Chicago Bears Roster Review: Jermon Bushrod


Dec 15, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bears tackle Jermon Bushrod (74) on the bench during the second quarter against the New Orleans Saints at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace has quite a rebuilding project on his hands. In the next phase of our Chicago Bears Roster Review, we look at the players who are currently on the Bears roster.  We’ll look back at their 2014 season and look ahead to how they might fit into the team’s plans in 2015.

 Jermon Bushrod, Left Tackle, 30

2014 Review

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The entire Bears team struggled in 2014 and as such the offensive line dropped off as well. Though the team finished middle of the pack in sacks allowed (41 sacks, compared to 30 the year before), the real problems were in run protection and penalties. While Bushrod held his own in 2013, his play was not that of an elite left tackle in 2014. He was often beat in one-on-one situations and he often struggled in run blocking. However, his contract, believe it or not, is only the 14th highest in average salary among left tackles and as such Chicago should at least keep him through 2015. The team simply has too many holes to try to replace Bushrod at the moment.

2015 Outlook

Though I’d be very surprised if Bushrod isn’t the Bears starting left tackle in 2015, it is likely however that there will be a few changes along the rest of the line. With Kyle Long solidifying one guard position Chicago may look to upgrade the other guard spot, which should allow Bushrod to have a bounce back season. Current starting right tackle Jordan Mills has surprisingly started 29 games for the Bears in the past two seasons, after signing with the team as an undrafted free agent. Though he has played better than most expected, I would be very surprised if the new regime sees Mills as starting right tackle of the future. A quality replacement for Mills should help take even more pressure off Bushrod in 2015.

While I wouldn’t call Bushrod elite, neither would I call his contract, and honestly he should be good enough if the rest of the line holds its own. That being said, there really aren’t my options out there in free agency (other than Packers left tackle Bryan Bulaga) that would be cheaper and more skilled than Bushrod. As such GM Ryan Pace really doesn’t have an option but to keep the former New Orleans Saint for at least one more season. 2015 will see Jermon Bushrod under the spotlight, for another down year like 2014, and the 30-year left tackle will likely be replaced at season’s end.