These 19 Bears Will Become Free Agents on March 13

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These 19 Bears Will Become Free Agents on March 13

Chicago Bears

Changes on the Chicago Bears won’t be limited to the coaches on the defensive side of the ball. The Bears also have 19 players are set to become free agents when the new league year begins on March 13.

Chicago will have exclusive negotiating rights to these players before they hit the open market, which leaves the door open for some returns. But the reality is that a salary cap crunch is going to result in the parting of ways with some players you’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the last few years.

Here’s a look at the Bears’ 14 unrestricted free agents:

  • S Adrian Amos
  • WR Joshua Bellamy
  • TE Daniel Brown
  • FB Michael Burton
  • CB Bryce Callahan
  • RB Benny Cunningham
  • OL Eric Kush
  • OLB Aaron Lynch
  • RT Bobby Massie
  • P Patrick O’Donnell
  • OL Bryan Witzmann
  • WR Kevin White
  • CB Marcus Williams
  • DT Nick Williams

There are some pretty important names on that list above. Amos, Callahan, and Massie were solid starters on the 2018 Bears division championship-winning team, while O’Donnell has been the team’s punter since 2014. Bellamy, Kush, Witzmann, and Lynch were spot starters and important role players who carved their respective niches last season. White was the first draft pick of the Ryan Pace era, though wasn’t an impact player at any point during his rookie contract.

The team also has two restricted free agents (tight end Ben Braunecker, safety DeAndre Houston Carson) and three exclusive free agents (converted offensive lineman Rashaad Coward, outside linebacker Isaiah Irving, and defensive lineman Roy Robertson-Harris).

Restricted free agents can sign offer sheets with other teams, but the Bears would have a chance to match, while exclusive free agents can only sign with the Bears. I don’t expect a Cameron Meredith situation to come about this offseason, though I’m curious to see what the long-term future holds for exclusive free agents such as Coward (who could conceivably be the team’s starting right tackle as soon as next season) and Robertson-Harris (whose successful conversion from outside linebacker to 3-4 defensive end is one of the best development stories to come from the Bears in recent years).

Chicago won’t be able to re-sign everyone on this list, so Pace, the front office, and the coaching staff will need to put their heads together and create some sort of pecking order or priority list for their in-house free agents. What that list looks like will reveal itself based on how the team approaches the offseason.

We already knew the 2019 Bears would have a new look on the coaching side of things, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the on-field changes that will shape the club, either.

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Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.