1) Brian De La Puente (UFA) — De La Puente is the only center on this list and for one good reason — he’s the cream of the crop at the position in the upcoming free agent class. In fact, if there is an overall No. 1 free agent that I think the Bears should target, this is the guy. De La Puente is 28 years old and was an unsigned free agent in 2008. He signed a one-year tender with the Saints last season that paid him $2.023 million. If the Bears are serious about upgrading their offense/offensive line, De La Puente should be Roberto Garza’s replacement and the Bears’ center for the future. It would only be fitting since he replaced former Bear Olin Kreutz in New Orleans.
Guard / Tackle
1) Mike Pollak (UFA) — Pollak, currently with the Cincinnati Bengals, is a former 2008 second-round pick. At 6-3, 301 pounds and 28 years old, he has great size and would provide stability behind the Bears’ starting guards Kyle Long and Matt Slauson (assuming he can be re-signed). His ability to also play center should be enticing to the Bears. Pollak could be a tremendous bargain for the Bears if they decide to part ways with either Slauson or Garza this offseason.
2) Jeremy Trueblood (UFA) — At 6-8, 320 pounds Trueblood is an absolute monster of a tackle. The Bears are set with their starters on the offensive line, but imagine a tackle of Trueblood’s size lining up in the jumbo package. He’s started 10 of 13 games this season for the Atlanta Falcons and at 30 years old would only warrant a short-term, minimum-level salary. He’s a low risk play for the Bears if they fail to re-sign Eben Britton.
3) Richie Incognito (UFA) — I’m throwing this one out there, and I know many Bears fans will scoff at the idea. There’s plenty of controversy surrounding Incognito, but in my opinion it should not detract from who he is as a player. If the Bears lose Slauson this offseason, they could replace “nasty” with “nastier”. Incognito has an incredible mean streak to him on the field, and has obviously proven that to be true off the field as well. But he’s the exact type of player that the Bears’ offensive line needs. I highly doubt Emery will give him much thought, though.