Cal in NFL: Alex Mack to 49ers, DeSean Jackson to Rams, Tyson Alualu & Marvin Jones to Jaguars, Stephen Anderson to Chargers
Many pro Bears are on the move.
You all are familiar by now about Jared Goff being traded to the Detroit Lions, but a host of other Golden Bears have been on the move in the past week. Here’s all the latest updates.
Alex Mack to the San Francisco 49ers
Alex Mack is returning to the Bay! Mack will join the 49ers and his old offensive coordinator (now SF head coach) Kyle Shanahan on a three-year, $14.8 million contract. A six-time Pro Bowl center and three-time All-Pro offensive lineman on the Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons, Mack is looking to chase a Super Bowl back in the South Bay and clears up a major need in the 49ers. Mack had started 90 games in a row before a concussion in his last two games.
At 35 years old, Mack is probably getting his last big contract in the NFL. San Francisco appears to be geared up to try and make a title run while Mack can still roadgrade NFL defenders. Hopefully, Mack will not have to play his next Super Bowl with a broken leg.
“The 49ers, obviously there’s a connection with Kyle Shanahan, and him as a head coach and the offense he runs, that always has been something that I know it’s a system I can be really good in,” Mack said Thursday. “It’s an offense I know I can excel at, so it was a very good fit between a good team and a good spot with a good coaching staff and a place I can be a good player in.”
DeSean Jackson to the Los Angeles Rams
DeSean is coming home. Jackson is joining Matthew Stafford to make a run for a Super Bowl ring with the talented Rams. It’s a one year contract.
Jackson was recently released by the Eagles. Jackson missed 11 games last season due to an ankle injury, played eight games and caught 23 passes in his last two-year stint in Philly. But the 34 year old is still averaging over 17 yards a reception in those seasons, so even if he gets a chance, he can gamebreak.
Marvin Jones to the Jacksonville Jaguars
Jones will also be doing an offensive coordinator reunion as well with his former Lions offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, as he’ll be part of the Urban Meyer experiment in North Florida. Jones landed a two-year, $14.5 million deal that provides $9.2 million guaranteed.
At 31 years old, Jones has had amazing success with the Lions, hauling in 36 touchdowns in five seasons for 4,296 yards. In his full NFL career since he was drafted by the Bengals, Jones snagged 423 receptions, 6,025 yards, and 51 touchdowns.
More from Pride of Detroit on Jones’s impact on the community:
The Jones family has been a part of the Metro Detroit community and will undoubtedly be missed. Jazmyn Jones is a business owner in the area, owning Nothing Bundt Cakes over in Troy. (Not an ad but have you had one of those? They’re insane.) From donating shoes to the Diehl Boys & Girls Club to thanking hospital workers with food trucks, they have given back time and time again over the years.
Tyson Alualu to the Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s all come full circle for Alualu, who returns to the team who drafted him 10th in the NFL in 2010. The 33-year old defensive lineman signed a two-year, $6 million deal with Jacksonville. And it’s another reunion—as Alualu’s former Jaguar position coach Joe Cullen is the new Jacksonville defensive coordinator.
Alualu spent his first seven seasons with Jacksonville, then spent his last four with Pittsburgh. Alualu has racked up 398 tackles, 46 tackles for loss, 24.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, 14 pass deflections, and 67 quarterback hits in his eleven-year NFL career, and he’s still going!
Behind the Steel Curtain really wanted Alualu back in Pittsburgh.
With all that in mind, I secretly assumed that Tyson Alualu, the veteran defensive lineman who became a full-time starter when Javon Hargrave left as a free agent a year ago, would be one of the Steelers’ top priorities. Alualu, 33, stepped into Hargrave’s role last season and was such a valuable contributor, it was more than noticeable when he missed some time with an injury late in the year.
Stephen Anderson back to the Los Angeles Chargers
Anderson is returning for his fifth season of action in the pros, and his third season of action with Los Angeles. Anderson caught eight passes for 106 yards last season and has primarily operated as an H-Back with the Chargers, working as a blocking tight end in run plays. There’s a lot of flux in that tight end room for Los Angeles, so there’s a good chance Anderson should get more run to catch passes, particularly with that healthy 13 yards per reception.
Other Cal Bears in the NFL news
Mitchell Schwartz was released by the Kansas City Chiefs. How cruel fate is in the league—after one first-team All-Pro and three second-team All-Pro selctions from 2016 to 2019, the Super Bowl champion had a back injury midseason and did not return during Kansas City’s second Super Bowl run. It remains to be seen whether Schwartz will be looking for another position—he would be a coveted free agent, but a lot could depend on his recovery from his back injury. With $43 million in career earnings though, Schwartz is in a pretty good place.
Bryan Anger was released by the Houston Texans. Likely a cap casualty (Anger would have made $2.5 million in 2021), it’s unlikely Anger will be out of a job for long—he’s averaged a steady 46+ yards per punt in his two years in Houston, placing him in the top half of the NFL.
“Bryan is an especially talented punter, always has been,” former special teams coordinator Tracy Smith told reporters on Oct. 27, 2020. “High draft pick, one of the highest drafted punters of all time. Has got the talent, he came in with that. And he’s a hard worker. He shows up every day. He’s good with the other guys. He’s a good holder, and he works on his craft. He punts and punts and punts. And he’s had good results to show for it.”
Nick Sundberg was released by the Washington Football Team. Sundberg had been with Washington for (count this) 11 years before being let go by Ron Rivera in Washington. Sundberg remains one of the NFL’s most consistent long-snappers, so he should find a job pretty soon.
Sundberg was a well-respected teammate who was very active in the local community. He started his Loads of Love charity in 2017, and has provided laundry facilities for children experiencing an unstable home situation to DMV schools since then. Sundberg was active with Washington's Charitable foundation before he started his own.
Alualu ended up staying at Pittsburgh after getting Covid which prevented him from signing in Jax during which gave him time to have a change of heart.
Good luck to all the former Bears in their new homes.