Terron Armstead would have been a unique fit for the Bears.
Adding a Pro Bowl left tackle to an offensive line with holes and question-marks would’ve solidified things in the trenches, helped Justin Fields’ development at quarterback, aided David Montgomery in breaking off runs, and lent a helping hand in climbing out of the offensive rut Chicago has been in for a long while now.
Instead, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Armstead is taking his talents to South Beach where he’ll play for the Miami Dolphins:
Dolphins giving OT Terrron Armstead a five-year deal worth up $87.5 million, including $43.37 million guaranteed, source tells ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 22, 2022
Sigh. Armstead going off the market days after La’el Collins landed in Cincinnati stings. Especially at the reported price tag. A $17.5 million per year average value puts Armstead just outside the top-5. Trent Williams ($23.01M), David Bahktiari ($23M), Laremy Tunsil ($22M), Ronnie Stanley ($19.75M), and Kolton Miller ($18M) all have contracts with higher AAV numbers. The same can essentially be said for the total guarantees in the deal. Getting $43.37 in guarantees puts Armstead behind Stanley, Tunsil, Williams, and Taylor Lewan. It is good company to keep if you’re making money in that neighborhood. But you’ve got to be good to get that cash. And Armstead is that good.
Ultimately, this news comes with a certain amount of blergh. With Armstead going off the board, the window to add impact talent via free agency has closed. And the Bears didn’t cash in on it despite having as much as $30 million in available cap space this offseason. What a bummer.
If you’re a Bears fan who was hoping a new front office would be aggressive in its pursuit of building an offensive line in front of Justin Fields, then you’re probably disappointed. In fairness, you have every right to be. Because an offensive line that was widely shredded as being not good enough to do right by Fields last year is no better now than it was when the season ended. And in losing James Daniels to free agency, there is an argument to be made that it is worse. Of course, the offseason isn’t over. The Bears could still add pieces in the draft. Plus, returning players such as Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom could factor into starting roles. Again, it isn’t the end of the world. But missed opportunities often come back to bite teams. I hope the new Bears brass doesn’t look back at this one with regret.