Chicago Bears: 5 Overlooked free agents Ryan Pace needs to sign

Chicago Bearas (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
Chicago Bearas (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
4 of 6
Chicago Bears, Darron Lee
Chicago Bears (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Darron Lee – ILB

One of the most difficult parts of football is seeing a hometown favorite leave to go to another team in free agency. Especially when that player starts to perform better than expected and develop into a starting-caliber player. This happened last season with Adrian Amos and is likely to happen again with Nick Kwiatkoski.

Amos went to the Packers last year on a very expensive contract. Personally, I was okay with seeing Amos walk and the Bears were just fine without him. The same thing is likely to happen with Kwiatkoski and early rumors have the Packers linked to the Bears inside linebacker. Can you imagine it? Amos and Kwiatkoski wearing green and gold? Puke, I know. The Packers are not the only team interested and the Bears free-agent linebacker is likely about to be paid handsomely.

More from Bear Goggles On

Danny Trevathan is another unrestricted free agent for the Bears. The hope is that Ryan Pace can convince at least one to stay, but what if both decide to walk? Kwiatkoski is going to be too expensive most likely with an AAV somewhere between $6.5 and $7.5 million. Trevathan would be more of a short-term fix since he has had an injury history and is already 29 years old.

Ryan Pace could decide to go in a completely different direction though knowing that Roquan Smith will be the main guy manning the middle of the Bears defense. Darron Lee struggled in 2019, but he is a former first-round pick and now a Super Bowl champion. Lee finished 2019 with only 31 combined tackles. He only played on 14 percent of the Chiefs’ defensive snaps after being a regular starter for the Jets the prior three years.

Could a change in scenery be what Lee needs to regain some of his more competent form? Lee averaged 80 tackles per year in his first three seasons. If the Chicago Bears could get that out of Lee and only pay him between $2 and $3 million per year, fans will be saying Kwiatkoski who?