Alex Bars rejected Patriots to remain with Bears

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The New England Patriots are the class of the NFL. They have been for what feels like forever. From Bill Belichick to Tom Brady and their six Super Bowl wins, the 'Patriot Way' has become synonymous with success.

But for Bears offensive lineman Alex Bars, Chicago's practice squad is more appealing.

Bars turned down a spot on the Patriots' active roster to remain with the Bears — on the practice squad — according to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs.

“I am getting better every week,” Bars told Biggs. “I am getting stronger and going against the best defense in the league helps. Being able to do that and getting all of that work in the weight room has helped. I’m just working to get as strong as possible. You see these guys here and you’re trying to emulate their strength and their ability to play. So, just trying to do that.”

Bars received a pay raise to stick around (he'll receive the rookie minimum salary of $495,000 instead of the practice-squad pay), but it's still pretty surprising that he passed on a 53-man roster spot for the possibility he'll develop into an active-roster guy with the Bears.

Maybe Bars received some assurances from offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, especially with how poorly Chicago's interior has played this season. Right guard Kyle Long has been one of the least effective players on the Bears this season and there's a chance (even if it's a slim one) that he could be replaced in the starting lineup. It's unlikely Bars will be the first man called up for the job, but he'll be one step closer if that happens. 

Bars is a smart guy and he certainly didn't make this decision without giving it a lot of thought. And if he believes there's a better chance to make a name for himself in Chicago, especially under the tutelage of Hiestand who coached him at Notre Dame, then it's pretty obvious the in-house discussions about the offensive line are anything but positive.

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