The 2016 season is ending and the Bears will soon be making roster decisions that will affect them for the 2017 season. They have a few defensive players coming out of their contracts this off-season. Who should they keep and who should they let go?
In part two of our look at the Bears’ 2017 free agents, we will take check out those players on the defensive side of the ball whose contract is ending this off-season. There are few key guys that the Bears may want to retain or let go. Right now, things are a little tight because, with recent speculation, there could be turnover within the coaching staff. Depending on who you listen to, it could be a complete change or just a partial release of certain coaches.
If defensive coordinator Vic Fangio is let go then a big decision must be made. Do the Bears retain the 3-4 defense or do they switch back to the pre-John Fox era 4-3. It might be a little odd to let go of the 3-4. The team has spent a lot of time and effort getting personnel for the 3-4 so it would seem weird if they reverted back. But, anything is possible with this team.
Consider potential actions on the following defensive free agents “conditional” on what happens to the coaching staff and/or defensive coordinator. If ownership decides to move forward with the current group of coaches, then decisions on what to do with these free agents could be easy. If a new regime is put in place, then these predictions become more difficult.
As always, your comments on what the Bears should do with the following free agents are always welcome.
Note: The term Restricted Free Agent refers to a player that has three accrued seasons (having been in six or more regular season games with that team) who has been given a qualifying offer from the player’s current team. That player can negotiate with any other team up to a certain date. If that player accepts an offer sheet from another team his current team has the right to refuse (right of first refusal) within a five-day period. During that five-day period the player’s current team can match the other team’s offer sheet and keep him or not match the offer.
If the player’s current team does not match the offer, it could receive one or more draft picks in the upcoming NFL draft from the team that signed the player.
If the offer sheet is not executed, that player’s rights will return to his current team the day after negotiations are to come to a close.