The Chicago Bears must focus on these key areas in free agency
It is important to note that building through the draft is the key to building a successful NFL franchise. This is evident by the areas of focus that Ryan Pace must focus on in the draft compared to free agency.
There are two ways the Chicago Bears can look to fix the quarterback position. If the team looks to the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, then quarterback drops to fourth on my list of importance. This position is the trickiest to predict right now for this team. If Ryan Pace can land a solid quarterback (or even an elite quarterback in Deshaun Watson) via trade, then it is more likely that Pace only uses a mid-to-late-round pick on the position in the draft.
Personally, if the team does not land Mac Jones by moving up slightly in the first round, then it better be because Pace found a quality free agent quarterback or traded for one. This is the conundrum the team is in now as offensive tackle and quarterback are equally important.
Based on how I expect the 2021 NFL Draft to go, wide receiver needs to be a top position the Chicago Bears attack in free agency. This is mainly because of Allen Robinson. Should the Chicago Bears franchise tag Robinson and keep him this season, then this area of focus becomes slightly less important. If I am Ryan Pace, I am tagging and either keeping Robinson or I am tagging him and trading him. I would not let him walk away without getting anything in return.
Should Robinson not play in a Bears uniform in 2021, then the team will need to turn to free agency to help replace him. Kenny Golladay, Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Corey Davis and Will Fuller are the top names to target.
Just like the NFL Draft, offensive tackle needs to be a focus in free agency. The team must land an offensive tackle in the first or second (maybe even both) rounds of the 2021 NFL Draft. The team needs to move on from Bobby Massie, but may not be able to move on from Charles Leno. Honestly, I am okay with them moving on from both if they land a top offensive tackle to start on the left side in the first round. With free agency coming first though, this will be difficult to predict.
Pace will need to look to free agency to replace Massie. The 2021 NFL Draft is where left tackle must be the focus. It seems to me that the team could look to draft/sign three offensive tackles this offseason.
The rest of free agency
Finding a quality EDGE option will be easier in free agency (more costly) than in the 2021 NFL Draft, but the team does not need the likes of J.J. Watt with Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn still on the roster.
The team will need to find a safety to play next to Eddie Jackson. This could be by retaining Tashaun Gipson or bringing in another similar option.
Interior Offensive Line
The Bears will need to bring in some additional depth on the offensive line as they are likely to lose Germain Ifedi and Jason Spriggs to free agency.
Finally, the team can look to add some quality free agents at other positions on the cheap during the second wave of free agency after the 2021 NFL Draft.