Chicago Bears Free Agency Priorities Are Becoming Clear

Even though we’re used to NFL executives going out of their way to be secretive about their offseason plans, I don’t think there is any way for the Chicago Bears to hide their offseason intentions.

Let’s face it, sometimes the obvious thing is obvious for a reason.

And from where I stand, I find it important to share the obvious thing because it is obvious. Additionally, it also presents us with talking points as we build toward the start of free agency. Which, by the way, begins in 27 days. The “legal tampering period” in which teams can speak with player agents and negotiate (but not sign) deals opens in 25 days.

Looking ahead, the seeds have already been planted that the Bears will be active in the free agent market with eyes on offensive linemen. However, Chicago’s desire to upgrade in the trenches is apparently not limited to the offensive side of the ball. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports another top priority for GM Ryan Poles will be to bolster the defensive line.

More from Fowler:

Addressing the front of the defense will be a major priority for general manager Ryan Pace. This free agency class is loaded with high-end options, such as Daron Payne and Javon Hargrave, and the Bears have plenty of money to spend on several players. Armed with the No. 1 overall pick in April’s draft, Chicago has the chance to trade back and still get a blue-chip defensive talent, a move many evaluators believe Chicago will execute. Then, it’s time to build around quarterback Justin Fields with more playmaking and protection help.

It probably could’ve gone without saying that the Bears were eyeing defensive line help this offseason. But I’m glad someone is saying it out loud.

The Bears need help along the defensive line. Plenty of it, too. And in the worst way. Last year’s defense couldn’t stop the run or generate pressure on the quarterback. The results were painful to watch on a weekly basis. Thank goodness the season was just 17 games long, am I right?

Opposing offenses were gashing the Bears at every turn. I lost count of the times me, The Girlfriend, or anyone else I was watching a game with would scream at the TV or field of play for someone to bring down a ball carrier or get a quarterback who had all day in the pocket. It was essentially the football equivalent of Krusty the Clown yelling at the Washington Generals to take the spinning ball off the fingertip of a Harlem Globetrotters player. He’s spinning the ball on his finger. Just take it. Take the ball! And, frankly, I grew tired of it. Ultimately, thinking about that defense leads me to dream about this front office addressing issues on the D-line with gusto.

Good thing there happens to be a loaded class of defensive linemen about to hit free agency.

Fowler name-checks Daron Payne and Javon Hargrave, and that is a good place to start your free agency shopping list. But those are the only notable defensive linemen. Dalvin Tomlinson (Vikings), Dre’Mont Jones (Broncos), and Zach Allen (Cardinals) are among the defensive tackles the Bears would be wise to kick the tires on this offseason. Meanwhile, we shouldn’t forget about pass-rusher options. Players such as Marcus Davenport (Saints), Jadeveon Clowney (Browns), and Arden Key (Jaguars) make sense as potential Bears options off the edge. Those options don’t do anything for you, well, then that is fine. I’d encourage you to fall down the rabbit hole that is PFF’s top 100 free agents and look for yourself to see what alternatives you can unearth.

We’ve been envisioning the defensive line market exploding for a while now. And it seems like it is about to go boom. The Bears would be wise to be all over it when it happens.

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.

more bears news

I Don’t Hate Trading Up, Cairo Reaches Out, Jed Chimes In, and Other Bears Bullets

Maybe it's just me, but Wednesdays are starting to feel like the new Mondays. Ick. There are just 8 days until the 2024 NFL Draft. We're almost there, friends. We've almost made it. The best pre-draft stat you'll see comes...

The Bears Had Eyes on Illini DT Johnny Newton Today

Even though the Chicago Bears have plugged several notable holes this offseason, one biggie remains. And it leaves me to ask a pertinent question: Who wants to play the 3-technique defensive tackle role? Perhaps Illinois' Johnny Newton is the answer....

Watch Out For the Cardinals and Chargers as Possible Bears Trade Partners

'Tis the season for dot-connecting. And if you are a Chicago Bears fan, you might want to keep tabs on what is happening between your favorite team's current first and ninth picks. ESPN's Adam Schefter names the Arizona Cardinals and...

The Washington Commanders Are Hosting a Pre-Draft QB Group Date

The MMQB's Albert Breer shares an anecdote about the Washington Commanders pre-draft process. Washington, which holds the second pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, is hosting a bunch of quarterbacks for top-30 visits this week. Together. In the same place....

The Bears Are Back, Caleb, Verse, Goff, Biles, and Other Bears Bullets

Thin Lizzy's "The Boys Are Back In Town" played in a loop in my head on Monday as I thought about the Chicago Bears strolling into Halas Hall to start the offseason training program. This is what it looked like...

Chop Robinson is Reportedly Visiting the Bears

Chop Robinson is more than a cool name. He was also a productive edge defender for the Penn State Nittany Lions. And, today, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport reports that Chop Robinson is visiting with the Chicago Bears — today. That's...

Dadrion Taylor-Demerson is Taking a Top 30 Visit with the Bears

We're adding Dadrion Taylor-Demerson to the list of players who are coming down to Halas Hall for a top-30 visit with the Chicago Bears. Chris Emma has the scoop on the Texas Tech defensive back's upcoming trip to the greater...

Caleb Williams is Already Having Fun With Bears Fans

The 2024 NFL Draft in 10 days. And even though Caleb Williams isn't a Bear just yet, the presumptive No. 1 pick in the upcoming draft is already already getting acclimated with Bears Twitter. And in an endearing way, too....

First Phase Begins, Brisker Keeps Receipts, Whitehair Goes to Vegas, Receiver News, and Other Bears Bullets

Happy TTPD Week to those who observe. The Chicago Bears are one of 25 NFL teams that begin voluntary workout programs today. Huzzah! As pointed out in this post from the NFL highlighting the Bears (and the other 24 teams)...

Bagent Goes to Work, Small School Prospect Watch, Stuart Scott Doc Coming, and Other Bears Bullets

Is it just me or are weekends getting shorter as I'm getting older? As s often the case on Sundays, this Sunday set of BN Bears Bullets features a mess of things that I bookmarked during the week but never...

Latest News

Dejounte Murray Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, Dejounte Murray must make three from downtown on Wednesday, when his Atlanta Hawks play the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Play-In Tournament, beginning at 9:30 PM ET.Dejounte Murray's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the BullsDejounte Murray's...

Trae Young Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Atlanta Hawks face the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday at 9:30 PM ET in the NBA Play-In Tournament, and if the Hawks' Trae Young makes three 3-pointers, he'll beat his over/under.Trae Young's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the BullsTrae Young's over/under...

Nikola Vucevic Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Hawks – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Nikola Vucevic needs to make two 3-pointers to beat his over/under when the Chicago Bulls face the Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday at 9:30 PM ET, in the NBA Play-In Tournament.Nikola Vucevic's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the HawksNikola Vucevic's over/under for...

DeMar DeRozan Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Hawks – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

The Chicago Bulls play the Atlanta Hawks at 9:30 PM ET on Wednesday, in the NBA Play-In Tournament, and one of the 3-pointer props available for this clash requires only one make from DeMar DeRozan.DeMar DeRozan's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs....

Coby White Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Hawks – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

On Wednesday at 9:30 PM ET, the Chicago Bulls meet the Atlanta Hawks in the NBA Play-In Tournament, and Coby White's 3-pointer over/under for this clash requires three triples.Coby White's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs. the HawksCoby White's over/under for three-pointers...

Bogdan Bogdanovic Player Props: Three-Pointer Props and Odds vs. the Bulls – Wednesday, April 17, 2024

To beat his 3-point prop, Bogdan Bogdanovic must make three from beyond the arc on Wednesday, when his Atlanta Hawks meet the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Play-In Tournament, tipping off at 9:30 PM ET.Bogdan Bogdanovic's Three-Pointer Prop Odds vs....

Dallas Cowboys 3-Round Mock Draft: Exploring Potential Picks in the First 3 Rounds

2024 Dallas Cowboys 3-Round Mock Draft -The sting of the Divisional Round loss to the Green Bay Packers still lingers in Dallas. While the Cowboys boast a young and talented core, bolstering the offense and fortifying the defensive line remain key...

Baseball America Has Added Another Chicago Cubs Prospect to Their Top-100 List

If you have been paying attention at all, I think it's going to be very easy for you to fill in these blanks: https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/1780601113198383137 Yes, that'd be Jefferson Rojas, the still-18-year-old shortstop for the High-A South Bend Cubs, currently hitting...

Connor Murphy Named Blackhawks Nominee for the King Clancy Trophy

On Wednesday morning, the NHL announced the 32 team nominees for the 2023-24 King Clancy Memorial Trophy, which is presented “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution...

Chicago Cubs Lineup: Mastrobuoni and Tauchman, But No Canario?

CUBS LINEUP — How many rubber matches can one team have? After two wild games to start the series, the Cubs are looking to win their second-consecutive series this afternoon in Arizona. Jordan Wicks is on the mound for Chicago....

more bears news