Bears Will be “Active in Free Agency” to Fix That Problematic Offensive Line

The Chicago Bears have big needs along the offensive line. No secrets there. Fortunately, they have more than $90 million of cap space available this offseason, which happens to be the most in the NFL. Put those two together and it makes sense that the Bears are expected to flex that cap muscle to bolster the trenches.

“One league source confirmed the obvious — there is already talk that the Bears will be active in free agency on the offensive line,” writes The Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain.

You’ll want to dive deep into Fishbain’s piece. It is a good read and there’s plenty in there from his time at the Senior Bowl. But for now, I want to focus on the offensive line. Specifically, the spending spree that appears to be on the horizon.

It makes a ton of sense for the Bears to spend a chunk of their cap space in the trenches. A successful shopping experience in the free-agent marketplace would immediately improve the offensive line. And the trickle-down impact that could follow would be tremendous.

A better line would lead to more time to let quarterback Justin Fields hit open receivers. Improvements at the line of scrimmage could further open holes for ball carriers. Khalil Herbert, David Montgomery (if he comes back), and Fields could be beneficiaries of better blocking up front. Then again, we can say the same about receivers. Because if Fields gets proper pass blocking, Darnell Mooney, Chase Claypool, and Cole Kmet could thrive. We see so often that an offense’s success (and failure) begins in the trenches.

So it wouldn’t be a surprise to me to see GM Ryan Poles — an offensive lineman before transitioning into a front office role — prioritizing fixing the line by throwing gobs of cash at free agent solutions.

Who are the Bears’ best free agent options?

And it’s not as if there won’t be a shortage of options for Poles to pursue.

ESPN’s list of top 50 free agents features eight (!) offensive linemen. Offensive tackles Orlando Brown (Chiefs), Mike McGlinchey (49ers), Jawaan Taylor (Jaguars), and Kaleb McGary (Falcons) headline that position group. Brown and McGlinchey have the highest profiles of the group. But let’s not sleep on Taylor or McGary, who are both young players who also look like schematic fits. Moreover, there are also four guards in the top 50. Isaac Seumalo (Eagles), Ben Powers (Ravens), Nate Davis (Titans), and Dalton Risner (Broncos) also figure to be interior linemen in high demand if they hit free agency. If the Bears could pluck some players from this group, it would make us feel better about the offense’s direction. And if skill position players see that type of investment, perhaps they’d also want to join the party.

Ultimately, I’d still like the Bears to mix and match with free agents and draft picks in reworking the offensive line. But it is highly encouraging to read about the early buzz has Poles ready to give huge wads of cash to free agents. Can we fast-forward to March already?

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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