The Chicago Bears could be contemplating some adjustments to their offensive line this offseason. A byproduct of finishing 22nd in the NFL. One thing they may try to do is get out from under the larger contracts of their offensive tackles, Charles Leno and Bobby Massie. It’s widely speculated one of them will end up getting cut with Massie being the most likely. In the event that happens, the Bears would need to have some sort of plan to replace him.
Obviously, most would prefer to look towards the draft for help. The Bears haven’t taken a 1st round offensive tackle since 2011. A big reason why their front hasn’t really performed at a high level for most of the past decade. That being said, the team may have to think about some sort of bridge option that can fill the void in the short-term.
If this is the case, then the guy to watch is Ricky Wagner.
The fate of the 31-year old veteran blocker is uncertain. Facing salary cap issues, the Green Bay Packers were forced to cut him after last season ended. There are rumblings that Wagner, who has started 96 games in his career, is contemplating retirement. No doubt the loss in the NFC championship, a game in which he struggled had an emotional impact.
— Green Bay Packers (@packers) February 19, 2021
If he decides to stick around, the Bears should be a team to watch. Not only because they may need tackle help and he’ll likely be cheaper than Massie. It’s also because the organization has had an interest in him before. GM Ryan Pace made a strong push to sign him back in 2017 when he was a free agent out of Baltimore. In the end, he decided to join the Detroit Lions instead.
— Alex Marvez (@alexmarvez) March 7, 2017
Chicago Bears have a firm grasp of what Wagner offers
He’s already played for two different NFC North teams. So he knows the division pretty well. Making the short drive down to Chicago wouldn’t be a huge hassle for him. The odds of him costing a lot of money are remote at his age. He could make a perfect mentor for a young guy the Bears might bring in too. Last but not least they’ll get somebody who is motivated to win a championship. Something that has eluded him his entire career.
The goal for the Chicago Bears is to get better on offense this offseason. Is Wagner better than Massie? He has been at times, yes. He’s also more durable. Massie has struggled with injuries for two seasons now. He’s becoming unreliable. Wagner is at least dependable in that regard. He’s a strong pass protector who can produce in an outside zone-style running attack similar to what Chicago installed last season.
Add in the fact he wouldn’t count against the compensatory pick formula?
This is why he makes sense for them. A lot of it will come down to what their plans are. If they’re aiming to grab a veteran quarterback, then they might be saving their 1st round pick for a tackle in April. However, if they plan to draft a quarterback early? Then a veteran tackle would make more sense. Wagner fits the bill.