Prioritizing the Chicago Bears player-acquisition strategies after their big trade

Tom Pappalardo
Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles
Chicago Bears, Ryan Poles / Quinn Harris/GettyImages
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Chicago Bears, Frank Clark
Chicago Bears, Frank Clark / Sam Greene/The Enquirer / USA TODAY

One of these three pass rushers could be an option for the Chicago Bears

After juggling all these factors, my conclusions are based on making Justin Fields' development the Bears' top priority. They should sign two defensive ends in free agency. Maybe Khalil Mack gets cut by the Chargers and can be signed at a fairly reasonable contract, maybe.?

The free-agent defensive ends that seem worth pursuing are Frank Clark, Yannick Ngakoue and Arden Key. Poles knows Clark from his time with the Chiefs and maybe that relationship comes into play. Arden Key would be a bit cheaper than either Clark or Ngakoue. Yes, the Chicago Bears in 2023 could draft either Tyree Wilson or Myles Murphy at nine to likely give them a very good pass rusher. However, the smart play is giving Fields a true blindside protector in his critical third year of growth as opposed to adding one of the better pass rushers from the 2023 draft class.

Again, given that the Bears have two first round picks in the 2024 draft, they can then look to add a very good and also young pass rusher next year. It is obvious the Bears will need at least two very good offseasons in 2023 and 2024 to be considered a true Super Bowl contender. With this in mind putting some decent band-aids at defensive end in 2023 while loading up the offensive line with key personnel in 2023 makes the most sense.

Given the volatile nature of the NFL draft, it is possible the Bears could get lucky in both the 2023 and 2024 drafts to rebuild their defense. It is also possible they won't get lucky. So the smart move is for them to put together the best possible offense they can in 2023 while also putting together a good defensive line that is part of a good defense. This enables Justin Fields and his offense to be the main reason they win games while their defense is good enough not to blow leads late in games.