The latest Chicago Bears 2021 mock offseason comes with an obvious topic of discussion. Most people can probably guess what that will be. So let’s discuss the setup. With the Super Bowl over, one can imagine the floodgates are about to open in regards to offseason talk. It could be as early as Monday or Tuesday with a big move anticipated on the quarterback market.
Will the Bears be the team to make it? Nobody can say for sure. One thing that can be said is they’re certain to be involved. GM Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy understand the stakes. George McCaskey kept them around for next season because he believes in them. However, his patience can only go so far. They have to deliver a winning season in 2021 or the odds are good they will be out of work by next January.
So in order to give themselves the best chance possible, they need to find a quarterback. That is the focal point of this mock.
Chicago Bears 2021 mock offseason is focus on the big rumor
- Jimmy Graham – $7 million saved
- Bobby Massie – $8 million saved
- Buster Skrine – $4.93 million saved
Graham would probably be kept under normal circumstances. He played well in 2020. Sadly it’s a business decision. This team needs cap space and with Cole Kmet emerging, they have to let him go. Massie can’t seem to stay healthy anymore and they need to get young at tackle anyway. Skrine is on the older side and trying to come back from a sixth concussion. It’s probably best to let him go too.
Salary cap: $13.78 million
Bears trade 20th pick, 3rd in 2022, and QB Nick Foles to Eagles for QB Carson Wentz and a 5th in 2021
This is it. The move everybody is talking about. Needless to say, it’s going to be a divisive one. Wentz is 28-years old and looked like an MVP-to-be in 2017. Then in 2019, he had over 4,000 yards with 27 TDs and seven interceptions. He had the look of a franchise QB. Then everything went wrong in 2020 with 16 TDs and 15 interceptions while taking 50 sacks. He wants out of Philadelphia and the Bears help grant his wish.
Giving up a 1st round pick is difficult to stomach for many. The Bears haven’t actually used one in the draft since 2018. Wentz is an obvious gamble but if Nagy can get him turned around, the team will have clearly upgraded at the most important position.
Bears trade CB Kyle Fuller to the Jets for a 3rd in 2021 and a 5th in 2021
Sadly acquiring Wentz is going to lead to sacrifices. The Bears will want some picks back if possible and also need salary cap space. This moving of Fuller helps in both areas. They get two picks back for him and also an additional $14 million in space courtesy of a post-June 1st designation on this trade. Nobody wants to see him go, but it has to be done. Fuller will go down as one of the brightest spots in a dark period of Chicago football.
Bears trade WR Anthony Miller to the Chiefs for a 6th in 2021
When George McCaskey himself calls a player out? One can pretty much guess that player is in danger. The Bears have grown frustrated with Miller’s lack of progress the past two years and his immaturity in the playoffs shined through. It makes sense with Darnell Mooney emerging to send him elsewhere for a fresh start.
Salary cap: $7.59 million
Carson Wentz – contract reworked (2021 cap hit lowered to $10 million)
There is no way the Bears will add Wentz without making an effort to rework his current contract. By moving some money around with bonuses, they manage to lower the hit to where it gives them needed breathing room. Enough to at least conduct some necessary business. The most important one being what is next on the list.
Allen Robinson – 1-year franchise tag for $15.8 million
Adding Wentz doesn’t feel like it would convince Robinson to sign long-term with the Bears. Not initially anyway. That said, the team still has the ability to franchise tag him and the lowered 2021 cap makes the tag number lower as well. So they manage to secure their #1 offensive weapon for one more season while buying time to hopefully extend him down the line.
Akiem Hicks – 2-year extension for $20 million (2021 cap hit lowered to $5.5 million)
Sacrificing Fuller was hard enough. Some may think Hicks has to go too. That could happen, but in this instance, the Bears keep the heart and soul of their defense around. He’s getting older but remains a problem on the defensive line. This extension allows the team to lower his cap hit this coming season.
- Eddie Jackson – contract restructure ($6 million gained)
- Eddie Goldman – contract restructure ($2.5 million gained)
- Cairo Santos – 3-year deal for $12.9 million ($1 million 2021 cap it)
- Pat O’Donnell – 2-year deal for $3.5 million ($1.5 million 2021 cap hit)
- Tashaun Gipson – 1-year deal for $1.5 million
- Brent Urban – 1-year deal for $1.075 million
- Barkevious Mingo – 1-year deal for $1.075 million
- Mario Edwards Jr. – 1-year deal for $990,000
- DeAndre Houston-Carson – 1-year deal for $990,000
- Germain Ifedi – 1-year deal for $990,000
- Alex Bars – ERFA tender for $850,000
- Ryan Nall – ERFA tender for $850,000
- Josh Woods – ERFA tender for $850,000
- James Vaughters – ERFA tender for $780,000
The Bears must work with one goal in mind. Find enough money to keep the roster they have as intact as possible. This is why they rework the contracts of Jackson and Goldman. It enables them to secure Santos on a much-deserved extension while always retaining O’Donnell and Gipson on short-term deals. The rest are depth maneuvers with guys like Bars and Ifedi competing for starting jobs.
Salary cap: $10.24 million
- QB C.J. Beathard – 1-year deal for $1 million
- CB Ross Cockrell – 1-year deal for $990,000
Don’t expect much spending at all in this Bears 2021 mock offseason. The free agent market will be about maintenance additions at most. Nothing more. Beathard has some starting experience and should make for an affordable and serviceable backup behind Wentz. Cockrell is a veteran corner who is typically solid whenever being given chances to play. He can be in the mix to compete for Fuller’s vacant spot.
Salary cap: $8.14 million
2nd round – James Hudson, OT, Cincinnati
With a guy like Wentz as your quarterback, pass protection becomes absolutely vital. Wentz has a tendency to hold the ball a lot, trying to find plays down the field. So investing in the offensive line has to be a priority. James Hudson is somebody who doesn’t get a lot of buzz but should. He has all the tools. Size, power, quick feet, athleticism, and violent hands. He shows an aggressive temperament too. The problems lay in his polish. Last season was his first full one as a starter. Yet he played well and has a ton of room to grow. Juan Castillo could do some magical things with this sort of talent.
— Austin Silvey (@SilveyESP) January 28, 2021
3rd round (via Jets) – Dyami Brown, WR, North Carolina
As stated above, Wentz likes to attack down the field. The Bears have lacked dynamic playmakers for some time. Now with Darnell Mooney in the fold, they have a chance to really stockpile more speed. Brown fits that mold perfectly. He topped 1,000 yards each of the past two seasons, going for 20 yards per catch both years. Athleticism and speed are there along with an alpha mentality before and after the catch. He doesn’t shy away from blocking either. As his route tree expands, he’ll become genuinely dangerous.
3rd round – Paulson Adebo, CB, Stanford
Stanford isn’t a factory of NFL talent but they churn out some solid players from time to time. Defense is usually their specialty and Adebo is the latest example. Just a well-rounded, solid football player. He has size, athleticism, fluidity, and toughness to play outside against almost any receiver. His eight interceptions in 22 games prove he has plenty of ball skills too. While not known for pure speed, he has enough to play in just about any defense.
5th round (via Jets) – Bobby Brown III, DL, Texas A&M
Size? Power? Length? Quickness? These are all traits Brown brings to the table. His physical makeup is the classic 3-4 defensive end the Bears tend to target. He understands how to handle double teams, can hold his ground against the run, and has latent pass rush potential. The big question with him is whether they can get his motor to run consistently.
Come for Kenny Yeboah's TD, stay for the celebration 💯 @Kenny_Yeboah84
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) January 30, 2021
5th round (via Eagles) – Kenny Yeboah, TE, Ole Miss
Another in that favored series of basketball-style tight ends. Yeboah has the desired mixture of size, length, and athleticism. He routinely shows the ability to beat linebackers in coverage and creates a big catch radius for his quarterback. He improved steadily throughout college, end with 526 yards and six TDs in just seven games last year.
5th round – Reed Blankenship, S, Middle Tennessee
This Bears 2021 mock offseason wouldn’t be complete with them adding a small school player of some kind. Pace loves his late-round safeties. Blankenship is somebody fans will loves. He plays the game with an attacking mindset, which is why he is such a good blitzer. His instincts and leadership are top-notch and he has the size and athleticism to hang with NFL players. At worst he’ll be a special teams maven.
6th round (via Chiefs) – Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
Stockpiling capable blockers is never a bad idea. Wisconsin has always been a honey hole for them after all. Van Lanen won’t win awards for his athleticism but he has enough of it to function. His real value is in the running game. His mixture of size and power can overwhelm defenders at times and he clearly loves to get after it.
6th round – Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville
His numbers were never huge in college but Fitzpatrick was a steady producer all four years of college. His trademark was using his size, body control, and outstanding hands to make some truly tough and impressive catches. Guys like him always seem to come up big on 3rd down and in the red zone. Well worth a 6th round flier.
I love how Duke moves around pass rush wizard Chris Rumph II
Walking around presnap and then the suddenness against them RG – Whoa! Best pure pass rusher in the country – and I’m not sure it’s even close.
I’m studying OT Liam Eichenberg and was hoping for some battles pic.twitter.com/ArEwNVLBUr
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) July 13, 2020
6th round (comp) – Chris Rumph II, EDGE, Duke
If the name seems familiar, it should. The Bears recently hired Chris Rumph as their new defensive line coach. This is his son. So they already have a pretty good scouting report on him. He’s not the biggest guy on the field, but he makes up for it with strength, intelligence, awareness, and a large arsenal of moves. He can be an interesting utility guy.
6th round (comp) – Paddy Fisher, ILB, Northwestern
A proven producer across four years and leader of one of the best defenses in college football last season. Fisher established himself as a tough, smart, and instinctive player who was always around the football. He has good size but questions about his tackling consistency and if he can survive in coverage.
7th round (via MIA) – Feleipe Franks, QB, Arkansas
There is no harm in the Bears taking a flier on a quarterback here. They need depth and a 7th round pick won’t be viewed as a threat by Wentz. Franks is a fascinating prospect. He flashed a lot of promise at both Florida and Arkansas, stands 6’6, and boasts a live arm. His issues stem from whether he can process defenses and throw with better accuracy.