NFL Free Agency officially begins on March 17th, meaning that we are less than a month away until some relevant football news finally happens consistently again. The Chicago Bears need to be fairly active in free agency, but to do so, they need to make some cuts and restructure some contracts.
Unfortunately, it sounds like the Bears cannot make any splash moves due to the tight cap space they have. They are currently projected to have -$1.8 million in cap space according to Spotrac. Due to this, the Bears likely will need to sign a lot of players to cheap contracts and they will need some of these under-the-radar free agents that can help their team next season.
With Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy’s jobs likely on the line this upcoming season, the Bears need to hit on their cheap free agents not only for depth purposes but also for potential starting pieces. Last offseason, Pace found some cheap assets that played well for them in Tashaun Gipson, Mario Edwards Jr., and Germain Ifedi along with some solid depth pieces like Barkevious Mingo.
Now, Pace will need to find more players like Gipson and Edwards that can help the team greatly while those players compete for a contract. Here are some under-the-radar players the Bears can get to help their team in 2021 on the offensive side of the ball.
The Chicago Bears could target Andy Dalton | Quarterback
Andy Dalton has had himself a successful career in the NFL with the Cincinnati Bengals. He never was elite, but he was at least serviceable for years leading the Bengals to the playoffs multiple times.
With the Bengals eyeing Joe Burrow in the 2020 NFL Draft, they released their long-time starter in Dalton who eventually got signed by the Dallas Cowboys to back up Dak Prescott. He probably didn’t expect to be called upon, but Prescott suffered a season-ending injury early on that required Dalton to play in 11 games.
Despite the constant offensive line issues in Dallas, Dalton played okay while additionally having no preparation and chemistry with his team. Dalton completed 64.9% of his passes for 2,170 yards and 14 touchdowns to eight interceptions.
Obviously, Dalton isn’t spectacular, but he would come cheap and be a player to have mentor a rookie or just compete with Nick Foles to start next season. It’s not ideal, but they may need to go cheap at quarterback.