Friday, April 19, 2024

Projected NFL Cuts Ryan Poles Could Be All Over For The Bears


One thing to remember about NFL free agency is it’s not set in stone until the off-season is close to kicking off. This is because teams haven’t yet utilized their franchise tags, or more importantly, they haven’t cleared out necessary cap space. That is often done by cutting expensive players on the roster. This often sees notable veterans hit the market, allowing other teams a chance to pick up a potential quality player if they don’t wish to spend huge money on the younger options on the market. This is something Ryan Poles can do next month.

The Chicago Bears aren’t likely to go on a spending spree in free agency. In fact, they might enact a strategy to avoid players who fall under the compensatory free agent system. The best way to do that is by signing players who became available through getting released. Here are five names that could become available within the next few weeks the Bears GM may target.

Ryan Poles may have some interesting vets to target.

Aaron Jones (RB)

Nobody has given Bears fans more nightmares in recent years than Jones. While Aaron Rodgers got most of the credit, it was Green Bay’s rushing attack led by Jones who really tore the heart out of Chicago for several years. His 2023 season was shortened by injuries, but he was outstanding in the playoffs. While 29 years old, there are reasons to think he can still be a terrific asset in the backfield when healthy. It will come down to how much money he’s looking for and whether he wishes to go ring hunting.

Tyler Lockett (WR)

Shane Waldron knows everything about what Lockett can do. The two worked together for three years in Seattle. During that time, the receiver compiled 3,102 yards and 22 touchdowns. There were no indications last year that Lockett had lost a step. The problem is his bloated contract, the presence of Jaxon Smith-Njigba, and the fact he’s in his 30s. If the Bears are looking for somebody who can be an immediate short-term asset to a young quarterback, you could do a lot worse.

Hunter Renfrow (WR)

Once Josh McDaniels took over as head coach for the Las Vegas Raiders, he diminished the role of Renfrow in the offense. It was a decision that was hard to understand since the guy had over 1,000 yards and nine touchdowns in 2021. The guy can play. What he can do is give himself opportunities. People talk about his lack of size and speed. They don’t talk about his sharp route-running and excellent hands. He finds ways to get open, and he will be cheap for any team to acquire.

Laken Tomlinson (OG)

Health problems plagued both of the Chicago Bears’ starting guards last season. They can’t bank on that not being the case in 2024. The smart move would be adding veteran depth who’d be able to step in immediately if necessary. Tomlinson was a Pro Bowler a few years ago. He spent five seasons under Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco, so he’s familiar with the style of offense the Bears want to run. Though 32 years old, he has only missed one game in his entire career dating back to 2015. His nasty mentality also fits Ryan Poles’ preferences.

Kevin Byard (FS)

Replacing Eddie Jackson at free safety is something the Bears will have to deal with at some point. They may look to the draft for help or target somebody in free agency. If they can’t find a long-term answer, it might be best to add someone who can be a bridge for this season. Byard is an excellent free safety going back several years. The two-time All-Pro may not be quite who he was a few seasons ago, but he is still an instinctive player who can be a good fit in the turnover-drive defense Matt Eberflus runs.


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Feb 28, 2024 10:15 am

Forget the OLDER FAs! We want to get younger and have a competitive roster long-term.

Feb 19, 2024 2:15 pm

Getting non premium position players in FA, on the cheap, I think is better than rolling the dice on high draft picks. Sure you can draft those positions in the later rounds, (RB/Safety), but committing cap space to a premier position you can fill through the draft seems to be Poles preferred method. Another advantage of FA is you have a history available to know the “floor” the player will have at the NFL level. If the FA is a cap space casualty from another team, with proven ability, Poles can decide to “rent” them for a year until he… Read more »

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