The Cost to Sign a Free Agent Right Tackle Could Hit $20M AAV
It’s no secret the Bears have significant needs along the offensive line. Fortunately, the team is expected to use free agency to address those very obvious concerns. However, should they go down that road this offseason, it’s going to be costly.
Not that I have any issue with spending cap space I’m not responsible for maintaining.
In discussing the right tackle market, Brad Biggs (Tribune) hears the floor for 49ers free agent Mike McGlinchey might be $15 million per year. Additionally, a league source suggests to Kevin Fishbain (The Athletic) that it could be in the $17 million range. Meanwhile, a third source told Fishbain that the number could reach $20 million. Business is booming if you’re an offensive lineman. And if you’re one who is on the Bears’ radar, then you are likely cognizant of two things. Firstly, the line’s need to block better. And secondly, the front office money to blow in the market. Hence, it makes sense that the asking price will be astronomical.
Good thing McGlinchey isn’t the only right tackle set to hit the open market.
One specific area the Bears could address is right tackle, where there are a handful of intriguing options to pursue.
For instance, Kaleb McGary is an option who could fit what Chicago wants to do schematically on offense. Bears OL Coach Chris Morgan was working in Atlanta when the Falcons drafted McGary. That connection makes it easy to connect those dots. McGary’s tag might not be as pricy as McGlinchey’s, but PFF projects McGary’s deal to be in the $13M AAV range. That is still a pretty penny, although not as shiny.
Jaguars right tackle Jawaan Taylor doesn’t have obvious or direct connections like McGary. However, his pass-blocking at right tackle would represent an upgrade from what the Bears were tossing out last season. Pro Football Focus had Taylor down for a career-best 76.4 pass-blocking grade. That number put him in the top 25 among all offensive tackles. Taylor’s run-blocking is questionable, and that aspect isn’t inconsequential. However, we can make a case the pass protection strength might outweigh concerns in clearing space in the ground game.
And, of course, there is McGlinchey, who might be the big prize among players at the position. McGlinchey is an established pro with a solid résumé. Signing a plug-and-play tackle would have me breathing easier when thinking about Chicago’s O-line. The fit is a sensible one, too. By virtue of playing in the 49ers’ scheme, it makes sense to envision McGlinchey as a schematic fit. Keep in mind that Luke Getsy’s offense is a derivative of that system. It could be an easier transition for McGlinchey (or McGary) than it would be for others.
Or, you know, they could target a particularly good left tackle who could hit free agency one week from today:
In the end, OverTheCap has the Bears with $98,029,155 in available space under the cap. I imagine the Bears will leverage a healthy chunk of it into bolstering the offensive line. Is flexing a fair amount of that cap muscle for a right tackle the best use of funds? I suppose we could debate that until we’re blue in the face. But we (collectively) have been wanting offensive line play, right? So, I can’t complain if the Bears give someone a bag this offseason. By hook or by crook, upgrading the line is EXACTLY what the Bears need to prioritize this offseason. Even if it costs more than they would’ve otherwise wanted to spend.