Although the Bears took a couple 7th round cracks at adding depth to the line (and adding incredible names), you wouldn’t come out of the draft saying the team clearly addressed any of our long-existing concerns.
Moreover, although we like the addition of Germain Ifedi on a bounce-back deal as he moves to the interior, you’d feel a lot better about that move if he wasn’t being relied upon solely as the guy to revamp an extremely disappointing group from last year.
So, then, when this news came out of Seattle, mine and Luis’s eyes opened quite a bit:
SOURCES: The Seattle #Seahawks are prepared to release center Justin Britt. The move will save Seattle about $8.5 million in cap space. Guard DJ Fluker just announced that he has been released, via Twitter. That move saves about $3.6 million.
— Aaron J. Fentress (@AaronJFentress) April 26, 2020
Britt, 28, was a successful six-year starter for the Seahawks before tearing his ACL last October. Not wanting to be on the hook for his $11.4 million salary in a year he’ll miss time, the Seahawks understandably took the opportunity to save some cash. He’s currently rehabbing, and while you couldn’t count on him until partway into the season, you’re talking about a low-cost opportunity to add a guy to the interior who could wind up seriously improving the group (for example, what if adding Britt allowed the Bears to move Cody Whitehair back to guard *without* moving James Daniels to center, where he struggled?).
Then you’ve got Fluker, 29, who’s been a solid guard when healthy, and is now one of the better available free agent interior linemen. The Seahawks drafted LSU guard Damien Lewis in the 3rd round, adding him to what was already an extremely crowded competition. So, the fact that the Seahawks are moving on from Fluker to save $3.6 million makes a ton of sense, and doesn’t necessarily speak to Fluker not being an attractive free agent.
The Bears could still stand to add a veteran safety to the mix in free agency, but outside of that, I think you could argue adding at least one more solid interior lineman is extremely important. The team still has over $10 million in cap space, so there’s plenty of room to work with, especially with late-arriving free agents who won’t have as many options.