5 players that could surprisingly be an option for the Bears in free agency

A few teams around the league chose not to use the franchise tag, which could benefit the Bears in a big way.

Chicago Bears, Xavier McKinney
Chicago Bears, Xavier McKinney / Mike Lawrence/GettyImages
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4. Christian Wilkins, DT

Another defensive tackle the Bears could have a shot at is Miami Dolphins stud Christian Wilkins. The Dolphins would love to have him back, but Miami is also in a tough spot when it comes to the salary cap this offseason. At the moment, they are $31.6 million in the negative, per Over the Cap. That makes things especially dicey when Wilkins' projected market value is $20.2 million annually.

In Chicago, Wilkins would help further transform the defense that improved drastically over the second half of the 2023 season. He's an interior lineman, but incredibly disruptive as a pass rusher from that spot. Last year, Wilkins totaled a career-high 9.0 sacks and notched another career-high with 23 quarterback hits.

The former first-round pick is 28 years old and appears right in the thick of his prime. What might be most impressive about Wilkins is the fact that he's started every single game over the last three seasons, playing in all 17 contests each of the past three years. He's been reliable, and they say the best ability is, indeed, availability. Wilkins is as dependable as they come.