“Keep an Eye Out” for the Bears to Pursue Free Agent OL Mike McGlinchey
When teams begin negotiating with agents representing NFL players who qualify for unrestricted free agency on Monday, there is an expectation that the Chicago Bears will be putting out all sorts of feelers for offensive linemen.
And one Chicago sports radio host hears one particular player the team could already have in mind.
Mike McGlinchey is a player to “keep an eye on” as a Bears target, says 670 The Score’s Dan Bernstein:
This isn’t the first mention connecting McGlinchey and the Bears. After all, one local scribe was recently predicting McGlinchey would sign with Chicago early in free agency. So I’m taking Bernstein’s sharing of his information as potential confirmation of the Bears’ interest in McGlinchey. At minimum, we should see that where there is usually fire when we see smoke. Be cognizant of the smoke. ‘Tis the damn season, after all.
McGlinchey is a player we’ve had on our brains for quite some time. It makes sense, too. We’ve been discussing McGlinchey as a logical target for a hot minute. And for what it’s worth, McGlinchey ranks as the second-best offensive tackle free agent and 11th best overall. Here is a snippet of PFF’s assessment of McGlinchey as he hits free agency:
McGlinchey is a perfect fit in Kyle Shanahan’s wide-zone rushing attack, with his 85.4 run-blocking grade since he entered the league a top-10 mark among tackles. He still has room to grow as a pass protector but notably dropped his pressure percentage allowed from 6.1% over his first three seasons to 5.1% over the past two.
Grading out well as a run-blocker is a good start. And that his pass protection was showing year-to-year improvement when comparing his 2022 numbers with the first three seasons is encouraging. Overall, this is the type of offensive lineman I can see the Bears wanting to invest in when free agency opens its doors. Although, there is somewhat of a catch. McGlinchey could command a contract that reaches $20 million per year — especially if a bunch of different teams have eyes for him, too. Does this front office want to get in a bidding war for a right tackle? Or would they be better off targeting Jawaan Taylor or Kaleb McGary as second-tier options? That is a fun debate worth having ahead of free agency. And it is one I hope the Bears are having internally before finalizing their plans.
In the end, McGlinchey’s overall profile intrigues me as a possible upgrade to the Bears’ offensive line. The 28-year-old right tackle has been a primary starter for the 49ers in each of his five seasons as a pro. His game experience and familiarity with an offensive system similar to what Luke Getsy runs in Chicago make McGlinchey an intriguing fit. Upgrading and stabilizing the offensive line should be a top priority for the Bears this offseason. It might be costly, but this might be one of those you’ve gotta spend money to make money situations.