3 former Bears players who failed with their new team in 2023

Chicago was wise to let these three guys walk.

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Tennessee Titans v New Orleans Saints / Cooper Neill/GettyImages
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Monday officially marked the start of free agency in the NFL, and things look much different than last weekend.

While teams aren't allowed to officially sign players until Wednesday afternoon, the "legal tampering" window – a 48-hour stretch where teams are allowed to discuss contract details with the player – opens on Monday. So, essentially, teams can start signing people right away.

For each of the past two seasons, the Bears have been one of the teams to watch during free agency.

They've had some of the most cap space of any NFL team over the past two offseasons, and with the roster starting to become more respectable, all eyes are on how GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus will approach putting the final pieces together. But before things get a bit crazy this week, it's worth looking back on the decisions that Poles and Eberflus already made last year – the ones that worked out, at least. Free agency is always a bit of a dice roll: while you can certainly add top talent, the real trick over the next several weeks is knowing who can help you on team-friendly deals, and who you can part with.

Of all the former Bears players that left Chicago after the 2022 season, only one – Detroit's David Montgomery – really had a strong season elsewhere. And on the flip side of that, here are three former Bears players that didn't live up to expectations with their new teams in 2023.

1. Reilly Reiff, T, New England Patriots

For basically a decade, Reiff has been an NFC North staple – he was drafted by the Lions in the first round of the 2012 Draft, and proceeded to spend the next nine seasons playing in both Detroit and Minnesota. He played well, too: according to Pro Football Focus, Reiff had an overall grade over 70 for seven of those nine seasons, including two seasons over 80 (his rookie season, graded at 87.8, remains the best year of his career.)

After a year spent in Cincinnati, Reiff returned to the NFC North on a one-year, roughly $10 million deal with the Bears. He played decent football as the Bears' right tackle, starting 10 games (while appearing in 16) while allowing three sacks, four penalties, and 13 QB hurries.

He very clearly wasn't in the Bears' long term plans, though, and Chicago let him walk when the season ended; Reiff eventually found a home in New England, where he signed another one year deal. Injuries ended his season before it ever really got started – he went on injured reserve on September 4th, was activated on October 7th, and then was put back on IR for good on October 21st. He ended up only appearing in one game.