NFL Offseason Previews: Chicago Bears
The NFL offseason is upon us and teams will begin working to craft their 2023 rosters in the coming months. In this series of offseason previews we will take a look at what each team has to work with and what their biggest needs are. Today we begin with the Chicago Bears offseason preview.
As a reminder, here are dates to keep in mind for the 2023 NFL offseason:
- March 7: deadline for teams to use the franchise tag.
- March 13: legal tampering period opens.
- March 15: NFL free agency begins and the new league year starts.
- April 21: deadline for restricted free agents to sign offer sheets.
- April 27-29: NFL draft
- May 1: deadline for teams to exercise 5th-year options on 2020 first-round draft picks
- July 15: deadline for franchise tag players to sign an extension.
You can find previous teams offseason previews here: (the Bears are the first, so no links today)
I remember when some pundits predicted the Bears would be one of the worst teams in the NFL last season. I honestly didn’t believe it. Bad. Yes. Three-win bad, though? Not so much. But here we are. The Bears finished 3-14 and own the No. 1 pick in the draft.
The good news is that Justin Fields took a step forward and proved that he’s the quarterback of the future in Chicago. So now the Bears have that to build around and a competent coaching staff. Those were silver linings in an otherwise pretty bad season.
Key Positional Needs
The Bears need a lot of help in many places this offseason. These are the most critical places, though.
- Wide Receiver
- Interior DL
- Offensive Line
Key Free Agents
Here’s a look at the Bears upcoming key free agents:
- David Montgomery (RB)
- Nick Morrow (LB)
- Byron Pringle (WR)
- Riley Rieff (RT)
- DeAndre Houston-Carson (S)
- Angelo Blackson (IDL)
- Joe Thomas (LB)
- Mike Pennell (IDL)
- Michael Schofield III (RG)
- Sam Mustipher (C)
Salary Cap & Draft Capital
Here’s a look at the salary cap room and draft capital that the Bears have to work with this offseason:
- Current draft picks: 1 (1), 53 (2), 64 (3), 103 (4), 133 (4), 137 (5), 150 (5), 220 (7)
- Cap space: $90.9M
The Bears need a ton of help at wide receiver. They need a bona fide No. 1, but that’s not likely to come via free agency or trade this offseason. Instead, I expect the Bears to address the trenches and add some depth at linebacker and within the secondary this offseason through free agency.
The draft is a big unknown right now because it’s unclear where they will be drafting. They could stay at No.1. They could trade back into various spots. Or, they could even trade back multiple times. We won’t know until draft day, so it’s hard to guess their plans.
I will say this, though, I can see them coming away with help for the defensive line, a wide receiver, and potentially some offensive line help in the early rounds of the draft.