It seems too good to be true, but the Bears and many other teams' rookies have reported to training camp. Even though the NFL has stayed on schedule throughout the offseason, it was hard to be sure that teams would start on time. We've seen virtual mini camps and OTA's and every other sports league get delayed or come to a halt for a period of time. Factor in the #WeWantToPlay initiative by the players and a delay seemed like a real possibility. For now, we can exhale because the rookies are in camp.
Both of the Bears' second-round picks signing their rookie contracts is an even better sign.
Usually if rookie contracts took this long to sign, it would mean there was some sort of a holdout. Obviously this offseason has been far from traditional. The most important thing is that the Bears' top two picks are signed and at camp ready to go.
Both Jaylon Johnson and Cole Kmet will be competing for starting spots on this roster from day one. Cole Kmet should undoubtedly be the starting Y tight end, but Jaylon Johnson will have to battle for his spot. Both Kevin Toliver and Tre Roberson aren't just going to hand the job to a rookie, so Johnson will have to rise to the challenge and fight for the spot. Chicago Bears' secondary coach Deshea Townsend challenged Johnson to earn his spot in an interview this offseason. Jaylon Johnson has all the tools it takes to be a starter, but it's up to him to win the job.
Beyond Kmet and Johnson, the Bears have signed the rest of their 2020 draft picks as well.
That list includes Darnell Mooney, Trevis Gipson, Arlington Hambright, and Lachavious Simmons. Football seems to be heading in the right direction.
We've seen players ask the NFL to implement stricter, safer guidelines for COVID-19. The NFL has sent out a proposal with zero preseason games, which is exactly what the players wanted. As long as the whole country doesn't shut down again, there is a legitimate chance for football to start on time this year.