Chicago Bears: Ranking free agent and 2021 NFL Draft needs

Chicago Bears (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Derek Carr
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears made the playoffs in 2020 by the skin of their teeth. With back-to-back 8-8 records, Matt Nagy can at least take solace in the fact he has not had a losing season as a head coach. That said, this is not good enough for most Chicago Bears fans. Mediocrity is something Bears fans are used to, but this fan base deserves more.

With a major shift on offense, this team is in need of a shakeup at multiple positions. The defense is not fully set either. The Chicago Bears salary cap situation will also play a part in the offseason as the team does not have the room to target the top free agents at multiple positions. Ryan Pace has gotten himself into this predicament, and he will have to find a way to fix key areas to improve the team.

Last season, Pace turned to free agency and the NFL Draft to try and fix the team’s pass rush issues. It turns out, his free-agent acquisition of Robert Quinn did not live up to expectations. I was a proponent of replacing Leonard Floyd with Quinn, but Quinn dealt with an ankle injury heading into the season that definitely limited his ability to rush the passer. With only two sacks on the year, he looked worse than Floyd did in 2018 and 2019.

Drafting Trevis Gipson did not live up to expectations either. Pace sent a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Vikings to move up and draft Gipson in the fifth round last season. The rookie only played on seven percent of the team’s defensive snaps though. He did not even help much on special teams as he only saw 11 percent of those snaps too. Pace cannot afford any more blunders in 2021 — especially at these all-important positions.