The Chicago Bears have various needs to fill this offseason, and ample cap room to do damage in free agency. However, the team doesn’t seem to be a premier landing spot for some of the NFL’s priority free agents, according to one NFL analyst.
Elliott Harrison of NFL Network breaks down the three possible destinations for the league’s 10 best free agents, and the Bears aren’t listed once. Wide receiver Alshon Jeffery makes the list as the fourth-best free agent, with his three possible destinations being Tampa Bay, San Francisco, and with the Los Angeles Rams.
Putting Jeffery on the other side of Mike Evans, with Jameis Winston under center would add another dimension to the Buccaneers offense. Going to Los Angeles would make Jared Goff’s transition into a full-time starting quarterback easier, while taking some of the load off running back Todd Gurley. And it’s not as if Kyle Shanahan doesn’t know the value of a high-end receiver after spending the last few seasons with Julio Jones.
Still, given that the Bears may yet decide to use the Franchise Tag on Jeffery, it seems like they at least are still in the conversation. Indeed, Harrison acknowledged that there’s certainly still a chance Jeffery sticks with the Bears.
Old friend New England TE Martellus Bennett makes an appearance (Giants, Colts, Rams), as do several interesting defensive talents, including Kansas City DT Dontari Poe (Titans, 49ers, Bengals), New England Linebacker Dont’a Hightower (Colts, Redskins, Raiders), and Kansas City S Eric Berry (Raiders, Titans, Browns) – though it’s important to note that Harrison, like most other folks, expects the Chiefs to use the Franchise Tag on Berry. That process will play out over the next two weeks.
While not a free agent, Harrison also discussed Cowboys QB Tony Romo, and indicated that the Bears are the best fit because of how the offensive line, running game, and the potential return of Jeffery makes the Bears better off the bat. Add to that the marketing opportunities, and you can argue there’s a fit. Of course, that fit is more about what the Bears are looking for out of a quarterback, and less what Romo would be searching for out of a situation.
Previous rumors and speculation have connected the Bears to Romo, who may be moving on from Dallas after the emergence of Dak Prescott.
Brett Taylor contributed to this post.