Pre-combine thoughts on the Chicago Bears and free agency
I was a little late to the Chicago Bears' frenzy before the combine. I trashed two articles that were long shots of what could happen for the Chicago Bears. One was to end the trading of Justin Fields narrative, and how I could see a situation where the Chicago Bears could take Bryce Young while holding onto Justin Fields. Please don't run away yet; I am not crazy.
The idea was formed around how if the Chicago Bears were still determining if Fields would be their quarterback in 2023, they should keep him and draft Young. Why? Because trading Fields at this point would be a mistake. So if you will take a promising rookie quarterback, at least keep your talent. I believe in Fields that much.
However, Ryan Poles finally shared that he has zero plans to move on from Fields (duh national media) and intends to continue to phase two of the rebuild. That moves us to my pre-combine mock draft. I had the Chicago Bears trading down with the Tennessee Titans. Ryan Tannehill is getting older, and Malik Willis looked terrible. I then realized I was doing what the national media was doing with the Chicago Bears. I don't know enough about the Titans to justify a draft move like that. Lesson learned.
To guess who is willing to trade with the Chicago Bears, I would have to do more research on the other teams. Anybody can make a trade with random teams on the draft simulators. What is the most logical sense? If there is a trade soon, it's likely with the Texans or the Colts. Trading early only makes sense because the draft haul was good, or it's early in the draft to keep options open in the future. Poles has to focus on free agency while finishing his draft board with his interviews and medical checks.
I wish I weren't having technical difficulties before the Super Bowl. I warned people last year that big names would get re-signed in free agency. As much as I love Daron Payne, it made no sense for Washington to let him go. Let me get this out while you are still here. It makes no sense for the Bengals to trade Tee Higgins, the Panthers to trade Brian Burns, or the Colts to trade Buckner, Nelson, or Pittman Jr. I have been wrong before (Khalil Mack becoming a Bear). But that anomaly cost the Bears a decent amount in the future.
Some players that make sense in free agency for the Chicago Bears include:
- Deion Jones, ILB, - He i a veteran, yet still young
- Mike Gesicki, TE - Young vet, pass catcher addition to Kmet
- DJ Chark, WR - Cheap flyer on a guy with upside
- Evan Engram, TE - Same reason as Gesicki and Chark
- Poona Ford, DT - Young vet much like Justin Jones, scheme fit
- Samson Ebukam, DE - Scheme fit 49ers have to figure out finances
- Devin Bush, ILB, - Depth and upside
- Mike McGlinchey, RT - Scheme fit, 49ers money issues
- Anthony Walker, ILB - Eberflus guy and scheme fit, Vet upside
Guys that I think might be too expensive or, for whatever reason, won't become a Bear despite being looked into include:
- Javon Hargrave
- Connor McGovern
- Saquon Barkley
- James Bradberry
- Allen Lazard
- Jakobi Meyers
- Tremaine Edmunds
- Kaleb McGary
- Andrew Wylie
- TJ Edwards
- Jawaan Taylor
I am no insider, but these are all names that the Chicago Bears should and probably are looking at this free agency. They have to spend a certain amount of dollars (not $70 million like some guy on Twitter stated), but they have to use up some cap space. I expect the Chicago Bears to come away with a big signing or two. Such as signing Jawaan Taylor or Mike McGlinchey to a four-year $59 million deal and a three-year $25 million contract for Poona Ford or Samson Ebukham. I expect that and a couple of two-year Justin Jones (last year) contracts of $12 million and a ton more one-year prove-it deals.
Poles and the Chicago Bears have estimated to have a boatload of money this season, but they don't have to spend it all at once. They need NFL vet bodies and draft bodies. I expect Poles to stick to his plan and reward those who earn second contracts.