Monday, January 24, 2022

A New Chicago Bears GM Could Lead To Unexpected Roster Moves


One mistake that people tend to make is assuming that the arrival of a new regime at the top of an organization won’t lead to major changes to a roster. There is a reason those men were put in charge. Said roster wasn’t good enough to win football games. That is why Chicago Bears fans might want to prepare themselves. There is a good chance some of their favorite players on the roster might not be around as long as they think.

Going into this 2022 offseason, the only safe bet a person can make about the Bears’ plans is that Justin Fields will be the starting quarterback. That is more out of necessity than anything else. The organization sank a ton of draft capital into acquiring him. So they must do whatever they can to make things work. The same can’t be said for everybody else on the roster. That includes pending free agents who seem like such obvious decisions to retain.

That idea isn’t as crazy as it sounds.

James Daniels might be the best blocker the Bears have up front, but honestly, that isn’t saying much. The right guard has surrendered 36 quarterback pressures this season. More than any other offensive lineman. Yet some people are prepared to give up $10 million+ per year to keep him in place. When put in such context, it makes sense why a new GM and head coach might have different ideas.

The same can be said for other notable names on the roster. Bilal Nichols has just 2.5 sacks this season. Half of what he managed last year. Sam Mustipher hasn’t looked like somebody that should be starting in the NFL. Then there is Roquan Smith. While the inside linebacker has been outstanding, would a new regime be interested in paying him $19-20 million per year? Especially with so many other positions in need of work. That may not make Bears fans comfortable, but it is a real conversation that will be had.

Chicago Bears figure to look way different next season

Keep this in mind. When Ryan Pace took over in 2015, but the time his first offseason was over the Bears had 13 new starters in their lineup. Brandon Marshall, their most productive wide receiver had been traded. Other guys were allowed to leave in free agency. While this team isn’t as bad as the one back in 2014, the situation is similar. An aging roster with significant depth issues. Some short-term sacrifices are likely coming in order to help improve the long-term outlook.

Chicago Bears should be prepared for the unexpected. Fields is saying. Smith, Jaylon Johnson, and Darnell Mooney are likely safe as well. Everybody can’t really say the same. If they have any trade value and a contract that isn’t completely weighed down by dead money, there is a reasonable chance the next regime could start wheeling and dealing.

Never forget that the vision of a franchise never stays the same.

Not when the guys at the top get replaced. If Pace is out as GM, there is a strong possibility his replacement won’t see things the same way he does. He won’t see certain guys as building blocks as Pace might’ve. That is what will make this coming offseason so fascinating.

Erik Lambert
Educated to be a writer at the prestigious Columbia College in Chicago, Erik has spent the past 10 years covering the Bears.

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