Expect Ryan Poles to continue this trend with Chicago Bears in free agency
Chicago Bears fans have been hoping that their team will be connected to older free agents for a while now. J.C. Tretter was much talked about when he was let go, and fans thought they had a chance at Terron Armstead after Deshaun Watson spurned the Saints. However, the reality is that the Bears may have been interested in both, but probably were not too committed to either. That is because Ryan Poles obviously has his ways about free agents.
When you take a look at the free agents that the Chicago Bears signed and their ages, you start to get a sense of a trend that probably will continue.
Beyond these names, the big money that they shipped was to 27-year old Larry Ogunjobi, who they eventually failed on his physical.
The obvious theme here is that every single player is under the age of 30 years old. It is not too often that you can build a roster around a bunch of 30-year-old free agents.
30 is not some end-all age, but for positions that are not quarterback, where athleticism matters it is a young man’s game, and the 20-year-olds are in the best conditions.
When you pay a player in their 30s, you are paying for what they already did. There is a good chance that you are not going to get their products in their 20s, even if they are a good player, though.
When you pay a player in their 20s, you are betting on what they can do. You are betting that four years from now we will look back and see someone who just had their best seasons.
Most players peak from 25-30, so to add players in their 25-30 age range, and not older than that makes plenty of sense.
J.C. Tretter is 31, and Terron Armstead is 30. Both will play the season a year older than they currently are. These players would be great additions to a strong roster, they would be pieces that put a team over the top. The same can be said of Justin Jones, who is seven years younger than Akiem Hicks.
The Chicago Bears are building from the ground up, and these are not the types of players that fit the mold of sticking around to build something, then peaking in the next couple of seasons. These are players built to win now, and Chicago is not quite in that position.
So, when you see a big free-agent hit the market, just remember if they are over the age of 30 you may not see an aggressive pursuit of them from Chicago. That may come at some point, but Ryan Poles said that that would not be his style, and while he has had to bring in free agents this year, he is making sure to go younger.