3 free agents Chicago Bears were wise to avoid

Just because you have a ton of money doesn't mean you need to spend it all.

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For as frustrated as Bears fans may be with the team's offseason approach so far, they can't say the team isn't spending money. While they went into this month's free agency with some of the most cap space among any team, the Bears haven't exactly thrown it at huge contracts the way that many expected them to.

Deals for guys like D'Andre Swift, Kevin Bayrd, and Gerald Everett got done quickly, but all three of those came for medium money and weren't the top-of-market signings that Bears fans had been waiting all winter to see.

It's not necessarily a bad thing, though.

Free agent spending ages poorly a lot of the time, and Bears GM Ryan Poles talked openly to the media during the Owner's Meetings about how the team just now feels free of a lot of the bad contracts that former GM Ryan Pace put on the books while he was running the show.

So now that the major waves of free agency have ended, these are the three deals that the Bears were smart to avoid.

3 free agents Bears were wise to avoid

1. Christian Wilkins, DT, Las Vegas Raiders

Deal: Four-years, $110 million

The Bears need defensive line help, so it's hard to blame fans for being mad about watching Wilkins head to Las Vegas. The former Miami star defensive lineman had his apparent breakout season in 2023 with a career-high 10 sacks while playing in all 17 games.

Right now, the Bears' plan on the line is either "hope Gervon Dexter develops next to Montez Sweat" or "draft a guy and hope he's immediately an impact player," so it's not like they had a ton of better options available to them. Still, at 28, Wilkins only has one season with a double-digit sack total (per Pro Football Focus) and ended his "breakout season" ranked as PFF's 29th-best defensive tackle.

He's better than what the Bears have on their roster right now, but that's a ton of money for a 28 year old defensive tackle who's mainly been a run-stopper so far.

It would have been a fun "we've arrived" move for the Bears, but avoiding that probably won't be the worst thing in the world.