBs D.J. Hayden and Nevin Lawson; C Travis Swanson; S Don Carey; TE Darren Fells; OTs Greg Robinson and Don Barclay; RB Mike James.
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: WR TJ Jones; LB Brandon Copeland; OL Zac Kerin; RB Zach Zenner.
NEEDS: Lions’ weakness is defensive line and improving it will be priority under first-year coach Matt Patricia. Former New England Patriots defensive coordinator also might want to bolster offensive line to protect QB Matthew Stafford and help boost poorly performing runni
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