The Chicago Bears trading for Keenan Allen should help stop this ridiculous narrative

Fans, bloggers, and even analysts keep spreading this narrative that Ryan Poles isn't willing to do what it takes in free agency. Some believe he is cheap. Others believe the McCaskeys are cash-poor and not allowing Poles to make moves. Well, trading for Keenan Allen should hopefully put this ridiculous narrative.

Chicago Bears, Keenan Allen
Chicago Bears, Keenan Allen / Harry How/GettyImages
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Wow. What a way to end the night on Thursday. We saw the photos of Ryan Poles and Ian Cunningham having a meal with Jay Glazer during the NFL Combine. I'd have to assume that Glazer paid that bill since he was the one to break the news that Keenan Allen is being traded to the Chicago Bears.

I have to wonder if this move will finally put an end to all of the Chicago Bears fans calling for Ryan Poles' head. I have seen fans, bloggers and analysts alike screaming about how Poles is failing this offseason. Stating he isn't doing enough in free agency. "Disasterclass" is what one person called it. Saying he has botched things is another thing I keep hearing. Not to mention, many fans are trying to claim that Poles is only signing cheap, inexpensive free agents. Some are even claiming that the McCaskeys are cash-poor and strongarming Poles from spending big in free agency.

Well, what too many fans seem to be overlooking are two players who should still be viewed as free-agent additions -- Montez Sweat and Jaylon Johnson. The Chicago Bears traded for Sweat in October and signed him to an extension. It might not feel like that matters in free agency now that the offseason is upon us because the Bears were still ranked in the top five in salary cap space when the new league year started on March 13, 2024.

If we look at free agency as a whole, the Chicago Bears have added the following (salary AAV):

Montez Sweat, DE ($24.5 million)
Jaylon Johnson, CB ($19 million)
D'Andre Swift, RB ($8 million)
Kevin Byard, S ($7.5 million)
Gerald Everett, TE ($6 million)
Ryan Bates, C/IOL ($4 million)
Jonathan Owens, S ($2.375 million)
Matt Pryor, OT
Brett Rypien, QB
Amen Ogbongbemiga, LB
Coleman Shelton, C
Jake Curhan, OT

Can we please stop with this narrative that Ryan Poles is cheap?

Fans want to call the Chicago Bears cheap but without knowing the money involved with some of these lower-cost free-agent contracts, Poles has added over $70 million in AAV this offseason. That was also before trading for Keenan Allen. The Allen contract is going to add over another $20 million to that total bringing it to over $90 million in AAV added to the roster. Unless the Bears negotiate an extension for Allen, then the cash being paid to him will actually cause the Bears to jump up somewhere between the top 10-12 in cash spending for 2024. Can we stop this narrative now?

With the addition of Keenan Allen, the Chicago Bears have now set themselves up nicely for the 2024 NFL Draft. They only have four picks, but three are within the top 75 picks. Ryan Poles can trade down from 1.01 and keep Justin Fields. Poles can choose to trade down from 1.09 instead, leaving Caleb Williams ripe for the picking. With either scenario, Poles now has the flexibility to move throughout the draft rather than pigeonhole himself into taking certain positions at certain points in the draft. I still expect Poles to draft a wide receiver at some point and I hope they also draft a center and a defensive end.

Ryan Poles is proving to be a smart general manager. He is patient and does not concern himself with the public's opinion. He is concise and calculated in his decisions. He is usually playing chess while others are playing checkers. Fans need to be patient too, while dropping the narrative that the Chicago Bears are cheap.

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