The Ogunjobi Mess caused the bears to miss other targets

hope jumps forever in July and August when the pads start popping at training camp.

But it will be a while before we go back to camp. In the meantime, Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey shares hope for the future — and it starts with Justin Fields.

“We’re excited about his potential,” McCaskey said via The Athletic. “We are excited about his growth. And we have to do everything we can to get all that talent out of him.”

McCaskey giving an opinion on Fields’ future is a nice touch. The last time he asked questions about Fields’ future, he ridiculed them with moves that would make your favorite running back jealous:

Unfortunately, the Bears have so far been unable to get help for Fields in the off-season.

While I wasn’t expecting the Bears to make any market-changing moves, there were mid-range players signing relatively modest deals that could have been upgrades from what the team was trotting in Fields’ rookie season. Bringing in just one offensive lineman of starting caliber (Lucas Patrick) and only additions to the back of the card at the receiver (Byron Pringle, Equanimeous St. Brown) just isn’t enough to properly evaluate Fields.

And to sprinkle even more salt in the wound, Larry Ogunjobi’s failed signing may have messed things up/played a part in keeping the Bears from achieving what they hoped for in the early off-season.

If you remember, Ogunjobi would be the first splash signing of the new regime. Admittedly, signing a 3 Tech DT was not high on my off-season shopping list. But the point of working early in the negotiation window is that your team can quickly switch to other needs. Get things lined up early and then turn off your secondary options. Unfortunately, that’s not how the cookie crumbled for Chicago. What happened instead was that Ogunjobi’s failed physical caused the Bears to pull out of that deal and look elsewhere for their line of defense. And despite all that, there is a good chance that Poles have missed a deal for players in other positions in need.

From the Tribune:

“I’ve had a lot of conversations and I almost feel like the process is a little flawed where I wish we’d done some of this footage and some of the physical before (the agreement),” Poles said. ‘It will be a kind of rule change. I don’t know the process to get that done. It’s probably something at a meeting like this in the future. But I think a lot of people were hurt by the whole timing of it.”

At the very least, the timing was all sorts of problematic. And the impact can still reverberate to this day. Perhaps the Bears can still follow Ogunjobi, a scenario Poland discussed earlier in the week. But there is no getting back what could have been because of what happened before.

But hey, at least we know there are still options worth targeting (and several ways too):

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