After being hired as GM in January, Ryan Poles vowed to remain patient and strategic in free agency. Inheriting several aging defenders and inflated contracts from Ryan Pace’s tenure, Poles didn’t start out with an ideal amount of assets to work with. Having just north of $26 million in cap space and several aging defenders on the roster, Poles traded away Khalil Mack to the Chargers for a second and sixth-round pick, and also cut veterans Danny Trevathan, Eddie Goldman, and Tarik Cohen.
Set on continuing to save his cap space for the 2023 offseason, Poles stuck to the original plan. Signing strictly scheme fits on cheap veteran deals, Poles has signed several solid structural pieces to the Bears roster. Focused on acquiring players with familiarity playing in Matt Eberflus’ defense, and Luke Getsy’s offense, Poles added some starting caliber veterans in free agency.
Ryan Poles is revamping the Chicago Bears and these four FAs stand out most
With scheme changes currently underway on both sides of the football, adding proven veteran scheme fits was critical for the Bears. Looking to build culture and structure inside Halas Hall, Poles needed athletes who fit what Eberflus and Getsy were looking for in their systems. Looking to play a faster and more physical brand of football than last year’s Bears team, Poles has a clear and precise vision for his football team.
Despite not making any blockbuster moves so far this offseason, Poles has made a few acquisitions to help improve the Bears in the long term. Here are the four most important veterans that Ryan Poles has added so far in free agency.