Here Come the Free Agent Shenanigans! And Other Bears Bullets

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Here Come the Free Agent Shenanigans! And Other Bears Bullets

Chicago Bears

I’ve never been more excited to feel a chilly Chicago wind than I was when I got off the Blue Line in Jefferson Park this morning. Spending 15+ hours in the Orlando airport wasn’t how I was expecting to spend my Sunday and Monday. But I’m here now in Chicago. And I’m ready for the Bears to do all the spending.

  • The free agency frenzy is about to begin:
  • Who’s got dibs on what players?
  • First, an updated look at the top free agents:
  • My advice to GM Ryan Poles: Sign all the good ones now, and then let the other 31 teams fight for the scraps. And none for Gretchen Wieners the Packers, Lions, or Vikings. GOOD DAY!
  • Free agency isn’t a cure-all. But it can be helpful:
  • Let it be known that the Bears’ win total in 2019 dropped by four. Some of that has to do with the mismanagement of resources, cap space, and attention going to the wrong places. If the Bears would’ve gone about improving the team from top to bottom in the same way it attacked fixing the kicking position, the drop-off wouldn’t have been as drastic. Instead, a fall to mediocrity followed what was a fun 2018 season.
  • In other words, spend wisely now … and continue to build. Don’t spend big once and then rest on your laurels.
  • Threading the needle in free agency won’t be easy. But it’ll be fun to follow. Jason Lieser (Sun-Times) writes about how Poles needs to walk the fine line of exercising caution and showing a willingness to make a big splash.
  • A fearless prediction: The Bears are gonna spend a boatload of money this offseason. There will be free agents now. And maybe extensions in the future. Some contract numbers will be jarring. I’d suggest not getting caught up in that because the team does have a spending floor to reach. If Poles and his staff are creative, they’ll sign big deals that don’t handcuff them down the road.
  • Yours truly was burning the midnight oil at MCO. Thinking out loud, I found myself wondering if there was a free-agent linebacker who could get a contract similar to what the Bears were willing to give Roquan Smith. Is Tremaine Edmunds that guy? What about Bobby Okereke? The Bears have always had strong linebacker play for generations. It doesn’t matter what era you grew up in, there was always an ace linebacker racking up tackles in Chicago. So … who’s got next?
  • Brad Biggs does some name dropping:
  • Eagles linebacker TJ Edwards was someone who piqued our interest in February when we were searching for options who could fit the bill as the next great Bears linebacker. Here’s what we said about him at the time:

Edwards, 26, fits that young veteran mold that I think GM Ryan Poles might target this offseason. The University of Wisconsin product was a three-year starter with Philadelphia and is coming off his best season. Edwards, a Lake Villa native, was a starter in all 17 regular-season games the Eagles played this season. And, yes, a starter in the three playoff games they participated in, too. During the regular season, Edwards put up career-bests in total tackles (159), solo tackles (99), and QB Hits (5). Edwards also had 10 tackles-for-loss last season. That is as many as he had in the 28 games he played over the previous two seasons. Soon, Edwards could parlay that into a sizable raise via free agency.

  • An ascending player who has established himself as a legitimate starting linebacker while also still having room to grow? Yeah, that sounds like the type of player GM Ryan Poles would target in free agency.
  • After trading for D.J. Moore (I’m still running hot after that deal!), wide receiver isn’t as high of a priority. Moreover, targeting a player like Mecole Hardman who could fit a specific role in your offense would make sense. Hearing him talk about what he wants as a free agent puts some things in perspective:
  • Hardman reminds me of a Taylor Gabriel type. Someone whose speed can help him gain leverage, create separation, and make plays. We’ve seen him make a bunch of splash plays while opposite of Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. And while he never had that big leap year, Hardman has still had moments. Not every receiver is cut out to be a WR1. Sometimes, being a quality WR3 who can stretch the field and pick up YAC has its value.
  • It’s happening:
  • The WBC has been a blast to this point. And seeing a Cubs prospect do nice things with the stick is a fun bonus:
  • Some love for Patrick Williams, whose development would be a bigger story had the Bulls not spent a huge chunk of this year fumbling around:

Blackhawks tank watch update:

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.