Just over a week ago, NFL.com stated that the Chicago Bears would be the perfect landing spot for Terron Armstead. It was a superficial connection. There is no doubt the three-time Pro Bowler would be an instant help at the most important position on their offensive line. Armstead is a beast that can pass protect and run block with equal excellence. He’s 30-years old and grew up just four hours from Chicago in Cahokia. It would be a homecoming of sorts for him.
The problem was money. Projections have Armstead making upwards of $23 million per year. The going rate for a top-end left tackle in the NFL these days. There is no way a new GM like Ryan Poles would throw that kind of money around these early in his tenure. Well, that myth saw cracks in the foundation when Chicago gave $13.5 million per year to Larry Ogunjobi. It doesn’t feel like a stretch to think they’d spend big if they thought they could land a premier tackle to protect Justin Fields. According to Jeff Hughes of Da Bears Blog, they are indeed considering it.
Firmly believe Bears are interested in Terron Armstead. But if Deshaun chooses Nola, it’ll be very surprising if Armstead doesn’t return.
— DaBearsBlog (@dabearsblog) March 15, 2022
Terron Armstead update: Multiple sources I've talked to today believe the OT is waiting to see if the Saints land Deshaun Watson before deciding his next home. As of now, that's what I'm told is slowing his signing.
— Matt Miller (@nfldraftscout) March 15, 2022
For those who aren’t caught up, here’s the story.
Deshaun Watson’s trade market heated up after criminal charges were dropped against him. Teams have begun making their pitches to the former All-Pro quarterback, and the New Orleans Saints appear to be one of the biggest contenders for his services. Landing him would immediately make them a hot destination for offensive free agents. Retaining Armstead would be much easier.
If they fail, then just about anybody can land the stud tackle if they make the right sort of pitch. Remember that Poles is a former offensive lineman himself. So is assistant GM Ian Cunningham. They know how to speak Armstead’s language. While it will take a lot of money to make a deal happen, the Bears might have better odds than people think.
Terron Armstead is great but also a considerable risk
The best way to describe him is dominant…when he is on the field. Think of it like this. Armstead allowed 12 total pressures in 263 pass-blocking snaps last season. For a left tackle in the NFL, that is elite stuff. The problem is the Saints offensive line played over 600 pass-blocking snaps in 2021. That leans into the other side of the issue. Armstead has a lot of trouble staying healthy.
Since 2014, he has missed 38 games with various injuries, including nine last year. Terron Armstead has yet to play an entire season in the NFL. So any team handing him that cash will be doing so at considerable risk. It might explain why he has taken longer than expected to sign a contract somewhere. Teams are hesitant to hand out that kind of cash without some sort of protection.
The Bears are likely included.
In truth, this deal is unlikely. Armstead’s market is too strong and the medicals too uncertain. Maybe the idea of coming closer to home appeals to him. Maybe Poles can communicate with him better than other GMs could. It just feels like one of those things where the Bears test the waters but ultimately decide to look elsewhere.