Grading the Bears first big signings of free agency this year

For the most part, so far so good in Chicago.

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Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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3. DeAndre Swift, RB, Philadelphia Eagles

Deal: 3-year, $24 million

Running Backs are back!

After several years of insultingly low contracts, it seems like the position is starting to be in more demand: Josh Jacobs, Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, and more all found new deals on Day 1 of free agency. Even with the market being full of premium talent, teams are seemingly prioritizing that position once again.

The Bears jumped in on that trend too, bringing in Swift on a deal that sets up Chicago's backfield for the next half decade or so. Opinions on Swift are mixed: on paper, he had the best year of his career last season, putting up 1,000 yards for the first time ever and managing five touchdowns for the third straight year. Some of that credit belongs to the Eagles' offensive line, who have spent the last 5-6 years turning basically any running back into a star.

But Swift's reputation as a pass-catcher is a bit overblown at this point, and even with the Bears' offensive line being an excellent run-blocking unit, it'll be interesting to see how leaving Philly goes. He's definitely an upgrade over Roschon Johnson, and probably an upgrade over Khalil Herbert, but that's a good chunk of change for what figures to be a complimentary piece.

When you have the type of cap space that the Bears have, though, you can afford to take some swings.

4. Patrick Scales, ST

Grade: B

Scales is the longest-tenured Bears player currently on the roster, and it's not close. And while we're not going to pretend that bringing back a long-snapper is especially important, there's a viral 10-minute explanation from Bill Belichick that may argue otherwise. Either way, he's reliable, good at his job, and supposedly a very popular figure in the Bears' locker room.

The decision to bring him back on a one-year extension won't make any Best Free Agent Signing lists besides this one, but in the vacuum that is Chicago Bears football, it's a move that makes a ton of sense.

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