What we learned in our first visit with GM Ryan Pace since before Bears' disappointing 2019 campaign

Chicago values Leonard Floyd's versatility ... but how much remains to be seen; plus, Shaheen still standing and Pineiro on solid footing

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Still, there was important ground covered irrespective of Trubisky and the Bears' most recent top picks, and because our focus Tuesday was mostly on the quarterback, several players rehabbing offseason surgeries, and Matt Nagy and his coaching staff changes, we're switching gears and sharing what we heard from team brass on Leonard Floyd, Adam Shaheen and Eddy Pineiro, along with out interpretations.

Floyd love keeps flowing: "We're happy with Leonard. I know the stats don't always say that. Leonard does a lot of things that go a little undervalued. ... For him, he plays with such a high motor. He plays physical. He played the run really well this year. Again, there's a lot of things in coverage that he does that a lot of outside linebackers in the NFL can't do," Pace said.

Bears Insider take: In a potential contract season, Floyd managed a career-low three sacks. That disappointment was magnified by Khalil Mack's declined productivity and Akiem Hicks' half-season-long absence, resulting in the Bears ranking only 27th in sack percentage — down from No. 9 last season — and finishing No. 22 in the NFL in ESPN's new metric pass rush win rate. Suffice to say, the play of the Bears' three highest-paid pass rushers is intertwined. For instance, with Hicks out of the equation and Floyd struggling to win individual matchups, Bears opponents opted to deploy chip help to Mack on 58 snaps, the third-highest total in the NFL, according to PFF.

It stands to reason, then, that the Bears might covet next season a Mack bookend who can take greater advantage of so many one-on-ones than Floyd, who hasn't lived up to expectations rushing the passer as a former No. 9 overall pick but is slated to earn a top-10 EDGE salary of $13.2 million on his fifth-year team option.

Pace wouldn't get into contract specifics on any player — including Floyd — and it wouldn't behoove the Bears to do so for someone who could have trade value. Our hunch is that the two sides could look to strike a long-term agreement that would give Floyd more security but a price tag better reflective of his versatility but also limitations as a rusher.

Shaheen's last stand?: "Shaheen is talented. I think what's hurt his development, especially being small school, is the time he missed. When he's played, we've liked what we have seen. He just hasn't put it out there long enough."

Bears Insider take: The 45th overall selection in the 2017 draft, Adam Shaheen was placed on season-ending injured reserve on Nov. 30 with a foot issue — or so we're told. It was more than a bit curious that Shaheen first was a healthy scratch for the first time in his career the week after inexcusably fumbling a squib kick at the end of the Eagles game and prior to popping up on the injury report for the first time all season. Moreover, when Nagy was simply asked whether Shaheen hurt the same foot that cost him half of the 2018 campaign, he wasn't sure.

It should be clear by now that Shaheen has been unable to compensate for the massive jump from Ashland University to the NFL in large part because he's lacking in functional strength and athleticism. Pace perhaps protecting another of his recent high draft picks did no one any favors from an aesthetics standpoint, but we get it for the same reason we outlined above with Floyd.

What we simply cannot get behind is Pace using Shaheen's lack of availability as an excuse for his failure to develop after Nagy certainly appeared at least to decide he was done with the experiment for reasons unrelated to injury.

Pace said Shaheen will be be back for his final season, using the same broad explanation we heard multiple times —he's under contract — but it should be most obvious to the general manager that the Bears would be acting recklessly entering the offseason by counting on anything from Shaheen at a position whose barreness crippled the offense.

Kick starter: "The goal the whole time was to hit on a young kicker that we can grow. We feel like we've done that with Eddy. He finished the season strong, made 11 straight field goals. We feel like he's going to continue to get better," Pace said.

Bears Insider take: Pace also said that the Bears are "very proud" of the outcome of their well-documented and unorthodox kicker battle last offseason, and Pineiro's grounded approach "is going to carry him a long way."

That could all certainly be accurate, but if we've learned anything when it comes to the Bears and kickers, it's to take things one step at a time. Pineiro finished the season on a strong note, literally hitting a game-winner in the regular-season finale on his 11th consecutive conversion. It should be noted, though, that only five of his 23 conversions (on 28 attempts) was from 40 yards or farther, and Nagy clearly lost trust at least temporarily in the first-year kicker following the missed would-be game-winner vs. the Chargers.

But it's probably safe to assume the Bears won't need a separate field at Halas Hall to accommodate place-kicking challengers this spring.

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