Jordan Howard photo by Mark Busch/Shaw Media
Jordan Howard photo by Mark Busch/Shaw Media

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Where do you see the Bears going forward at tight end? Will [Dion] Sims be gone and replaced with a cheaper 3rd TE? Submitted by Ryan McAuliffe

Ryan, it’s nothing against Sims. But he hasn’t played to his contract, and the Bears have less cap space than all but 26 teams in the league — just under $5 million — and they can save $6 million more by cutting Sims.

They can probably save some more cap space by redoing a few other deals, like Long, Leno, Robinson, Fuller, Mack, etc. but they need to be careful that they don’t create a worse cap situation down the road.

At the end of the day it’s impossible to see a scenario where they don’t cut Sims, and the reality is, Daniel Brown and Ben Braunecker will probably always be No. 4s, not No. 3s.

This is a very solid tight end draft at the top, and there could still be a good one in the third, or there could be a couple of very high-ceiling guys still around if the Bears try and trade back up into the latter half of second round.

All you’ll find is risk at the position in free agency, and needing to either re-sign or replace Amos and Callahan, the Bears don’t have the cap space to address it in free agency.

I am nowhere near ready to write off Adam Shaheen, but I also won’t pretend 2018 wasn’t disappointing. The question: Was his lack of development because of the injury, or is the game at this level too big for him?

This will be one of the most important calls Pace and Nagy make during the offseason.

Your Top 6 NFL QBs going into 2019 season? Submitted by Riehm

Wow, this isn’t as easy as it sounds. I’m sure you don’t want me just guessing, so I will pick them up where we left them and project as best I can.

Tom Brady — It just can’t be anyone else until someone proves it on the field. Aaron Rodgers — Yes, his production has slipped the past couple seasons, but the tools are still there, and if he’s healthy, he’s the reason Matt LaFleur was the pick at head coach. I expect a big bounce-back year from Rodgers, if the Pack fixes the interior of its O-line and the tackles can stay relatively healthy. Andrew Luck — Very quietly, he was all the way back in 2018, and behind that O-line, with another big-time target, he will once again be the heir apparent to Brady and Peyton. Patrick Mahomes — I’m not dissing what he did last year in any way. Remember, even Brady and Manning — the only two to do what he did in throwing at least 50 touchdowns — each only did it once. He has a chance to be one of the all-time greats but still has to prove he can make all the adjustments that will most certainly need to over the next couple years. Philip Rivers — I can’t explain what happened in Foxborough, but I refuse to believe this guy doesn’t have one Super Bowl run in him, and it has to be this year if it’s going to happen. Drew Brees – Yes, this seems low to me, too, but he’ll be 40 years old, and no matter how much Saints fans want to cry about the officials, in the end it was Brees who cost the Saints the NFC title game, not the stripes.

Would love to hear what you all think about my list. I’m sure I’ll even want to make an adjustment or two by the time you read it.

Why, after one down year, we can’t wait to jettison one of the hardest running backs in the league? Submitted by Timothy O’Neill

Timothy, Jordan Howard didn’t even have a down year. His numbers were down because of the way he was used, not the way he played.

What I’ve heard is that Howard wasn’t overly popular with the Fox regime even before Nagy got here, and the reason neither has been as impressed as they should be is he’s not the greatest practice player in the world.

That said, the only backs in the league with more rushing yards than Howard since he got here are Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, so the Bears are not going to be stubborn and get rid of him without ample return.

I expect they’ll do all they can to get a better complement for Howard than Tarik Cohen, who is a great third-down back but can’t be used more than that or you’ll either get him hurt or burn him out.

Think Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Howard is better than Ingram, but the Bears want a Kamara to pair with him.

Obviously that’s much easier said than done, but they’ll look for that style back this year and then have to make a tough call when Howard becomes a free agent after next season.

There is no reason or excuse for getting rid of him until they find much better options than they have right now.

What are chances of Bears picking up AB, Bell or both? And at what cost? Submitted by M. Walschot

Slim and none, and slim is already 20 miles out of town.

First of all, A.B., or Mr. Big Chest, as he apparently now prefers to be called, isn’t even a good fit for the Bears. They paid a steep price to come up and get Anthony Miller last season, so he could be Robin to Allen Robinson, and though I think he proved it a number of times during the season, Robinson proved beyond any doubt with 10-143 receiving in the playoffs despite broken ribs, he is absolutely a No. 1.

I’m not even going to get into “Big Chest,” king of the divas and all that. When training camp opens, he will be a 31-year-old, 180-pound receiver whom the Bears really have no need for.

Le'Veon Bell could be a good fit for the Bears, if being away from the game for a year hasn’t cost him his edge, but there’s just no way with where the Bears are at against the cap right now they can get that done.

The other issue I have with Bell is he has proven beyond any doubt he has had absolutely no concern for the team he’s expected to make him the wealthiest player in the game the last couple seasons, and worse yet, his teammates.

That’s something the Bears really don’t need.

More disappointing offseason: This past Cubs offseason or Bears upcoming offseason? Submitted by B. T. Campbell

Well B.T., I don’t see how I can be disappointed with the Bears offseason right now, as other than coaching changes it really hasn’t started yet, and I’m not going to waste anyone’s time being disappointed in things you want me to project that may or may not happen.

I’m also really not that disappointed in the Cubs offseason, just because everyone else is. I definitely hoped they’d fix the closer situation — which they haven’t really addressed — but other than that I see no reason they can’t be the winningest team in the NL again. Which, by the way, too many are forgetting the Cubs were exactly that last year through 162 along with the Brewers in spite of being forced to play a ridiculous 42 games in 43 days down the stretch.

If he’s healthy, it’s a slam dunk Kris Bryant will be a much bigger contributor this year. And let's let’s not forget we’re talking about an MVP, not just an All Star, and there’s no reason to believe Javy Baez and Anthony Rizzo won’t be MVP candidates again as well.

How many other MLB clubs are likely to have three MVP candidates?

There’s also every reason to believe Contreras and Schwarber can and will be much better than they were last year, and Jason Heyward is still the best defensive outfielder in the league.

It is also worth noting that for all the gloom and doom about the starting pitching because of age, if Lester, Hendricks and Hamels (as a Cub) are the exact same pitchers they were last year, and Darvish is the pitcher he was in Texas, that makes Quintana by far the best No. 5 in baseball, and gives the Cubs hands down the best starting staff in baseball.

Even if Darvish is average, it’s more than enough to win with.

Other than solidifying the closer spot, I’m not sure what they could have or should have done more of in the offseason to get better.

I’m disappointed in the Addison Russell saga and pissed about old man Ricketts being such a tool, but I’m pretty sure that’s not what you were asking me about.

The NFL is my job. Here I’m more a fan, but I see no reason the Cubs can’t win the NL Central again this year and go much deeper in the postseason this time if they can stay healthy.