GM Ryan Poles has hit the same point repeatedly since he took control of the Chicago Bears. The offensive line needs work. What he saw last year was not good enough. While it remains possible certain names like James Daniels could be back, it sounds more like Poles is planning significant changes to the front five. In his mind, the group needs more athleticism, quickness, and nasty in its diet, especially at the tackle position.
Nowhere is there more uncertainty than left tackle. The previous regime felt Teven Jenkins was capable of playing there. It doesn’t sound like Poles, or the new coaching staff seems to share that sentiment. If the former 2nd round pick gets shifted elsewhere, it creates a significant void on Justin Fields’ blindside. Nick Shook of NFL.com believes one name would be perfect for fixing this issue. Veteran free agent Terron Armstead.
“The Saints are still projected to be well over the cap, even after restructuring three contracts last week, and Armstead — who’s been in New Orleans since the Saints drafted him in 2013 — isn’t going to come cheap. The Bears need a rock-solid left tackle and would find exactly that in Armstead, who carries with him an impeccable reputation as a leader. Signing Armstead would be quite a way to start a new era in Chicago for general manager Ryan Poles and provide much-needed protection for Justin Fields.”
Armstead has plenty of good and bad points to consider.
When he’s on the field, the left tackle is dominant in pass protection and run blocking. Since 2013, he has allowed just 86 total pressures in his career. By contrast, Donovan Smith in Tampa Bay allowed 34 in 2021 alone. Armstead is a stud. The problem is his greatness only comes in flashes because he isn’t on the field a lot. As of this moment, he has never played a full season in the NFL. He missed nine games last season, two games in 2020, one game in 2019, six games in 2018, and six in 2017.
The guy has a bad tendency to get hurt. Complicating matters further is his age and price tag. He turns 31-years old in July yet is still expected to command a contract somewhere between $18-23 million. That is a lot of cash for somebody that can’t stay on the field consistently. The Chicago Bears don’t have a lot of money to throw around with almost 30 of their own free agents to deal with.
There is some good news. If they decide to make a run at Armstead, he might be interested. The three-time Pro Bowler was born in Illinois. He went to high school at Cahokia on the other side of the Missouri River from St. Louis. If he wanted to be closer to home, signing with the Bears makes sense.