Thursday, April 18, 2024

Chicago Bears 2023 Mock Offseason: Post-Quinn Trade Edition

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The latest Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason comes with an exciting update. Robert Quinn is no longer in the picture. The former Pro Bowl edge rusher was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 4th round pick. It wasn’t a complete surprise. At 32 years old, Quinn’s time in the NFL runs short. He needs to chase a ring. Philadelphia wanted more pass rush depth. Chicago is rebuilding. This deal netted them another pick and extra cap space for next year.

The interesting part is how this may affect their plans. Depending on how Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson play, it opens up a need at defensive end they’ll need to fill. Conversely, they now have nine picks and more cap space than any team by miles. This is a real opportunity for them to infuse the roster with serious talent.

This Chicago Bears 2023 mock offseason has a clearer focus.

Re-signings/Extensions:
  • Roquan Smith – 5-year deal for $100 million ($12 million cap hit in 2023)
  • Jaylon Johnson – 4-year extension for $76 million ($10 million cap hit in 2023)
  • David Montgomery – 3-year extension for $21 million
  • Nicholas Morrow – 3-year deal for $15 million
  • Armon Watts – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • Equanimeous St. Brown – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • N’Keal Harry – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • Trevon Wesco – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • Khari Blasingame – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • Matthew Adams – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • Dane Cruikshank – 1-year deal for $1.08 million
  • DeAndre Houston-Carson – 1-year deal for $1.165 million
  • Patrick Scales – 1-year deal for $1.165 million
  • Josh Blackwell – ERFA deal for $750,000

Poles has the money. Smith did his part by playing out of his mind so far this year. So the two sides make the deal. The linebacker gets his $100 million. Better still, there is plenty left over for the Bears to secure Johnson for the long term. Montgomery doesn’t get a huge payday, but he gets some financial security while the Bears keep their backfield intact. Morrow has carved out a nice role as the middle linebacker too. Everybody else is kept as a quality reserve, or special teams help.

Salary cap: $86.34 million

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Free Agency:

EDGE Bradley Chubb – 4-year deal for $72 million ($10 million cap hit in 2023)

Losing Robert Quinn will be tough on the Bears’ defensive line for the rest of the season. Thankfully they have the resources to correct the issue quickly. Rumors are Matt Eberflus was a big fan of Chubb during the 2018 draft. He’s battled some injury setbacks but is healthy now, playing great with 5.5 sacks in seven games. He turns 27 years old next June and should have plenty of good years in front of him. Signing him will give Chicago all sorts of flexibility when the draft begins.

OT Jawaan Taylor – 4-year deal for $70.4 million ($10 million cap hit in 2023)

Larry Borom isn’t the worst right tackle in football. Still, it’s been apparent too often that he can be a liability. So the Bears 2023 mock offseason looks to upgrade. Taylor, a former 2nd round pick, went through some growing pains in Jacksonville. Now though, he has blossomed into an all-around quality blocker. He’s allowed only seven pressures on the quarterback this season. He’s got size and power for the run game too.

WR Darius Slayton – 2-year deal for $16 million

The entire wide receiver free agent class is weak. That isn’t where the Bears are going to find their future star. That said, it still has quality depth options. Slayton is one of them. He has good size, decent speed, and a connection to the organization through receivers coach Tyke Tolbert. He can be somebody who can compete for that #3-4 spot in the passing attack alongside Harry and St. Brown.

Salary cap: $58.34 million

The Draft:

1st round – Bryan Bresee, DT, Clemson

The Bears complete the makeover of their defensive line. Having added their edge rusher in Chubb, they next secure a beastly defensive tackle is Bresee. This is the interior pass rush presence they’ve been lacking. Bresee is big, strong, and very quick for his size. He can collapse the pocket with remarkable consistency. Put him in the hands of Eberflus, and he could become an absolute terror in this defense.

2nd round – Jaxon Smith-Njiba, WR, Ohio State

If this were a year ago, there is no question Smith-Njiba would’ve been a 1st round pick. However, injuries have slowed the Buckeyes receiver this season. That might be enough to see him slip into the 2nd, where the Bears can stab him. The kid isn’t an elite athlete but is a superb route-runner with great quickness, strong hands, and explosive acceleration. He can line up anywhere, though he’s most lethal in the slot. This would be a significant coup for Chicago and has the added benefit of being somebody Justin Fields knows.

3rd round – Luke Wypler, C, Ohio State

The requirements of a center in the Bears’ offense are clear. He must be athletic enough to move in space, smart with his assignments, and have a nasty, physical demeanor. Wypler checks all of those boxes. He is a big part of the Buckeye’s offensive success this year. While not the biggest or strongest guy, he’s got enough of both to go along with a mean streak and above-average agility. Once his technique is fine-tuned, he will be a quality man in the middle for any team.

4th round – Habakkuk Baldonado, EDGE, Pitt

It is never a crime to stockpile edge rushers. Adding Chubb was the splash play, but now the Bears should focus on depth. Baldonado brings size, length, and power to the table. He’s also quick enough for the task. His 2021 season with nine sacks and 12 tackles for a loss showcased his capability. He’s having a down year in 2022 for whatever reason. His big issue is developing a more diverse range of pass rush moves.

4th round (via PHI) – Cooper Beebe, OG, Kansas State

Cody Whitehair is in his 30s and doesn’t have much longer. The Bears have already begun drafting options at guard to possibly replace him in the future. That trend continues with Beebe. Ironically he is almost a carbon copy of Whitehair. He is a left tackle from Kansas State that will likely move to guard. He has good athletic skills, plays with power and authority, and is excellent with leverage. Coaches will have to work on him getting better in space.

5th round – Phil Jurkovec, QB, Boston College

Barring something unexpected, the Bears will stay committed to Fields for one more year as they try to help him develop. That said, adding other arms as insurance is not a crime. Jurkovec looks like your classic quarterback with a big 6’5 frame, a strong arm, and underrated accuracy. He’s also good with decision-making, rarely putting the ball in harm’s way. The talent is there. He needs lots of mechanical work, though.

7th round – Jaheim Bell, TE, South Carolina

Look back at the history of this offensive system. Tight ends that excelled weren’t known for their size. It was more about their athleticism, speed, and ability to catch the ball. Think Shannon Sharpe and Owen Daniels. That is the mold Bell falls in. While he is only 6’3, he also boasts 4.5 speed with good strength. He can create matchup problems for defenses.

7th round (comp) – Elijah Higgins, WR, Stanford

Not many receivers are 6’3 and 235 lbs. One would think that means Higgins is nothing more than a possession guy that can win 50/50 balls. In truth, he’s considerably faster than he gets credit for. His production isn’t overly impressive, but that is more a product of the run-first offense he plays in. From a talent perspective, this is somebody worth exploring—a fitting way to end the latest Bears 2023 mock offseason.

11 COMMENTS

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Devin
Devin
Nov 1, 2022 1:31 am

Drafting a DT in the 1st Round when the WR free agent class sucks would be the biggest mistake. The only place we can find a #1 for 2023 without a huge trade is by drafting one in the first round. Hoping for JSN to fall to the 2nd as a strategy is a terrible one. Good thing you aren’t the GM. Like you did your research, saw a WEAK WR free agent class, saw we have the 32nd ranked WR core, the cheapest WR core salary wise, and still thought that they should pick anything other than a WR.… Read more »

Your Mama
Your Mama
Oct 30, 2022 3:57 pm

Don’t see us overpaying for an off ball lineback and resigning Roquan. Also they are going to let Montgomery walk.

Thomas Gena
Thomas Gena
Oct 30, 2022 10:22 am

You’re such a clown, Lambert!
You complain that Ryan Pace left the Bears roster in a mess; and then.jump in and re-sign every Pace-acquired player that came available.

irishbill
irishbill
Oct 30, 2022 7:24 am

thank God your not the GM

FootballAtArlington
FootballAtArlington
Oct 29, 2022 9:07 pm

I think it’s a fun exercise to do these mock drafts and free agent predictions, etc. all years long. It’s a full time job for college scouts, draft experts, etc. and it’s always fun to keep an eye on things throughout the year. I mean, how much can you talk about a team 4 days after they last played. Other than, who’s on the injury list this week. This week though, it’s trade deadline!! Should be fun. Go Bears!! And I hope the Bears don’t pay that much for Roquan. But I guess it depends on how the Bears view… Read more »

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