The 2013 NFL league year is just about a week away and the free agent feeding frenzy is about to begin. The Chicago Bears still have a couple of moves they need to make to become players in Free Agency since they dropped the better part of their available cap space to tag Henry Melton. If they can pull a little financial slight-of-hand, here are five lesser known free agents I’d like them to target:
5. Dannell Ellerbe, LB, Baltimore Ravens
Ellerbe stepped in nicely when Ray Lewis went down for the Ravens. The Ravens went all-in on Joe Flacco, so they won’t likely have money to spend to keep Ellerbe. Regardless of whether they keep Urlacher, the 27 year old linebacker would be a valuable piece in the Bears’ defensive puzzle.
4. Martellus Bennett, TE, New York Giants
Bennett is another name player, but in a class with guys like Dustin Keller and Jared Cook, Bennett might slip under the radar for the Bears to grab at a discount. He’s a good pass catching tight end who would be an immediate upgrade over anyone on the Bears roster.
3. Andy Levitre, OG, Buffalo Bills
Talk about under the radar, Levitre is a player I never heard of before this offseason but he’s drawn high rankings among free-agents-to-be. The 26 year old has been a 4 year starter in Buffalo, not missing a single game. If you’re looking for a reliable, immediate starter to play guard, he’s your guy.
2. Jermon Bushrod, OT, New Orleans Saints
I know that Bushrod isn’t necessarily under the radar, but in a free agent class including big names like Ryan Clady, Jake Long and Brandon Albert, Bushrod is considered the next tier down. There have been some who question his credentials as a Pro Bowl left tackle, but when you consider the pothead that plays left tackle for the Bears, he would definitely be a big upgrade.
1. Danny Amendola, WR, St. Louis Rams
I haven’t seen one snap of Marc Trestman’s new offense, but I think Amendola would be the perfect fit for it. To add the speedy and elusive Amendola inside with Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery on the outside would be a thing of beauty.
What do you think? What free agent targets would you like to see the Bears target? Is there any realistic shot of the Bears getting any of these guys or any free agents? I’d love to get your feedback in the Comments.