It was one more busy offseason for the Chicago Bears. After final season’s upward marketing campaign adopted by an early exit from the playoffs and dealing with a tightening of the wage cap, the crew have been compelled to alter the roster. The Bears want so as to add, and in some circumstances substitute, expertise on each side of the ball this time round. Except issues change on the pitch, this might very effectively be the ultimate season for head coach Matt Nagy in addition to normal supervisor Ryan Tempo. The primary alternative to revamp the listing was by a free company.
As quickly because the league’s new yr started in mid-March, the Bears wasted no time in venturing into free will. Some actions weren’t a shock, others have been, whereas some have been even scrapers. Here is a have a look at what the Bears have completed to this point within the realm of free will. (Chicago additionally re-signed defensive backs Artie Burns, Deon Bush, DeAndre Houston-Carson and Michael Joseph, offensive linemen Alex Bars and Germain Ifedi, tight finish JP Holtz, linebackers James Vaughters and Josh Woods, and the lengthy snapper Patrick Scales.)
Andy Dalton, QB
The Bears signed a one-year cope with Dalton after being unable to amass Seattle’s Russell Wilson in a commerce. Wilson is not, however Dalton is certainly an enchancment over Mitchell Trubisky, extra athletic than Nick Foles and extra confirmed than Tyler Bray. Matt Nagy hopes the “Crimson Rifle” and his arm may help enhance this crew. He has already named Dalton the starter for the upcoming season.
Advantages: Dalton’s report as a starter is 74-66-2. He accomplished 62.2% of his passing makes an attempt for 33,746 yards, 218 touchdowns with 126 interceptions and a profession passer ranking of 87.5. He additionally had 1,335 yards with 22 touchdowns in his 10-year profession. Three-time Professional Bowler, he led the Bengals to 4 playoff video games.
The inconvenients: Dalton has not had a successful season since 2015 (24-40-1 since then), he’s winless within the playoffs (0-4), his manufacturing has declined in every of the previous 4 seasons (together with dropping from 25 TD assists in 2017 to 14 final season), and 33, Dalton will not be getting any youthful.
Allen Robinson, WR
The Bears have determined to make use of the franchise tag to retain their high receiver from every of the earlier three seasons. That is actually excellent news for the offense, and for Andy Dalton particularly. Robinson is the Bears’ prime goal and he may assist Dalton thrive in Matt Nagy’s offense.
Advantages: Since becoming a member of the Bears in 2018, Robinson has caught 255 passes for 3,151 yards and 17 touchdowns. He did this by enjoying with 4 completely different quarterbacks. Dalton will definitely be wanting ahead to pitching him.
The inconvenients: The Bears selected to mark Robinson moderately than signing him for a long-term deal. No matter what occurs this coming season, Robinson’s future with the crew may be very unsure.
Damien Williams, RB
With Tarik Cohen getting back from a torn ACL, Cordarrelle Patterson signing with Atlanta in free company and minimal manufacturing from another working again unnamed David Montgomery, the Bears needed to deal with the depth of their backstory. Williams is a pleasant addition on a number of ranges.
Advantages: In his final two seasons with Kansas Metropolis (2018-19), Williams posted 754 speeding yards, 373 receiving yards, 13 whole touchdowns and gained a Tremendous Bowl (LIV) ring alongside the best way. He is additionally recognized for returning kicks infrequently (profession profession 519 yards). Williams must also be conversant in Matt Nagy’s system given their widespread bond with the Chiefs.
The inconvenients: Williams has solely appeared in a 16-game (2018) common season as soon as since 2015. He selected to not compete final season attributable to COVID-19 points, so rust could possibly be an element quickly. the start. Williams could be a copy of some form of Montgomery moderately than including a brand new aspect to the Bears’ backfield.
Elijah Wilkinson, occupational therapist
The Bears wanted depth on the offensive line, particularly within the deal with submit after the crew determined to not deliver Bobby Massie again. Wilkinson, 26, will enter his fifth season within the NFL and he provides the Bears the youth within the submit.
Advantages: Wilkinson performed 45 video games with the Denver Broncos (26 begins) after signing with the crew as an undrafted free agent (UDFA) in 2017. He largely performed with a proper deal with, however he additionally noticed a number of pictures to the fitting guard. It has a horny measurement (6-6, 329) for each positions.
The inconvenients: Wilkinson has simply completed a 2020 season marked by accidents. A foot harm sidelined him throughout coaching camp, then a fractured shin restricted him to 9 video games. Offensive line accidents have been an issue for the Bears over the previous two seasons, so Wilkinson must present he can keep on the pitch.
Mario Edwards, DL
The Bears signed Edwards earlier than the beginning of final season after the Saints launched him. He went on to play in 15 video games and confirmed sufficient that the crew signed him for a three-year, $ 11.5 million contract extension in March. Edwards’ position may enhance with Roy Robertson-Harris touchdown with Jacksonville in free company.
Advantages: Edwards recorded 17 tackles, a career-best 4.0 sacks, seven quarterback hits, six tackles for one loss and one cross deflection as a part of the Bears’ line of defense rotation final season.
The inconvenients: This previous season has been his best since 2017. Accidents outlined his three-year stint at Oakland after being caught early within the second spherical (thirty fifth general) of the 2015 NFL Draft. After that, he did not. failed to hold on to the Giants (2018) or Saints (2019), totaling 5.0 sacks and 22 tackles in these two seasons. He’s suspended for the primary two video games of the approaching season attributable to a violation of the league’s performance-enhancing medication coverage.
Angelo Blackson, DL
Like Mario Edwards, Blackson will strengthen the depth of Chicago’s line of defense, which is predicted to characteristic Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols and hopefully Eddie Goldman, who stepped down final yr attributable to COVID-19 issues.
Advantages: Blackson has appeared in 85 video games, making 30 begins in six seasons. Tennessee’s fourth-round decide (a hundredth general) in 2015, he additionally performed for Houston (2017-19) and Arizona (2020).
The inconvenients: His stats actually do not leap off the web page. He has recorded 101 profession tackles with six sacks, 11 tackles for loss, 17 QB hits and 5 passing deflections in 85 profession video games.
Christian Jones, ILB
It is a homecoming for Jones who began his profession in Chicago (2014-17). He ought to add depth behind Roquan Smith and Danny Trevathan.
Advantages: Jones has 439 profession tackles in 108 whole video games (73 begins). He has been a continuing participant week after week. He additionally performed all 16 video games in 5 of his seven seasons.
The inconvenients: Sadly, Jones hasn’t had one of the best of luck as he has but to play for a successful crew.
Jérémie Attaochu, OLB
The Bears wanted one other passer behind Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn, they usually might have him in Attaochu.
Advantages: Second-round decide (fiftieth general) by the Chargers in 2014, Attaochu had 144 whole tackles, 20.5 sacks, 31 tackles for loss, 42 QB hits and 4 compelled fumbles in his profession (74 video games).
The inconvenients: He is solely made 23 begins in his profession and it is going to be his fourth crew since 2017, his final season with the Chargers. Attaochu performed for the Jets in 2018 and the Broncos in 19, beginning simply 5 video games (of 23 whole) throughout that span.
Desmond Trufant, BC
The Bears launched Kyle Fuller attributable to wage cap constraints, in order that they introduced in Trufant as a part of a pleasant deal for the crew (one yr, $ 1.75 million) to switch him. It ensures a veteran presence in highschool.
Advantages: The twenty second participant chosen within the 2013 NFL Draft, Trufant recorded 349 tackles, 14 interceptions, 83 cross deflections, seven fumble recoveries and three compelled fumbles throughout his eight-year profession. He additionally scored two defensive touchdowns, made the Professional Bowl in 2015 and began each recreation he is performed (103).
The inconvenients: Trufant has solely made the playoffs twice (2016, 2017) throughout his profession. Between his seven years in Atlanta and final season in Detroit, Trufant’s groups compiled a 58-70 report. Accidents have restricted him to simply 15 video games up to now two seasons.
Cairo Santos, Okay
The Bears signed Santos for a three-year, $ 9 million contract extension in March. Intervening initially for an injured Eddy Pineiro, Santos took the chance and was rewarded for his efficiency.
Advantages: Santos related on 30 of 32 area targets final season, ending seventh within the NFL with 93.8%. He set a brand new franchise report with 27 consecutive area targets. He additionally missed just one PAT (36 for 37).
The inconvenients: Previous to final season, Santos had achieved 81% of his area aim makes an attempt. This inconsistency was a part of the rationale he pitched 4 different groups, together with a earlier two-game stint with the Bears in 2017. Santos must show that 2020 was no fluke.
General ranking: C-
The Bears have met some fundamental wants, however there are many query marks to go along with each participant signed, and a number of other holes within the roster stay.
– Gabe Salgado is a part of the Athlon contributor community. He has additionally written for NBC, Fox, The Sporting Information, The Sports activities Journal, The Undefeated and Complicated. It will also be heard on WGN Radio. Observe him on twitter @ GabeSalgado82.
(Picture by Andy Dalton, courtesy of @ChicagoBears)