Joe Kapp and his family gather by a field sign created to honor the former NFL player's legacy at El Sausal Middle School in Salinas, Calif.


Joe Kapp, former Super Bowl QB, dies at 85

Joe Kapp, who played quarterback at Cal and later led the Minnesota Vikings to the Super Bowl, died Monday at age 85.

J.J. Kapp confirmed his father’s death to the San Francisco Chronicle, saying it came following a “15-year battle with dementia.”

Raised in California, Kapp played both football and basketball at Cal. On the field, the All-American led the Golden Bears to the Pacific Coast Conference championship in 1958 and onto the Rose Bowl. The Bears lost to Iowa in the 1959 game — the last appearance in the Rose Bowl for Cal.

Kapp spent eight seasons in the Canadian Football League, twice leading the British Columbia Lions to the Grey Cup title game. He moved to the NFL in 1967, leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl following a 12-2 season in 1969.

Minnesota lost Super Bowl IV to the Kansas City Chiefs, 23-7. Still, Kapp is the only quarterback to lead teams to a Rose Bowl, Grey Cup and Super Bowl.

Kapp spent three seasons with the Vikings and signed with the Boston Patriots in 1970 after Minnesota didn’t offer him a new contract. After the season, commissioner Pete Rozelle intervened and declared the four-year contract Kapp signed with the Patriots was invalid. Rozelle ruled Kapp had to sign a revised contract to continue in the NFL, and Kapp never played again.

He finished his NFL career with a 24-21-3 record as a starter. He threw for 5,911 yards, with 40 touchdowns and 64 interceptions.

He filed an antitrust suit against the NFL and eventually won but wasn’t awarded any damages.

Kapp had small acting roles in films, including in “The Longest Yard,” in the 1970s. In 1982, he took over as head coach at Cal in his first-ever coaching job. He was the coach of the Bears during the Nov. 20, 1982, game against Stanford, when Cal improbably won with four seconds left in a contest marked by the Stanford band prematurely stepping onto the field.

Cal fired Kapp in 1986 after a 20-34-1 record.

In later years, as he struggled with dementia, Kapp said in an interview that he feared he had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a brain disease afflicting many former football players.

J.J. Kapp said his father’s brain will be studied at UC San Francisco to determine whether Kapp was afflicted with CTE.

–Field Level Media

May 7, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, United States; Former Ohio State football player and two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Justin Fields graduated during the Ohio State University's spring commencement at Ohio Stadium. Fields Fields, who is now the starting quarterback of the Chicago Bears, was one of 191 current and past student-athletes to earn their degrees Sunday. Mandatory Credit: Barbara Perenic/The Columbus Dispatch

Bears QB Justin Fields graduates from Ohio State

Justin Fields had a memorable Sunday off the field.

The Chicago Bears quarterback took part in graduation ceremonies at Ohio State over the weekend, earning his degree in consumer and family financial services. Both the Bears and the university celebrated the occasion on social media.

Fields, who started his college football career at Georgia, played two seasons in Columbus, Ohio. He continued his studies through the athletic department’s degree completion program after the Bears selected him with the No. 11 overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft.

In two seasons with the Bears, the 24-year-old Fields owns a 5-20 record as the starter. He has completed 59.7 percent of his passes for 4,112 yards, with 24 touchdowns and 21 interceptions in 27 total games. He’s also rushed for 1,563 yards and 10 TDs.

At Ohio State, he led the Buckeyes to two College Football Playoff appearances and was a Heisman Trophy finalist.

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2022; Munich, Germany; A general overall view of German and United States flags on the field during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL International Series game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Seattle Seahawks at Allianz Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Chiefs to play in Germany in 2023 and 2024

The Kansas City Chiefs will play games in Germany in 2023 and 2024, according to multiple reports Thursday.

The defending Super Bowl champions will face the Chicago Bears in Frankfurt on Nov. 12 or Nov. 19 this season, then take on the Carolina Panthers in Munich in 2024.

The German newspaper Bild and the Kansas City Star issued the reports. The NFL is expected to release the 2023 schedule next week.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Seattle Seahawks 21-16 last November at Munich’s Allianz Arena in the first NFL regular-season game ever played in Germany. Attendance for that game was 69,811.

–Field Level Media

Jan 8, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Nathan Peterman (14) passes the ball during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports

Bears QB Nathan Peterman signs 1-year contract

Chicago Bears quarterback Nathan Peterman signed a one-year contract on Friday.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the team for Peterman, who completed 14 of 25 passes for 139 yards with one touchdown and one interception in three games (one start) with Chicago last season.

Peterman, 28, has completed 53.1 percent of his passes for 712 yards with four touchdowns and 13 interceptions in 13 career games (five starts) with the Buffalo Bills, Las Vegas Raiders and Bears. He threw five interceptions in a disastrous start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Nov. 19, 2017.

Peterman was selected by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Pittsburgh.

–Field Level Media

Tennessee Titans linebacker Dylan Cole (53) tackles Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. (1)  during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn.

Nfl Jacksonville Jaguars At Tennessee Titans

Bears sign LB Dylan Cole to one-year deal

The Chicago Bears signed linebacker Dylan Cole to a one-year contract on Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed by the team.

Cole, 28, recorded a career-high 64 tackles to go along with one sack in 15 games (eight starts) last season with the Tennessee Titans.

He has 147 tackles, two interceptions and two sacks in 61 games (nine starts) for the Houston Texans (2017-20) and Titans (2021-22).

He initially signed with the Texans as an undrafted free agent out of Missouri State.

–Field Level Media

Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; Green Bay Packers tight end Robert Tonyan (85) celebrates a touchdown reception during the third quarter of their game against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Bears to sign TE Robert Tonyan, RB D’Onta Foreman

The Chicago Bears agreed to terms with a pair of offensive free agents, reportedly adding tight end Robert Tonyan and running back D’Onta Foreman on Thursday.

A source told ESPN that Tonyan, formerly with the NFC North rival Green Bay Packers, and Foreman, who played for the Carolina Panthers last season, will each join the Bears on one-year contracts. Foreman’s deal is for $3 million, per NFL Network and ESPN reports.

The Bears entered the week with the most salary cap space in the league and have been active players in NFL offseason shuffling thus far. Both new offensive acquisitions join Foreman’s teammate in Carolina last season, three-time 1,000-yard receiver DJ Moore, who arrived in the trade package that involved Chicago sending the Panthers the No. 1 overall pick in next month’s draft.

Chicago has also picked up guard Nate Davis (Tennessee Titans), running back Travis Homer (Seattle Seahawks) and backup quarterback PJ Walker (Panthers) on offense in continuing to build around young QB Justin Fields. The Bears defense has also added defensive lineman DeMarcus Walker plus linebackers T.J. Edwards (Philadelphia Eagles) and Tremaine Edmunds (Buffalo Bills).

Many reports pegged Tonyan among potential Packers to jump to the New York Jets amid the ongoing Aaron Rodgers trade negotiations. The former Rodgers favorite, who turns 29 next month, comes off a career-high 53 catches for 470 yards and two touchdowns in 17 games (three starts) in 2022 with Green Bay.

In his five NFL seasons (all with the Packers), Tonyan posted 137 catches for 1,437 yards and 17 scores in 68 games (18 starts). He broke out in 2020 with a career-high 11 touchdown catches, which tied with Kansas City’s Travis Kelce for most among tight ends that season, before playing only eight games in 2021 because of a torn ACL.

Foreman, who will be 27 in April, will play for his fourth team since being picked in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. After two seasons with the Texans as mostly a backup, he sat out the 2019 season following being claimed and cut that summer by the Indianapolis Colts.

He resurfaced as a solid understudy to Titans star Derrick Henry from 2020-21, then had a career year with the Panthers last season — rushing for 914 yards on 203 carries with five rushing scores. Getting a huge uptick in work after Carolina dealt Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers, Foreman ran for over 100 yards five times in his final 11 games.

In five seasons, Foreman has produced 1,901 rushing yards on 443 carries for 10 touchdowns and a 4.3 average yards per carry. He has also caught 23 passes for 265 yards and two TD catches in his 43 career games (13 starts).

–Field Level Media

Nov 27, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Trevor Siemian (15) calls timeout against the New York Jets during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Bears release backup QB Trevor Siemian

The Chicago Bears released backup quarterback Trevor Siemian on Thursday, a move that saves the team $2 million against the salary cap.

Recently signed P.J. Walker is now the primary backup to starter Justin Fields.

Siemian, 31, appeared in two games for the Bears in 2022, going 0-1 as the starter in place of Fields. Siemian threw for 184 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Siemian is 13-17 as a starter for four different teams in six seasons.

The Bears also agreed to a one-year contract with defensive tackle Andrew Billings, pending a physical.

Billings, 28, has 4.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss in 67 games (51 starts) over five seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals (2017-19), Cleveland Browns (2021) and Las Vegas Raiders (2022).

–Field Level Media

Nov 25, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Chicago Bears running back David Montgomery (32) runs the ball during the fourth quarter against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: RB dominoes fall with David Montgomery leaving Bears for Lions

Bears running back David Montgomery is headed north to join NFC North rival Detroit, reportedly agreeing to a three-year, $18 million deal on Tuesday night with the Lions.

The signing comes as reports indicated Lions free agent Jamaal Williams is engaged with other teams, including the Buffalo Bills and Cincinnati Bengals, after widely being expected to return to Detroit.

ESPN reported Montgomery, 25, will receive $11 million guaranteed as part of the deal.

A third-round pick in 2019, Montgomery has 3,609 rushing yards and 26 touchdowns over the last four seasons.

Chicago could turn to the draft to restock at the position, and top prospect Bijan Robinson (Texas) is projected to be a top-15 pick. The Bears pick at No. 9 following a trade with the Carolina Panthers.

Williams, who rushed for 1,066 yards with 17 touchdowns in 2022, was also connected to the Panthers this week. Joining Carolina would reunite Williams with running backs coach Duce Staley.

The Bears reportedly responded by agreeing to a two-year deal with former Seattle Seahawks running back Travis Homer, according to his agent, Spencer Cannold. Khalil Herbert carried the load as the lead back for the Bears while Montgomery was sidelined due to injury last season.

Herbert has 232 carries for 1,164 yards and six TDs in two seasons.

–Field Level Media

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) lies on the turf after being tackled by Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards (57) during the second quarter in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Feb. 12, 2023.

Nfl Super Bowl Lvii Kansas City Chiefs Vs Philadelphia Eagles

Reports: Bears, T.J. Edwards agree to 3-year deal

Linebacker T.J. Edwards is headed home, agreeing to a three-year deal with the Chicago Bears on Monday, according to multiple reports.

NFL Network and ESPN reported the deal includes $12.5 million in total guarantees and is worth a total of $19.5 million. Bears assistant general manager Ian Cunningham helped bring Edwards to the Philadelphia Eagles as an undrafted free agent in 2020.

Free agent contracts with new teams are not official until the new league year begins on Wednesday.

Edwards, 26, was one of the top coverage linebackers in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He finished seventh in the NFL with 159 total tackles in 2022, which was the second-most in franchise history behind Byron Evans in 1992 (175).

The Eagles are likely to elevate 2022 third-rounder Nakobe Dean to fill Edwards’ starting role.

Edwards’ high school football field is 20 minutes northwest of the Bears’ Halas Hall practice facility, and he’d join another former Wisconsin linebacker in Chicago. Jack Sanborn was a freshman for the Badgers when Edwards was a senior.

–Field Level Media

Jan 31, 2023; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers head coach Frank Reich speaks at his introductory press conference at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Griffin Zetterberg-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Panthers acquire No. 1 pick from Bears in blockbuster

Carolina is on the clock after the Panthers traded two first-round picks, second-rounders in 2023 and 2025 and wide receiver DJ Moore to the Chicago Bears for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, several reports said Friday night.

The Panthers are in position to draft the quarterback of their choice, owning the top pick for the first time since selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton in 2011.

Chicago general manager Ryan Poles made his intentions clear at the NFL Scouting Combine — he intended to trade the pick to the highest bidder while committing to Justin Fields at quarterback.

The Bears stand to lose out on several top-ranked prospects in the deal by taking Carolina’s first-round pick in the 2023 draft, No. 9 overall, and the Panthers’ second-rounder (61st). But Poles made it clear in Indianapolis that the Bears felt they would get a “great player” regardless of the deal, which sets the franchise up with multiple first-round picks for the 2024 draft and multiple second-rounders in the 2025 draft.

Carolina hired Frank Reich as head coach after Matt Rhule was let go during the 2022 season. The Panthers made multiple trades in an attempt to fill the quarterback spot under Rhule.

But former No. 1 pick Baker Mayfield didn’t pan out last season and Sam Darnold, originally drafted third overall by the New York Jets in 2018, failed to secure the position.

Other quarterback-needy teams who had hoped to move up in a trade with the Bears included the Indianapolis Colts (fourth overall) and Las Vegas Raiders (seventh overall).

–Field Level Media