Did Ryan Poles strike out in first free agency with Chicago Bears?

Chicago Bears - Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears did not have the free agency period that many people are talking about. They hit some needs, but overall there was not enough of a splash to have fans excited about the first free agency period of Ryan Poles. Some fans will appreciate the patience, but with some of the patience comes a few whiffs, and you could argue that Poles struck out during his first go at free agency.

During a recent podcast with Olin Kreutz, he mentioned that the Chicago Bears were aggressive to sign Brian Allen away from the Los Angeles Rams. Kreutz has a personal relationship with Allen and had him on the same podcast he told this story on, so it is a pretty credible source.

Kreutz said that the structure caused Allen to turn back to the Rams at the last second. When asked if this was his report or an assumption, he noted this was not some assumption, insinuating that he heard from the person himself.

Kreutz noted that Poles told Allen that he planned to introduce him and Larry Ogunjobi together as their two big signings.

Poles whiffed on Allen for language that caused him to stay with his old team. Another unfortunate situation caused Poles to whiff on Larry Ogunjobi. Poles could not know that a failed physical was coming, but the momentum of announcing Ogunjobi and Allen at the same time turned into pivots to Justin Jones and Lucas Patrick.

Ryan Poles pivoted quickly to Ryan Bates. He offered a strong contract and pushed the Buffalo Bills to the limit. However, his third aggressive target was a restricted free agent, so a simple match from Buffalo was all they needed.

Poles did the right thing in that he did not overpay, and he made the Bills realize that they made a mistake, because they could have paid less with a tender. He did the right thing with Ogunjobi to listen to the doctors, and we do not know about the language in the contract for Allen, but that could have been the right call as well.

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Still, if the Chicago Bears were a team that jumped on Brian Allen and Larry Ogunjobi and then followed it up with a reasonable deal for Ryan Bates, then fans would feel a lot more optimistic about where the roster stands. Sitting here today with Justin Jones, Lucas Patrick, and a hole still at right guard is not as exciting.

It may turn into a double or a home run on his next at-bat, but Poles struck out on his three biggest targets this offseason.