Chicago Bears: Free Agency Day 3 Recap

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

NFL Cap Casualties

1.) DE Red Bryant, Jaguars – Elite run stopping end with the size (6’5 | 328) to handle the RE role (Justin Smith) in Vic Fangio’s defensive scheme. Bryant had the 3rd best grade against the run off all 4-3 DEs last season and the 11th best run stopping grade overall including 3-4 DEs. Bryant’s 12.8 grade was just behind Justin’s Smith’s 13.2. The biggest hole on the Bears defense may be the right end position and Bryant, 30, still should have enough left to be a poor man’s Justin Smith for at least a season. Bryant’s price should be affordable on a short-term deal to help the Bears transition to a 3-4 scheme and give them time to develop a young talent at the position.

2.) WR Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs – It’s hard to get a read on Bowe’s talent. On paper he has great size (6’3 | 235) with 4,51 speed, but his lack of production with the Chiefs is troubling. Bowe has averaged right around 60 catches and 750 yards over the last three seasons but has only scored an average of 3 TDs per year. Bowe was severely limited by QB Alex Smith and a cowardly offensive scheme. Now at age 30 Bowe’s considerable physical gifts have declined a bit, but in an NFL offense with a legitimate QB (Cutler?) Bowe could still have a few good years left.

3.) TE Scott Chandler, Bills – Since he became a starter four years ago, Chandler has averaged roughly 45 catches, 525 yards and 4.5 TDs per season. His 6’7, 265 pound, long-armed frame is built for run blocking and he has already proven to have soft hands. The Bears have had the exactly mediocre Dante Rosario as their 2nd tight end the last two seasons, but Chandler would be a significant upgrade in all aspects of the game for only slightly more than they are paying Rosario.

UPDATE: Chandler has signed with the Patriots