4 free agents the Chicago Bears must win a bidding war on

Free agency could be a fruitful exercise for the Chicago Bears

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Chicago Bears, Connor Williams
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Bears Free agent No. 1: Connor Williams, Center

With the likelihood of the Chicago Bears drafting a quarterback with the No. 1 pick, the idea of pairing that rookie quarterback with a veteran at center is an idea with strong logic behind it.

Though there's a new, shiny center in the draft, Jackson Powers-Johnson, pairing a rookie QB with a rookie center could cause some rookie mistakes early. The center is a bit like the quarterback of the offensive line, so having two players at those positions taking their very first NFL reps together might not be the best option.

If Ryan Poles agrees with that logic, Connor Williams is an option that could make sense. And Williams is going to be a popular free agent this off-season.

Williams is one of the best centers in free agency. With that, a heavy paycheck will be required, most likely. Per Spotrac, Connor Williams' calculated market value is an average annual salary of about $13.5 million. An estimated five-year, $67-million contract is in store for Williams, if Spotrac nails the projection on the head. For context, that's Frank Ragnow-type of money.

On top of being paid as a top center, there are far more teams in the market for a center than those not in the market. Center is an important position on the offensive line, and it's a position that has a lot of turnover rate per team. Those who are elite stay for a while, otherwise, it's a turnstile of players until that elite one is acquired.

In this free agency period, Connor Williams will be a hot name.

The biggest issue is Williams' injury history. Having the record Williams does makes him a bit less likely for Ryan Poles to go out and sign. However, if the Bears draft a center, like Zach Frazier, and have him behind Williams to start, it might not take very long for Frazier to develop into the starter.

But at that point, it seems like quite a bit of money for someone who won't be available. Since being drafted in 2018, Connor Williams has missed 16 games— almost a full NFL regular season.

Most recently, Williams tore his ACL in Week 14 of last season, which makes him an incredibly risky option. The Bears could find him as a risk worth taking, and if they do, they'll need to win quite the bidding war.