A month back, I wrote an article regarding the things I was excited about in the 2021 season. One of those things was to see the return of nose tackle Eddie Goldman. So when I heard the news that, out of all of the Chicago Bears 2020 defensive starters who reported for mandatory OTA’s, Eddie Goldman was the lone “no-show,” I was disappointed, to say the least.
Goldman’s impact on the defensive line cannot be understated. With Goldman’s presence in 2018 and 2019, the Chicago Bears had the 1st and 9th best-run defense in the NFL, respectively. With Goldman opting out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns, the defense slipped to 18th. A considerable decline.
What are the Bears saying?
With this information in mind, Bears fans’ concerns are valid and should be shared. Rumors about Goldman retiring have been a topic of discussion on Twitter. I’m not one for “sources tell me,” so instead, I focus on what the coach has to say.
When pressed on Goldman’s absence, head coach Matt Nagy called it unexcused, stating, “Obviously when someone is not in minicamp, thatâ€™s probably what a lot of people will think and start wondering what the deal is â€” and thatâ€™s natural.” Nagy then finished his comment by sharing a tinge of optimism as he looked towards training camp, “We fully expect him there.”
The longest-tenured Chicago Bear and defensive captain Danny Trevathan told reporters his belief is that Eddie Goldman will return. Trevathan stated, “Eddie Goldman loves his job…I know he’s going to be here.” He then continued to give fans some insight regarding Goldman, “he’s been working his tail off, he looks totally different… he loves the Bears. He’s going to come ready for work.”
Things are looking a little sus.
I want to believe Nagy and Trevathan, but I cannot ignore the offseason acquisitions the Chicago Bears made regarding the defensive tackle position. Bringing in talent like Khyris Tonga and former Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Mike Pennel, one must wonder if the Bears are collecting collateral if Goldman does not return.
In the event Goldman does not return, Pennel and Tonga are more than adequate replacements. Pennel has hopped around the league, being drafted by Green Bay before spending two years with the New York Jets and then the Kansas City Chiefs. His career-best season occurred in 2018 with the New York Jets. He brings reliable veteran experience alongside the rookie from BYU Khyris Tonga.
Off-seasons are always shrouded with question marks. Fortunately, we’ll have our answer on July 15th when players are called to report to training camps.