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Thursday, February 29, 2024

Chicago Bears 2024 Mock Offseason: One Final Rescue Attempt

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This Chicago Bears 2024 mock offseason could go in so many different directions. However, they all start with one pivotal decision. What the team does at quarterback. GM Ryan Poles has offered no hints on his plans. Rumors persist the team is ready to move away from Justin Fields. Others think that would be a bad idea. The better option is replacing the head coach and getting more quality pieces to help support Justin. Much of this depends on what team president Kevin Warren wants to do.



To that end, we will enact a scenario where the Bears give Fields one more year. He still has a cheap season left on his contract. Their goal from there is obvious. Find a head coach who might be able to help him realize his potential while continuing to stack the roster.

This Chicago Bears 2024 mock offseason is about one more chance.

Coaching changes:

Bears hire Jim Harbaugh to replace Matt Eberflus as head coach

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After years of dodging it, the organization finally takes the plunge. Harbaugh departs Michigan to return home to Chicago for the first time in three decades. He brings with him a reputation for controversy but also one of winning. He’s had success at every coaching stop in his career and will be motivated to get the Bears pointed in the right direction after being somewhat unfairly run out of Ann Arbor. We know he works well with quarterbacks and can build quality staffs. It’s a risk, but one worth taking.

Cuts:

  • OL Cody Whitehair – $9.15 million saved

Re-signings/Extensions:

  • CB Jaylon Johnson – 4-year extension for $72 million
  • K Cairo Santos – 3-year extension for $10.5 million
  • C Lucas Patrick – 1-year deal for $1.21 million
  • WR Equanimeous St. Brown – 1-year deal for $1.125 million
  • CB Josh Blackwell – ERFA deal for $915,000
  • CB Greg Stroman – 1-year deal for $1.125 million
  • LB Dylan Cole – 1-year deal for $1.125 million
  • LS Patrick Scales – 1-year deal for $1.21 million

Free Agency:

  • EDGE Danielle Hunter – 4-year deal for $110 million
  • C Ryan Jensen – 1-year deal for $7 million
  • WR Van Jefferson – 1-year deal for $2 million
  • TE Austin Hooper – 1-year deal for $5 million

Ryan Poles takes another big swing at the edge rusher position. He already landed one stud in Montez Sweat at the trade deadline. Now he forks over a second huge contract to Hunter. While not quite in line with his youthful approach, the logic of it is obvious. Hunter is almost unblockable and is going through arguably the best season of his career. Barring injuries, he should have at least three more peak seasons ahead. Pairing him and Sweat together can make the Bears defense lethal. Meanwhile, Jensen gives them temporary stability at center while searching for a long-term replacement.

The Draft:

Trade: #1 pick to the Patriots for #3 pick, 2nd in 2024, and 1st in 2025

1st Round (via NE) – Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State

This is a clear message that Harbaugh is willing to see if he can work some magic with Justin Fields. The Bears secure an extra 1st round pick in 2025 and still land the best overall prospect in the class. Harrison is the total package: big, strong, fast, and a sharp route-runner. He will be an immediate impact player.

Trade: #4 pick to the Giants for #6 pick and 2nd in 2024

1st Round (via NYG) – Jer’Zhan Newton, DT, Illinois

The only thing missing on the Bears defensive line after nabbing Hunter is a legitimate interior pass rusher. Most see Newton as the best option available. While slightly undersized, he’s lightning quick and strong enough in his lower body to shoot gaps or fight through blocks to create havoc in the backfield.

2nd Round (via NE) – J.J. McCarthy, QB, Michigan

In 2011, Harbaugh gave himself insurance when he inherited Alex Smith with San Francisco by drafting Colin Kaepernick in the 2nd round. This is the same strategy. The head coach won a lot of games in college with McCarthy. While not dynamic in any areas, he’s a well-rounded player with intelligence and poise.

2nd Round (via NYG) – Princely Umanmielen, EDGE, Florida

Any smart Chicago Bears 2024 mock offseason knows stockpiling pass rushers is a good thing. Umanmielen has steadily improved during his time at Florida. He’s got size and length to go with a hot motor and quality bend around the edge. His explosiveness makes him a threat as well.

3rd Round – Zach Frazier, C, West Virginia

There is no way this team can go through another off-season without taking a serious swing at center. Frazier is one of the best in this class. He’s steady amidst the chaos, plenty strong in his pass anchor, and gets after it in the run game. He’s also a tremendous leader who plays through pain.

4th Round – Malik Mustapha, S, Wake Forest

The Bears have to start thinking about life after Eddie Jackson. His value is fading as age and injuries catch up to him. Mustapha is built in much the same way. While not thickly built, he makes up for it with lots of athleticism, range, and instincts in coverage. He can make lots of plays on the ball.

4th Round (via PHI) – Donovan Jackson, OG, Ohio State

Harbaugh and Poles have at least one thing in common. They love employing a physical brand of football. That means acquiring the right linemen to make it happen. Jackson is one such type. He’s a fine athlete, but his size, power, and aggressive mentality are what make him a fun prospect.

5th Round – Frank Gore Jr., RB, Southern Miss

He’s not the bowling ball his superstar father was, but Gore Jr. might be a more versatile player. He’s a tough runner in his own right, but he also adds pass-catching prowess to the mix. He’s not the biggest guy, but he will make things happen with the ball in his hands.

28 COMMENTS

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butler741
butler741
Dec 2, 2023 8:11 am

I am cool with this offseason and it’s moves. Do it!

bombadillo9
bombadillo9
Dec 1, 2023 3:32 pm

In terms of Bowers and MHJ, they are both truly generational, can’t miss talents. The comments from some folks about Bowers are hilarious; he’s missed 4 games now in 3 years. Injury prone? Go swig some CBD juice. And I’ve seen every Georgia game going back to 2014 and Bowers is a terrific blocker; he’s at least as good as a true college junior today as Kmet is and no disrespect to Kmet who’s a fine player but not a Top 10 TE, Bowers is a Top 10 TE by the middle of his 1st year. You put him LA… Read more »

bombadillo9
bombadillo9
Dec 1, 2023 3:22 pm

I like all dimensions of this scenario except 1: Stop the Chicago homerism w/ JJ McCarthy. He runs decently and his arm is slightly above average but go watch say….40 of his throws and 40 of Carson Beck’s and Bo Nix’s. Nix is a better thrower, runner and leader than McCarthy. Beck not only has a rifle which he repeatedly uses to throw into tight windows, he has a beautiful touch on seam throws and 50/50 sideline balls. Every once in a while he’ll get a little too aggressive because he has so much confidence in his arm (see pick… Read more »

David
Dec 1, 2023 1:01 pm

You surely aren’t getting JJ at $16M per year. He’ll get around $19M per year which will put him around 7th highest paid CB in the league.

Vtdsypher
Vtdsypher
Dec 1, 2023 10:48 am

Like everything about this except I’d have Fields challenged for the job next year. He needs to have some competition and include Bagent in the starting quarterback competition. Draft another lower round QB.

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