The Bears will once again embark on a free agency journey. With tons of holes to fill and lots of cash to fill it with, they will definitely be active this year. Twitter will explode with information, and veteran players will be on new teams, making millions of dollars more than the years before. The problem with free agency is that it’s a deep, dark question mark; and teams end up getting burnt on players they thought would be game changers. This is what I think the Bears should do in free agency this year.
Safety is a huge need for the Bears, but also a weak spot in free agency. Eric Berry is a name everyone would love to see in Chicago. His price will be steep, but the Bears can afford it. They need a safety that can protect the backfield and not allow game-changing 50+-yard passes. Grabbing Berry will also give the Bears a little more wiggle room in the draft. After Berry, the only other logical safety worth grabbing may be Tony Jefferson. He’s young, and he may develop even more in a Vic Fangio system. I’d throw the entire kitchen sink at Berry though, and hope he takes the offer. If both Berry and Jefferson are gone, I’d grab a safety in the draft.
Cornerback is also a big need this year, and also kind of rocky in free agency outside of A.J Bouye and Trumaine Johnson. Honestly, I know that going through the draft is a bit risky because it’s hard to predict whether they’ll be good in the NFL. But with this year’s group, I might. Giving big money to veteran players sometimes comes back to bite organizations.
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I know, it sounds crazy that outside linebacker is a need. But the Bears’ group isn’t getting any younger. Leonard Floyd looks like he could be something special, but after that you have an aging Willie Young and a injury-prone Pernell McPhee. Not that they aren’t playing great football, but I wouldn’t mind bringing in Chandler Jones or Melvin Ingram. Jones had 11 sacks, 49 combined tackles and four forced fumbles this year for the Cardinals. Plus, he turns 27 in February, so he has a lot of time left in the league. Ingram had eight sacks, four forced fumbles and 60 combined tackles – he will turn 28 in April. Again, I think either of them could blossom into an even better athlete in Vic Fangio’s defense.
Both the left tackle and right tackle position have to also be a priority. Sometimes Charles Leno plays great, but sometimes he makes me scratch my head. Massie hasn’t proven that he’s good in pass protection. The money spent on Massie wasn’t ideal but the damage is done. Massie could be a good depth piece or even a play until a rookie is ready but it’s a hard position to grab somebody in March.
This all depends on if the Bears re-sign Alshon Jeffery. Losing him, in my opinion, would be a huge loss. Despite having a less productive season than years prior, he was sidelined four games with a PED suspension. That definitely hurt his stats a bit. With his production down, he may take less money this year than last. He still has injury issues and sometimes drops balls, but at the end of the day, he’s the best home-grown wide receiver Chicago has had in years. I’d like to see if him and whoever Chicago brings in at quarterback can grow chemistry. Regardless of which QB the Bears bring in, it needs to happen quick so it can develop.
At the end of the day, it all depends on who goes and who stays. Fox and Pace can’t be hesitant to pay high prices, and I can’t stress that enough. They have to pay more than the competition for the players they want.