Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Multiple Insiders Just Hinted At Chicago Bears Free Agency Priority

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The Chicago Bears need to get through free agency before they can focus on the NFL draft. GM Ryan Poles isn’t likely to go on a reckless spending spree. He will be more focused on retaining Jaylon Johnson before the market opens. That said, it feels like the Bears will make at least one big signing to help shore up a more problematic area of the roster. Experts seem to think Poles will focus on one of two areas. Either he will target another pass rusher to play across from Montez Sweat, or he’ll seek a credible wide receiver for his next quarterback to throw to.

Both are possible, but they might not be the focus. During his recent column, Adam Caplan of the Pro Football Network alluded to what that could be.

“As for Lucas Patrick, he was signed primarily due to his experience with former Bears OC Luke Getsy and could be playing elsewhere this season.”

Center has been a problematic area for the Bears going back over a decade. Cody Whitehair was a decent player at times but was always plagued by inconsistency. Lucas Patrick is a serviceable backup. James Daniels was a flop. Nobody has managed to lock down the position. Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune believes Poles may look at the veteran market to finally fix the issues.

“There are some intriguing options in the draft, but the sweet spot for some of those players is Round 2 and right now the Bears don’t own a second-round pick. If they can acquire one (maybe in a Justin Fields trade?), it’s something to keep in the back of your mind. But if I had to guess, the Bears might prioritize a center in free agency and be willing to put more money into the offensive line.”

The Chicago Bears will have plenty of options.

Lloyd Cushenberry might be the best. The former 3rd round pick developed into a solid starter for the Denver Broncos last season, establishing himself as a standout pass protector. He’s 26 years old and entering his prime. Andre James also carved out a quality role with the Las Vegas Raiders. He has the required mobility and temperament the Bears usually seek. Connor Williams of the Miami Dolphins might be the best fit, but he’s coming off a season-ending knee injury. Much of this will come down to what new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron wants.

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Word is he’s looking to install a system with West Coast offense leanings. That would mean a scheme built around short-to-intermediate passing. Such an approach would require a center that is reliable in protection. Cushenberry checks that box. The crux of the issue is whether the Chicago Bears are prepared to pay him $10+ million per year. They will have enough cap space, but Poles is notorious for being careful about overspending on veteran free agents. It will be an interesting situation to watch.

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mbearest
mbearest
Feb 22, 2024 4:41 pm

@Dr Melhus, you’re wasting your breath. TGena has some kind of behind closed doors axe to grind with Ryan Poles and he’s not gonna budge.

ElwoodNotJake
ElwoodNotJake
Feb 22, 2024 7:12 am

Anyone beats the last couple of year’s frauds …

BearCub30
Feb 21, 2024 7:14 pm

Dam Tgena! -14 Your going for TWTY records aren’t you! Keep up the loosing battle. But out of sheer ignorance and curiosity. Who are the better GMs and what is the backing behind the picks?

Slip Knotz
Slip Knotz
Feb 21, 2024 6:54 pm

How about a comprehensive list of available Centers please?

Dr. Melhus
Feb 21, 2024 6:31 pm

@TGena: Again, you seem to think every GM should draft a hall of fame player with every pick, all the way to the seventh round and even UDFAs. Poles had a lot of holes to fill over the last two years. He spent 1 day1 pick on the OL, no day 2 picks, and brought in two quality starters. Recall that in 2022, the Panthers, Giants, and Seahawks all spent top 10 picks on offensive tackles. Poles spent a 5th round pick on Jones that year, and his play was comparable to or better than all three of those OT.… Read more »

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