Sam Acho Jersey

The Bears on Tuesday released veteran outside linebacker Sam Acho.

The 6-3, 259-pounder spent the past four seasons with the Bears, registering 140 tackles, four sacks, eight tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, three pass breakups and 17 special-teams tackles while appearing in 51 games with 25 starts.

Acho, 30, missed the final 12 games last season after sustaining a torn pectoral muscle in a Week 4 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Soldier Field.

Acho joined the Bears in 2015 after spending his first four NFL seasons with the Cardinals. He was selected by Arizona in the fourth round of the 2011 draft out of Texas and played in 51 games with 32 starts for the Cardinals.

Off the field, Acho has helped coordinate the Bears’ social justice initiatives and has worked with several other charities, most notably Living Hope Christian Ministries, an organization that was founded by his parents in 1989.

Acho was selected as the Bears’ NFL Man of the Year Award nominee in both 2016 and 2017. The prestigious honor is the only league award that recognizes a player’s off-the-field community service as well as his performance on the field. It has been in existence since 1970 and rewards NFL players who demonstrate outstanding balance in their lives between civic and professional responsibilities.

Sherrick McManis Jersey

As he enters his 10th NFL season, Sherrick McManis may have to prepare for a different era to begin. McManis, a native of Peoria, IL and former Northwestern standout, has been with the Chicago Bears since 2012. He’s given the Bears seven solid seasons of depth at the cornerback position, but this year his role might change a little bit.

McManis has been a key special teams player for the Bears at times, and has been primarily a slot cornerback on defense. Over the last couple of seasons, McManis has backed up former Bears nickel Bryce Callahan. He’s done a good job in that role, too. Just last season, when Callahan went down to injury, the Bears’ defense didn’t miss a beat with McManis coming in for the remainder of the season.

Last year, though, may have started to signal the beginning of the end for McManis’ time in Chicago. There are a couple of players that could challenge McManis for his playing time going forward, starting with former undrafted free agent Kevin Toliver out of LSU.

Toliver came to the Bears as a kid who could have been drafted as high as the fifth round, but slipped out of all seven rounds. The Bears were quick to jump on him, as he presented a lot to like at the corner position — mainly physicality and the ability to play the slot if need be.

This season, the Bears invested a draft pick in former Kansas State cornerback Duke Shelley. The Bears are high on Shelley because of his incredible athleticism and how he projects as an ideal slot cornerback. He can play outside, but at the NFL level, Shelley looks to be more of a nickel.

Starting in the slot, of course, is free agent signing Buster Skrine. Formerly of the New York Jets, Skrine comes to the Bears to replace Callahan as the starting nickel back.With draft capital invested in Shelley and a second year of development for Toliver, could McManis’ time as the primary backup be nearly up?

If Shelley ends up impressing over the summer, I think he could absolutely overtake McManis as the backup slot corner. He may even provide a different dynamic on special teams, because of his speed and athleticism. McManis has been a smart player, above all else, which has kept him on this team. But, I think Shelley is the biggest threat to him at this point.

Toliver will have less pressure on him this year, as he proved his worth last summer. He made the team after going undrafted, and going into his second camp, Toliver should understand he has much more going for him at this point.

The 31-year-old McManis will be a free agent next offseason, meaning he’ll have to prove he has plenty of football left in the tank. Whether it’s with the Bears or a different team, McManis will be playing for a job this season. That could also throw a different dynamic into the competition at corner this year.

Josh Bellamy Jersey

While Josh Bellamy will give the Jets some depth at receiver, the 29-year-old figures to be a starter on possibly all of Brant Boyer’s special teams units. But there is one area on specials where he’d actually prefer to be a backup.

“I play everything. I’m a four-phase guy: kickoff, kick return, punt and punt return,” Bellamy told Olivia Landis after signing with the Green & White. “I’m trying to be the backup field-goal kicker. I do it all. I’m just here for whatever they need me to do and I’m going to do it.”

It should come as no surprise that Bellamy is volunteering to do something extra. The 6’0”, 208-pounder was lauded for his work ethic in Chicago and one person who knows firsthand what Bellamy brings to the table is Jets head coach Adam Gase. Bellamy, who had 19 receptions and two receiving touchdowns in 2015 when Gase was Chicago’s offensive coordinator, said the Jets’ leader was the primary reason he landed in New York.

“Pretty much 90 percent of it,” Bellamy said. “Me and Gase have a pretty good relationship. I just love the way he does things and I know what to expect from him. It’s all love.”

A Louisville product who went undrafted in 2012, Bellamy spent time with the Chiefs, the Chargers and the Redskins before landing with the Bears in 2014. In 63 contests with Chicago, Bellamy had 76 receptions for 999 yards with five touchdowns.

Bellamy has experienced what the Jets are in store for with Gase, indicating his new teammates will have to bring their hard-hats to One Jets Drive each day.

“Be ready to work, he’s going to work you. He’s going to get it all up out of you,” Bellamy said. “He’s a grinder, he wants to win. He’s going to win and that’s just his mentality. If you’re a dog, you’ll stay. If you’re not, get out the way.”

After being a member of a 12-4 Bears squad that captured the NFC North last year, Bellamy feels he has joined a club that is on the upswing. The Jets have improved their talent on both offense and defense this week with the additions of a group that includes RB Le’Veon Bell, WR Jamison Crowder, OL Kelechi Osemele and ILB CJ Mosley.

“I feel like this was a good opportunity for me to come over and play and I feel like this organization is on the up this year,” Bellamy said. “We have Le’Veon and we added a couple of more guys. We got Jamison, so I’m excited to see what’s going to happen.”

Marcus Cooper Jersey

Those words were uttered by a woman sitting inside Worcester District Court moments after former UMass Medical School Dr. Marcus Cooper was found guilty of photographing a woman in a bathroom stall.

The woman inside the courtroom was the victim in the case. The people were a jury.

Cooper, 50, of Grafton, was sentenced to one year in jail with 60 days to serve after he was found guilty of secretly photographing an unsuspecting nude person. The balance of the sentence was suspended for three years. Cooper will be on probation for those three years and must undergo mental health evaluations.

Cooper was sentenced to pay a $150 fine after he was found guilty of disorderly conduct.

The former UMass cardiologist was found guilty on both charges by a jury Thursday after a two-day trial.

Cooper took a picture of a female medical student inside a bathroom stall in the Albert Sherman Center at the UMass Medical School campus in Worcester on Sept. 1, 2015.

As of December 2015, he was no longer an associate professor or employee at the hospital and medical school. He also turned in his license to practice medicine after he was initially charged.

The woman, who spoke in court before sentencing, was in a bathroom stall and heard a clicking noise. She tried to confront Cooper after she spotted a cellphone camera lens pointing at her.

“You have no idea who I am. If you did, you wouldn’t be doing this,” Cooper told the woman.

In court, the victim said she was three weeks into medical school when the incident happened.

It impacted her entire life. She was afraid to use public restrooms, afraid to go on campus and endured personal attacks by Cooper and others, she said.

“Because of this incident, I now have anxiety each time that I use a public restroom,” she said. “The events that took place on Sept. 1 ruined every sense of safety and security I felt on campus.”

The woman’s father told the judge the actions by Cooper have taken a toll on her for the past four years, physically, intellectually and emotionally.

“It has forever tainted her memories and experience of medical school,” the family said.

Prosecutor Lambrini Pashou said in 1994 at the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Maryland, Cooper was also accused of peering over a bathroom stall and looking at a woman. The same woman said Cooper also used a mirror to look at her in the stall.

The prosecutor said Cooper admitted to doing it in a letter.

Other women at UMass came forward and told investigators Cooper was spotted lingering around bathrooms, not near his office. Cooper was only charged in the September 2015 case.

Defense attorney James Gribouski said his client should have been sentenced to probation and not jail time.

Cooper, who is married, was abused as a child by his stepfather and began to take medicine and undergo treatment for a mental disorder after the 1994 incident, the defense lawyer said.

Gribouski never mentioned the specific disorder. He said Cooper relapsed after going off the medication in order to have children.

Bennie Fowler Jersey

Eli Manning and his arm strength have come under fire in recent days following a viral video that showed a supposed dip in his overall arm strength. The video was shot during the New York Giants’ mandatory minicamp and Tweeted out by beat reporter Matt Lombardo. Since then, the concern about Manning’s arm strength waning at age 38 has only intensified following former Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.’s comments about how different it is adjusting to a strong-armed quarterback like Cleveland Browns starter Baker Mayfield. We’ve got good news for you as current Giants wide receiver Bennie Fowler is here to quell these concerns.

According to Fowler, Manning can still sling the football with plenty of arm strength. In fact, Fowler is confident Manning has a stronger throwing arm overall then Peyton Manning.

“I played two years with Peyton and two years with Eli: Eli has a stronger arm,” Fowler said, via NJ Advance Media.”It’s not really all about arm strength. It’s about the combination, where the ball can be placed. I think he has more than enough arm strength and you can see it out here.

“That’s just what I see from catching from both of them: Eli has the stronger arm,” Fowler added. “That’s not a knock on Peyton. We won a Super Bowl.

“Eli has more zip. It’’s a catch-able ball to catch and run. Peyton had the same type of ball.”

Fowler is famous in some circles for catching the final pass of Peyton’s NFL career. Fowler worked with Peyton for the final two years of his career and he joined the Giants during the 2018 season. During the Giants’ second minicamp practice on Wednesday, Fowler caught a touchdown from Manning during red zone drills. However, it was a pass that Manning threw Fowler’s way earlier in practice that grabbed his attention and confirmed his suspicion about the veteran two-time Super Bowl MVP’s current arm strength.

“Eli threw a ball (Wednesday) and it hit me in the chest so hard,” Fowler said. “There is plenty there to win, to make all the throws. He can throw the ball down field, and he’s thrown it well since we’ve been back.”

Chase Daniel Jersey

Many in the United States have learned that over the years. Some tend to forget about all of those troops stationed around the world providing protection for those back at home. Chicago Bears quarterback Chase Daniel recently had the opportunity to travel to South Korea and visit with some of those troops who are protecting others around the world.

The Bears recently shared a video of Daniel recapping some of the events from his time overseas.

“It’s special,” Daniel said about the trip. “You don’t take it for granted. Especially those guys over there are risking their lives, day in and day out, get so excited about a football player coming over to visit. It just puts things in perspective.”

As part of the NFL’s USO tour, Daniel, Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Myles Jack, New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan and New England Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski spent a week overseas. The four players had an opportunity to tour parts of South Korea and spend time with troops. Daniel noted both his father and his grandfather had previously spent time in the Navy.

The whole experience is something that Daniel will never forget. While the stakes are obviously much, much higher in the military, Daniel sees the connection between the military and an NFL team.

“It sort of reminds me of a football team but they are risking their lives day in and day out,” Daniel said. “They are absolutely within range of North Korean missiles, right? We are playing a game for a living. But it is still that teamwork aspect. It takes everyone doing their job at the exact same time, at the right time, to get a job done.”

Daniel also noted he ran across a lot of Bears fans while in South Korea. He even told a story about going to a pub that had a giant bear wearing a Dick Butkus jersey.

The veteran quarterback is now entering his second season with the Bears.

Daniel made two starts last season for the organization when starter Mitch Trubisky went down with an injury in November. He made his first start since 2014 on Thanksgiving Day against the Lions. He completed 27 of his 37 passing attempts for 230 yards and tossed two touchdowns without an interception in the victory. He also started in Week 13 against the New York Giants. He ended that game by completing 26 of his 39 passing attempts for 285 yards and threw one touchdown and two interceptions. He finished the year with 515 passing yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions and a quarterback rating of 90.6.

This past season marked the most playing time Daniel has received in his NFL career since joining the league as an undrafted free agent in 2009.

Since joining the organization Daniel has proven to be a great example of not only a teammate but also a person.

Kevin White Jersey

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Kevin White can’t wait to finally shred any labels cast upon him that start with a “b” and end with “ust.”

You can tell that by the way White talks, but it’s more about how little he’s willing to say.

White was an absolute monster in college at West Virginia, catching 109 balls for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior. Even more, he ran a 4.35 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds.

Expectations were high for White as the seventh overall selection for the Chicago Bears in the 2015 NFL Draft, but injuries have derailed any chance he’s had at meeting them. White has played in 14 total games over four seasons.

The Cardinals have provided White that opportunity to have a revival, or really more of a starting-off-point, on his pro football career. He’s got a head coach in Kliff Kingsbury who is well-aware of his past success at the college level and a wide receiver room full of open competition beyond Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk.

When joining Bickley & Marotta on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station on Wednesday, White a couple of times referenced a desire to show he’s “that guy.” AKA, White wants to show all his doubters he’s a more-than-capable football player.

“I want it real bad and I’m gonna grind and do what I have to do to prove that I’m that guy,” he said.

“I would play this game for free just to show that I’m that guy.”

Kingsbury spoke on what he’s seen from White.

“Been really pleased with his work ethic,” he said on May 20. “I know people who coached him in college — very close with those guys — and they speak the world of him and that’s what we’ve seen. Hard working, focused, wants to be great, has a lot to prove, obviously, and has a great skill set. That big and that fast, so we’re excited to see what he can be out here.”

Kingsbury’s offense will provide that opportunity for White. In what is expected to use three-to-four receivers at almost all times and options to spread the field, White’s speed and size could certainly contribute.

“He’s seen it when I was in college,” White said of Kingsbury. “I think it [will] be a good fit.

“I like that he has that confidence and is outspoken about that. I’m like that about myself privately.”

Jonathan Bullard Jersey

He was the number #178 ranked defensive lineman. His defensive lineman ranking drops to #237 when basing it on average fantasy points. He showed improvement from his start of the season to the middle of his season, but then his production dropped off. In his middle 5 games he averaged 1.6 fantasy points which was higher than his start (1.2 FP) and his ending average (0.9 FP). He is still relatively young, so his late season drop-off should not be an indicator of an overall downward trend heading into next season. Based on a relatively low standard deviation, Bullard can be considered a consistent fantasy player. Our projected ceiling for Bullard when he ‘goes off’ is 3 fantasy points (his average is 1.2FPs). Jonathan Bullard (2019 Season Projection: 15 Solo, 11 Ast, 1.8 Sacks, 1.9 PDs) is projected to improve in the upcoming season. His rank based on total projected fantasy points has him as the #169 player at his position.

As a young player, his dropoff in fantasy production is disappointing. His average fantasy points decreased by 50% this season.

Jonathan Bullard played in 12 games in 2018. He was the #175 ranked fantasy DL based on total fantasy points. He averaged 1.2 FP per game (#236 ranked based on average). He is trending down based on lower per game fantasy ranking from 2017 to 2018.

Adam Shaheen Jersey

When the Chicago Bears drafted tight end Adam Shaheen in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft, he was a bit of an unknown, coming from a smaller school as walk-on.

He overpowered lesser competition, but questions remained on whether or not he could become a pass-catching weapon at the next level.

Two years later, those questions still remain for the former Ashland star, and now may be his best chance to show he’s a worthwhile investment for the long term.

With Trey Burton sidelined by sports hernia surgery, the door is open once again for Shaheen to earn more reps with the starting offense and begin the preseason as the starting tight end.

His rookie year, he led the team in receiving touchdowns (3) and formed chemistry with Mitchell Trubisky throughout the season. But he only caught a total of 12 total passes for 127 yards in 12 games.

The injury bug bit him in 2018 as he missed the first two months of the season with a sprained ankle and foot he suffered in the preseason. Upon returning, he averaged 20-30 snaps per game and caught five passes for 48 yards and one touchdown.

If healthy, he should make an effective compliment to Burton, as they both possess skills that differ from one another that would open up the offense for Trubisky even more. But Shaheen is left looking for answers as to why he cannot stay on the field.

According to Adam Jahns of The Athletic, Shaheen is turning to martial arts to better himself physically in hopes of furthering his development and staying healthy for an entire season.

“My injuries have not been normal,” Shaheen told Jahns. “They haven’t been like a pulled (hamstring) or an ACL or anything like that. It’s been some things that doctors haven’t seen in years.”

Shaheen and third-year tight end Ben Braunecker are the only players who have NFL experience at the position with Burton sidelined. Still, the best ability Shaheen can improve is his availability.

Joel Iyiegbuniwe Jersey

Chicago native Joel Iyiegbuniwe was selected by his hometown team in the fourth round as a linebacker out of Western Kentucky. Like his fellow rookie linebacker, Kylie Fitts, Iyiegbuniwe hasn’t seen much action on defense this season and has primarily played on special teams.

In 16 regular season games, Iyiegbuniwe has recorded 9 total tackles and saw some action in both Week 16 and Week 17 for the Bears on defense. Going into the playoffs, Iyiegbuniwe could be a key player on special teams as the Bears look to move on by beating Philadelphia on Sunday.

We caught up with Iyiegbuniwe to discuss the matchup with the Eagles and how his rookie season has been so far.

“I’ve always had confidence in my ability to play. Coming into the NFL I wanted to be sure that I didn’t short sell myself. A year ago at about this time I was looking into 2018 and trying to see what I could bring myself and how I could contribute somewhere. I’ve always set high goals for myself and have tried to figure out ways to meet those goals.”

“What’s my best skill? Well, I do pretty good curls. No, just kidding. I do work out a lot. I have a strong work ethic and desire to succeed. I’ve never believed that things are just handed out. You have to earn what you get so I’ve put in 100% every day. What you see with me is what you get. I try to stay true to myself and accomplish a lot.”

“The way I cope with this extended season as compared to college is to stick as close as possible to my usual routine. Maybe I’m superstitious that way but I try to keep everything pretty much the same. Staying with what works well for me.”

“This has been a spectacular year and way beyond my earlier expectations. Its a pleasure to have the opportunity to be taken by an NFL team, and particularly by this NFL team. There are no egos here in the blocker room. It’s one for all and that’s a system that works for me.”

“In my short time in the pros, I’ve heard about many teams that are not as close, where rookies have a very difficult time adjusting and making their mark. That definitely isn’t the case at Halas Hall. Offense, defense, special teams all support each other. What I’ve found is that if the veterans can see that you care they will help you out in any way they can.”

“What is important to me heading into my first ever playoff game is to prepare like I did all season. Changing nothing if what you are doing is effective makes sense. It would definitely throw me off if I started going out there doing all this extra stuff at this point. If you are a pro player and you know what works you don’t change that on short notice.”

“My preparation is always asking questions in meetings and using the skills of those around me in practice to help me improve. I watch a lot of film and take a lot of notes. More of football than you would think has a mental aspect. You have to understand what you are doing before you can execute effectively. The bottom line is don’t get complacent and try to find areas of your game that you need to work on. That’s pretty basic.”

“What do I see from the Eagles? Well, I won’t tell you the game plan but I will say we’ve all been studying a lot of film and having intense practice sessions. It will be an exciting and challenging matchup for sure. I think we’re ready. There would be no excuse at all for coming into a game like this unprepared.”