Ryan Poles Lays Out His Perspective on Free Agency

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Ryan Poles Lays Out His Perspective on Free Agency

Chicago Bears

First-year Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles didn’t lay out the exact offseason itinerary on Tuesday. But he did open a window into what free agency could look like in two weeks, when the offseason gets underway in earnest.

First, this from Courtney Cronin:

It is so easy to get caught up in that first wave of signings. The FOMO is real when you see names flying off the board, especially when a potential target of the Bears lands elsewhere. But every season, I find myself wishing the Bears were doing more/better work on the second and third tiers of free agency. After all, that’s where the best bargains occur. I’m not trying to turn the Bears into the Moneyball-era Athletics, mind you. But spending wisely still beats spending lavishly.

I’ve got no problem splurging on some nice Air Jordans, but a guy still needs his everyday shoes.

This quote captured by Sean Hammond raised my eyebrow, too:

Attachment is not the way of the Jedi. And, in the eyes of the Bears new GM, it is not something Poles wants to factor into his evaluation process. As we’ve been mentioning in this space since the team cut bait with Ryan Pace, it will be splendid to have new eyes looking at old problems.

And, finally, this via the Tribune’s Dan Wiederer truly captures the essence of the free agency plan:

“You want free agency to be a supplement. But if you continue to go outside the building (for talent), you can get yourself into trouble. Because those players (in free agency) don’t necessarily believe in the same things in terms of your culture. … I don’t want to say it’s a shortcut all the time. But if you are always going to (free agency), it comes to that because you’re overcoming the fact that you’re not keeping the guys you drafted.”

This statement from Poles really nails it. Look at the Bears’ free agency moves under Pace and you’ll see a common thread being the attempt to make up for failures in the draft.

The Kevin White pick didn’t pan out? Here’s a bunch of cash thrown at Allen Robinson II, Taylor Gabriel, and a trade-up for Anthony Miller. That Adam Shaheen thing didn’t turn out too hot? There goes cash in Jimmy Graham’s pocket. Leonard Floyd wasn’t sacking the QB enough? Well, then hand out some free agent dollars to Robert Quinn. We could go on.

The point is, the better your team is at drafting, the fewer risks they’ll have to take in free agency. And if you’re taking fewer risks in free agency, you’re likely to spend more wisely — especially when it comes to keeping home-grown talent.


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Author: Luis Medina

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