Chicago Bears Free Agency: Identifying the best defensive free agents at each position
The Chicago Bears must upgrade the 3-technique this offseason
When we look at the Bears' defense, there is no secret that Matt Eberflus expects the 3-technique defensive tackle to be a focal point of his defense. The team signed Larry Ogunjobi during this legal tampering window last offseason, but once his medicals came back, Ryan Poles moved in a different direction. Justin Jones was signed to a two-year deal and is still on the roster. He did an admirable job and flashed throughout the 2022 season. However, he cannot be counted on as the starter this season. This is why Ryan Poles should look to one of these free agents or the 2023 NFL Draft.
- Dre'Mont Jones
- Javon Hargrave
- David Onyemata
- Zach Allen
- Greg Gaines
- Jarran Reed
When I look at this list, there are three names that stand out to me. Javon Hargrave is easily the most talented. If Ryan Poles brings him in on a two-year deal worth $35 to $40 million, I can get on board with that. This allows the team to find a younger replacement and gives a stopgap. There is a connection between Hargrave and Ian Cunningham as well who came from Philadelphia.
Zach Allen is interesting to me. Originally, I did not think of him as an option to play the 3-tech. He is coming from Arizona as an end in a 3-4 defense. His size and skill set make him a solid option to play on the inside in Matt Eberflus' system though. I'd highly consider Allen as an option since he's only 25 and coming off a solid 5.5-sack season.
Finally, the last name on the list I like is Dre'Mont Jones. Jones has been the guy I've wanted to see signed this offseason, but after seeing Daron Payne sign a four-year, $90 million dollar contract, I am fearful that Jones may want more money than I'm willing to dish out if I were Poles. I was expecting Jones to see a contract of around $60 million over four years. If he is going to see anything drastically more than that, then I think I'd lean toward Javon Hargrave.
My Bears Choice: Dre'Mont Jones
This one comes with a stipulation. Jones is only 26 years old and more of an ascending player. You need to project his ceiling in this defense. Javon Hargrave is 30. As tomorrow inches closer though, I have to admit that I am starting to lean more and more toward Hargrave on a short-term deal vs Jones on a long-term contract. For now, I'll still claim Jones.