Mailbag: Who replaces Hester?

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It seems more and more likely star return man Devin Hester will not be back with the Bears next season. What direction does the team go to replace him? We address that and other questions in this week’s mailbag.

 

If the Bears let Devin Hester go, who replaces him?-Harvey in Miami

Well, if Devin Hester leaves the Bears will likely have an open competition to replace him. It’s likely the player is not currently on the roster although backup running back Michael Ford does have experience in the area. The Bears could bring in a free agent like Dexter McCluster or draft a player who can provide some depth at a position and return kicks. The fact is, a kick returner just isn’t a high value person anymore.

 

What are ways the Bears can free up money in free agency?-Alex in River West

There are two big ways the Bears can create some new money. They can of course release Julius Peppers who holds a cap hit of just over $18 million. Releasing Peppers can create enough room to find a new pass rusher and possibly a safety. The Bears can also convert some of Jay Cutler’s annual salary into a signing bonus. This will create some room off the cap to bring in a couple of veterans.

 

Will the Bears do anything to the offense in free agency or is it all defense?-Linda in South Shore 

If the Bears do anything in free agency on offense it will be small. Look for them to try and bring Josh McCown back, sign some backup offensive lineman and possibly go after a slot receiver or backup running back. There’s a good chance they can release Earl Bennett and Michael Bush creating holes in those spots.

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