The Chicago Bears may not have a ton of cap space at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’ll be onlookers in free agency this year. Not with the market swelled by an abnormal amount of quality veterans due to a recent string of cuts around the league. This offers a big opportunity for teams to get otherwise expensive players for relatively cheap in order to fill needs. A perfect setup for GM Ryan Pace, one of the better bargain hunters in the NFL. It appears they already have a name in mind too according to a source. Offensive tackle Eric Fisher.
The former #1 overall pick and two-time Pro Bowler saw his long run with the Kansas City Chiefs come to an end as the team released him due to salary cap problems. His career ended in an unfortunate fashion. As the Chiefs were wrapping up their second-straight AFC championship win, Fisher suffered a torn Achilles. This forced him to miss the Super Bowl.
Now he is a free agent for the first time in his career.
Expectations are he’ll be ready to return by mid-August from his injury. That should make him available for the start of the regular season. Given the nature of the market and this health issue, it’s possible his price tag remains low. Combine this with his connection to head coach Matt Nagy who was his offensive coordinator for two years in Kansas City? It’s not hard to see why the Bears are interested.
Another reason they might like him? He’s not an unrestricted free agent. He was released. This means he wouldn’t count against the compensatory pick formula. The Bears would be free to sign him without any fear of losing out on a chance for extra draft picks in 2022.
Eric Fisher would be a solid short-term option for Bears
He just turned 30-years old. So he isn’t up there in age for his position. There is good reason to think he can remain an effective blocker for another couple of years presuming he returns healthy. The big question is if the Bears did end up signing him, which position would he play? Fisher was strictly a left tackle for most of his NFL career save for his rookie season in 2013. Chicago still has Charles Leno at that spot, but right tackle is wide open.
Bobby Massie was released and Germain Ifedi is a free agent. Would Fisher be willing to move there? Or could the Bears decide to shift Leno over instead? Maybe the team plans to end up releasing Leno who would net them $6.2 million in cap space. This obviously would depend on if they like what they see medically presuming Fisher is interested in signing.
As of right now, their is only a desire to speak.
There is a possibility Kansas City tries to bring Eric Fisher back at a reduced cost. If not, then the Bears are a spot that would make sense for him. They need tackle help and have a coach he knows well. Though not a star, the guy is an effective player. Solid in pass protection and decent enough as a run blocker. Keep the name in mind as free agency gets underway in the next few days.
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