Chicago Bears Rumors: Connections continue to this Pro-Bowl running back

The Bears may be plotting a big move for a running back.

Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles v New York Giants / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

There's been speculation over the course of the past week that the Chicago Bears may be planning for an upgrade to their running back position when free agency opens on Monday.

The free-agent class of running backs runs deep this off-season with the likes of Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Austin Ekeler, and Tony Pollard among the top names available.

It's already been reported that there is mutual interest between the Bears and Jacobs but the team may be willing to spend at the top of the class.

There have been loose connections between the Bears and Barkley in recent weeks but the latest report from Jordan Raanan of ESPN is more direct. The Bears were listed among three teams to be "serious suitors" for Barkley. The other two teams mentioned in that category are the Los Angeles Chargers and Baltimore Ravens.

Barkley's market could also include the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles.

Investing heavily in a running back during free agency is a rare practice for NFL teams and the Bears can be included in that fact. Despite having an interest in bringing back David Montgomery last off-season, the Bears were not willing to match the contract offered by the Detroit Lions.

The Chicago Bears may be planning a major pursuit of a running back upgrade.

It would seem unlikely, one year later, that the Bears would now be willing to pay for the top running back available in free agency.

Having said all that, a deal with Barkley would not handcuff the Bears. The Bears have just over $63MM in available cap space this off-season, making it easier for them to afford to pay a premium at the running back position. Not to mention, if the Bears are indeed drafting Caleb Williams with the first overall selection, the reset of the quarterback contract would make it easier for the team to absorb Barkley's next contract.

Williams could be a large part of the reason why the Bears have an interest in Barkley as the team may be planning surrounding their rookie quarterback with as much talent as possible at the skill positions.

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