5 potential contract year breakouts on Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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It happens every year and happens to almost every single team, and will happen for the Chicago Bears in 2021. Out of nowhere, a player has a better season than you could have imagined. Whether it is narrative or great timing, you can typically look into those breakout years and see that a contract year may have spiked things.

The contract year narrative is that when a player is entering the year before he hits free agency, that extra urgency sparks career numbers and a big payday. It may not be as intentional as instinctual that when you are playing with significant money on the line that the best is brought out.

With that in mind, who are five players that could dig into the Chicago Bears wallets with a better season than anticipated.

5. Bilal Nichols

Bilal Nichols is on his way to a solid contract already, especially when you factor in the results of his career compared to his draft slot. Still, Nichols could blow up and all put the Bears in a spot where they feel he is emerging as one of the best talents in the league.

Nichols slowly climbed the depth chart on a loaded group. However, injuries to Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman opting out allowed Nichols to take over and have his best year in 2020.

Hicks and Goldman are back but are another year older and with plenty of questions. Beyond that Nichols has played so well he cannot be put back in the box. It is not the most likely case, but Nichols could emerge as the top lineman on the defense this fall. Then, all of a sudden he would be demanding serious coin.