How do the Chicago Bears look heading into 2019 and the future at running back?
As the Chicago Bears enter the offseason it is a good chance to look at the salary situations of each player not only for next season but moving forward as well. At running back the Bears could certainly do some shaking up.
Howard is an unrestricted free agent in 2020. Whether he is on the team or not in 2019, he will not be extended before the end of the 2019 season. He has decreased statistically every season and has been a subject of trade speculation ever since Matt Nagy took over.
Howard could very well be moved this offseason, and if not, he would be playing for a contract in Chicago or elsewhere.
Cohen is coming back. In fact, expect more Cohen moving forward. Matt Nagy sounded disgruntled when asked about the lack of usage for Cohen in the playoff game, and you can bet he will not make that mistake again.
Cunningham is a free agent. Here is a piece where we break down the benefits of bringing him back. At the most, he would come back for one more season.
Mizzell surprisingly got snaps in the regular season over Benny Cunningham and then saw a few snaps in the playoffs as well. Unfortunately, he never took advantage of any of them. He seems to be a good practice player who cannot quite get over the hump on game day. Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy seem to trust him, but he is also entering a contract year and should be looked at as a fourth running back.
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Nall was a UDFA who the Bears thought to keep around the roster. The Bears have done well with UDFAs in the past and hope to bring Nall in as another example. He was in direct competition with Mizzell in training camp and at the very least could oust Michael Burton who started to waste a roster spot as the year went on.
Draft or Free Agency?
If Nall does just step in for Burton the team could be looking to replace Benny Cunningham and Jordan Howard in the same offseason. At the very least, neither will be on the team beyond this season. With that in mind, the Chicago Bears are expected to draft a running back at some point.
Of course, with limited resources at the draft, they also may look to a veteran depth back as well. Here are five free agents they could consider.