Legal Tampering Has Arrived, So Let's Check Out Some of the Potential Bears Free Agent Fits

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Legal Tampering Has Arrived, So Let’s Check Out Some of the Potential Bears Free Agent Fits

Chicago Bears

The NFL free agent frenzy has begun. And while teams can’t making things officially official until after 3 p.m. CT on Wednesday, the chatter between teams and player agents is already happening in earnest.

Pro Football Focus, ESPN, Pro Football Talk, and NFL Media each have lists worth taking time and browsing through. Because even though the Chicago Bears won’t be shopping at the top of the market (due to their cap situation and high-profile needs), it doesn’t meant there aren’t intriguing fits at a variety of positions.

For instance, the Bears need cornerback help. There’s no such thing as having too many cornerbacks, especially when facing Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, and Justin Jefferson twice per season. Fortunately, this class has ample depth at the position: Mike Hilton (ESPN’s #63 free agent) is the type of slot corner the Bears could utilize aggressively. The lists from PFT (47th), NFL (38th), and PFF (29th) all have Hilton higher on their respective boards. So perhaps there’s a value play to be made here. Other cornerbacks outside of the upper crust include Troy Hill (PFF #47), Desmond King (PFT #70), and Mackensie Alexander (ESPN #68) are names to keep in mind.

Sticking in the secondary, I see safety Malik Hooker as a potential one-year “prove it” deal candidate – the type the Bears could afford. The Bears should know Hooker well from their scouting exploits before the 2017 NFL Draft. Hooker was deemed a solid Bears fit on multiple occasions. He is only 25, so there’s upside in age, raw talent, and the change-of-scenery potential. And yet, he ranks 85th (NFL), 76th (PFF), and 67th (ESPN) on the free agent hierarchy. Heck, he doesn’t even land on PFF’s top-100. If Chicago liked him enough leading up to the draft, he might make sense as a partner for Eddie Jackson.

Offensive line depth would be nice, especially if it comes in the form of a player who could make their way into the starting lineup if necessary. Rick Wagner (ESPN #93) makes sense as someone who can be a plug-and-play starter, but also a bridge to a drafted prospect. Gabe Jackson (PFF #88) has a record of being a solid pass-blocking guard. Considering how much Matt Nagy likes to sling it, that would be a nice spot to add a proven starter. Austin Reiter (PFT #99) was a starting center in the offense Nagy seems to think he wants to run.

Do we really need to run through the list of receivers again? Because I think Brett covered all the bases here.

And that’s the thing about this specific class of free agents. There are so many players available because teams had to take on more cap casualties due to the shrinking salary cap, there are ample opportunities to provide short-term deals for quality players. It’s a winning situation for teams that wouldn’t want the risk of being weighed down by multi-year deals. And the same can be said about players who could use this year to re-establish themselves, then turn around in 2022 and land the type of multi-year deal they deserve.

Now, get to work, Bears. This roster isn’t going to fix itself.

Author: Luis Medina

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