From the Jalen Carter saga to the downfall of Aaron Rodgers, even a slow day in free agency proved crucial for the Chicago Bears

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The NFL’s new league year began at 3 p.m. Wednesday, allowing the Chicago Bears to announce the trade of the No. 1 pick, the acquisition of receiver DJ Moore and the free-agency signings of Tremaine Edmonds, TJ Edwards, Nate Davis, DeMarcus Walker and Travis Homer. As of Wednesday night, the Bears still have a lot of work to do to continue strengthening a roster that had 33 vacancies and an eye-popping number of notable holes. So where will general manager Rhea Pols turn her attention?

Poles will meet with reporters at Halas Hall on Thursday and recap the flurry of activity from the past week, as well as a look at what’s yet to come. Still, even if the Bears failed to make any roster additions on Wednesday, it was still a day filled with significant developments. Here’s a look at the most notable events and what they mean for bears going forward.

Jalen Carter faltered from his pro-day workout in Georgia.

Poles and coach Matt Eberflus were part of the Bears squad that participated in that on-campus event. And while the Bulldogs have a dozen prospects to draft next month, Carter remains the center of attention as he tries to gather himself during a tumultuous month.

Carter was arrested on March 1 and indicted in Athens County, Ga., on misdemeanor charges of racing and reckless driving in connection with a fatal crash that killed Bulldog teammate Devin Willock and recruiting staffer Chandler LeCroy in January. was released on $4,000 bond.

Carter’s involvement in that accident and his subsequent cooperation with authorities came under heavy scrutiny from both the legal system and NFL teams, which led him to be considered a first-round pick in seven weeks. You can bet there’s a whole team of polls that dives deep into that matter and evaluates Carter’s character to help inform the Bears’ decision on whether the All-American would be the right fit for the organization. Or not.

Questions about Carter’s maturity and level of football investment were already circulating before the concussion regarding that fatal January accident became public knowledge.

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Carter did not participate in any athletic tests or on-field drills at the Combine. Then on Wednesday, he weighed a whopping 9 pounds during his combine measurements, according to Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy.

Carter did not participate in athletic testing at Wednesday’s pro day, then failed to complete on-field drills due to cramps.

It was another dizzying development for one of the most intriguing prospects in this draft class.

At his best, Carter is a disruptive force on the interior of the defensive line, blessed with a distinctive combination of power and quickness. But he also has to prove to at least one team that he can be trusted on several different levels to commit lavish investments of money and draft capital.

How would the bears do all this? It’s hard to say now.

When the college season ended in January and Carter helped Georgia win the national title, he was considered a shoo-in top-5 pick and a serious candidate to be drafted No. 1. Top 10. With the Bears holding the No. 9 pick, his ongoing homework will be key to solidifying his final valuation ahead of the first night of the draft on April 28.

Aaron Rodgers lashed out at the Green Bay Packers front office

During what was essentially a reflective and dramatic 56-minute soliloquy on “The Pat McAfee Show,” Rodgers confirmed what everyone in the NFL had long suspected. His time playing quarterback for the Packers is over.

Next stop: Florham Park, NJ, for a new with the New York Jets.

No, no trade has been finalized. And there’s still no telling what the timeline or terms of that deal might be. But Rodgers left no doubt that he has both feet out the door and is ready to move on from Green Bay.

In case you missed the longer version of The Breakup with Rodgers, we’ll offer a quick summary.

The four-time MVP told McAfee he was leaning 90% toward retirement when he checked into his four-night dark retreat in Oregon earlier this month to do some deep reflection on his life and football career. Rodgers stated that he was under the impression that he had as much time as he wanted to make a decision and that the Packers wanted him to retire as a member of their organization. But …

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“When I came out of the dark, something changed,” Rodgers said Wednesday.

When Rodgers emerged from the retreat and was inundated with texts, he said he realized the Packers were working through trade possibilities. That, Rodgers insisted, changed his life plans, led to a meeting with key leaders of the Jets and reaffirmed his desire to continue playing.

Rodgers spent about 10 minutes talking about how he felt disrespected or betrayed by certain figures in the Packers power structure. But then, while expressing heartfelt “love and gratitude” to the city of Green Bay and Packers fans, he also stressed that he had no hard feelings. “I’m not sitting here as a victim,” he said. “No animosity, no bitterness toward the Packers.”

got all that?

In short, everyone who knows Rodgers well understands that he is preparing to go on a rampage for the foreseeable future and is hoping to turn his emotions into motivational fuel as he walks through his Hall of Fame. Fame insists on putting proper punctuation on career.

“I still have that fire,” Rodgers said.

The Jets must quickly create an environment in which Rodgers feels welcome and valued and surrounded by teammates and coaches he trusts. In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “Good luck All He!”

For the Bears and their fans, Wednesday was a historic day worthy of celebration. After 15 seasons of anguish – Rodgers went 25-5 in the rivalry and swept the season series nine times, including each of the Final Four – the Bears could breathe a sigh of relief.

The law of averages can’t possibly allow new Packers starter Jordan Love to become a Hall of Fame level star for the next decade and a half, can it?

As much activity as there has been for bears over the past month, Rodgers News reported Wednesday the 1920 Football Drive in Lake Forest could register as a top-three development in the 2023 offseason for residents. NFC North is changing the landscape. Rogers is leaving.

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The Bears announced Thursday a Halas Hall meet-and-greet with several of their new players.

Moore and Edmonds head the current crop of Bears newcomers. It will be interesting to hear his thoughts on joining the organization when he speaks on Thursday.

Edwards – a Lake Villa native and Lake High School alumnus – will share his excitement to join the team he grew up rooting for.

But the Poles will also question in the morning. And there are too many questions to ask a busy GM.

most notably:

  • What’s his overview of the return he got for the No. 1 pick in last week’s big trade with the Carolina Panthers?

  • Are the Bears in talks with Orlando Brown for exceptional free agent offensive tackle?

  • What made Edmonds a top free/-agent target, and what is the Bears’ vision for him in defense of Eberflus?

  • After stressing in January that his top off-season priority was to bolster the roster with difference makers at premium positions such as pass rusher, cornerback and offensive line, the Bears will be in line for the next few waves of free agency as well. How to use the draft to make necessary corrections. For those status groups?

  • With Davis moving into the interior of the offensive line, what does this mean for Cody Whitehair, Taven Jenkins and Lucas Patrick?

In a significant off-season, even the slowest days seem busier.