The Chicago Bears land a top offensive tackle in mock offseason moves

Chicago Bears (Photo by Douglas P. DeFelice/Getty Images)
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Chicago Bears, Orlando Brown
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The Chicago Bears should sign these or similar, free agents in 2022

I already mentioned how I would sign a player like Geno Smith as the backup quarterback. That said, the team is going to be desperate at wide receiver. I do not see the team having enough salary cap space to land a guy like Davante Adams or Chris Godwin. Both of these players will likely earn more than the $18 million per year that Allen Robinson is making this season. Davante Adams could honestly become the highest-paid WR in the league next year.

Instead, the team should look to sign receivers in the next tier down. I am talking about guys like JuJu Smith-Schuster, Cortland Sutton, Michael Gallup, D.J. Chark, Christian Kirk or Mike Williams. +

Cortland Sutton, WR – 4 years / $60,000,000 ($2022 Cap Hit: $10,000,000)

In this scenario, I like the upside of Cortland Sutton and sign him to a four-year, $60 million dollar deal. With his signing bonuses and guaranteed money, the contract should only cost around $10 million against the salary cap in 2022. That’s essentially a $15 million per year deal. Sutton has proven he can handle a WR1 role in Denver, but can also be a solid second option too. Pairing him with Mooney and their second-round pick means the rest of the WR group can be inexpensive signings that will earn less than $4 million per year in 2022.

With the signing of Sutton, that drops the salary cap down to $42 million. I’m not done yet though. I went with a lesser wide receiver option in free agency to save room for a big offensive line signing. I understand the team is hopeful that Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom work out, but are we willing to stake the future of Justin Fields’ career on that? Without a first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, adding quality offensive line help must come in free agency.

Orlando Brown, Jr., OT – 5 years / $98,000,000 (2022 Cap Hit: $12,000,000)

Yikes! I know, I know. How can the Chicago Bears afford to pay a free agent this type of money with so many roster holes to fill? The answer is simple. It is time to start paying this offensive line if the team wants to shift from a bottom-half offense in the league to a top-half offense. Orlando Brown could be that answer as he is only 25 years old and has been playing at an above-average to at times an elite level at left tackle his entire career.

This contract will need to be somewhat backloaded. At $19.6 million in AAV, the contract will need to be written in such a way that the 2022 salary cap is only around $12 million. This will drop the spending from $42 million to only $30 million.