This year’s talent pool within the free agency is massive, weather it is Payton Manning or Cortland Finnegan, there are numerous big names within the free agency. So that leads to the question, who are the Bears going to pursue? I have read tons and tons of different articles on who the Bears should acquire and to tell you the truth it has changed my perspective. I have taken the five key players the Bears need to pursue to become post-season material (be able to make it to the post-season and make it to the super bowl). Also no, it does not consist of Vincent Jackson or Brandon Carr (or Terrell Thomas).
Pierre Garçon: I know everyone wants VJax but in reality I would rather spend that ridiculously huge amount of money on someone else. So that is why I found Garçon very appealing. Garçon will work for a little bit over what Earl Bennett asks for and Garçon is a better WR (overall) than Bennett. His stats last year, with Reggie Wayne alongside him, he had accumulated 70 recs and 947 yds. To give you a little perspective Reggie Wayne had 75 recs and 960 yds. Wayne is the #1 and Garçon is the #2 with either Curtis Painter or Kerry Collins at center. Imagine what his numbers would be if he had Jay Cutler at center.
The Bears could acquire Garçon on a five year/$23 million contract. First year: $3 million
Marques Colston: Colston is a true #1 WR; over his last six years within the NFL he has had five, thousand yard plus seasons. Colston has everything that the Bears (and Cutler) are looking for: height, great hands, and great awareness. Also many people think that Colston’s stats will decline when he leaves the Saints. But I personally think that Colston’s stats will not be affected after leaving Drew Brees. In the 2010 season, Johnny Knox had a 960 yd. season, if Knox can do it than Colston can do it. Overall, Colston’s numbers will most likely not go under the thousand yard mark.
The Bears could acquire Colston on a five year/$36 million contract. First year: $5 million
Carl Nicks: Nicks is a great overall blocker and is underrated in terms of being compared to his teammate, Jahri Evans. Nicks would be the guy to solidify the OL and be the leader for this, currently, soft OL. Nicks has asked for a contract similar to Jahri Evans which is a seven year/$56.7 Million contract.
The Bears could acquire Nicks on a seven year/$55 million contract. First year: $3 million
Cortland Finnegan: Cortland Finnegan is the most hated CB in the NFL (by anyone that is not on the same team as him). He can disrupt any WR in the NFL, Finnegan, in my opinion, is in the top five best CBs in the NFL. He provides the necessary pressure against a WR but doesn’t overdo it to the point of being ejected for fighting (click HERE for an example) like he had done before earlier in his career. Finnegan has grown up a lot this past season and has now become a more solid CB thanks to that. With Finnegan on the Bears, Aaron Rodgers will be a little more hesitant to throw that ball to both Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson.
The Bears could acquire Finnegan on a seven year/$59 million contract. First year: $6 million
John Abraham: To put it lightly, Abraham is old. He will work for a cheaper, shorter contract than all the other elite DEs in the free agent pool. Mario Williams would be very, very appealing but he will want a +$60 million contract that I personally think could be put towards another position. The Bears (and Peppers) don’t necessarily need a player like Williams to upgrade. Abraham will be the perfect fit and will still be the perfect complimentary for Julius Peppers.
The Bears could acquire Abraham on a three year/$18 million contract. First year: $4 million.
The Bears have an estimated $37 million under the cap (source from ESPN) and the Bears will need an estimated $15 million for resigning, so the Bears have a total estimate of $22 million to sign players in free agency. First, I would indefinitely sign both Colston and Garçon so there is $14 million left in cap. Second, I would sign Carl Nicks so there will then be $11 million left in cap. Than last but not least, the Bears will have to choose if they want to sign both Abraham and Finnegan. By signing Abraham the Bears won’t have to resign Israel Idonije (estimated $2 million for his first year); everyone knows how big of a threat Peppers is and most of the time opposing teams just place the second TE on him to help out. But with Abraham the opposing teams will have to keep their first TE in the backfield to help keep Abraham back, and everyone knows how big of a threat the TE is to the Bears. By signing Abraham there will be $9 million left in cap. With Finnegan the benefits of him are that the #1 and #2 receivers are eliminated, mostly because Finnegan is great at shutting down receivers and Charles Tillman (who will be covering the #2) is great at that also. The Bears will also not have to resign Tim Jennings (estimated $2 million first year), by signing Finnegan there will be $7 million left in cap. I think if the Bears only wanted to sign one of these two I would sign [pause for dramatic effect] Cortland Finnegan. Finnegan will make up for the lack of another elite DE. With both Finnegan and Charles Tillman together the Packers (and every team in the NFL) will have a very hard time passing the ball.
So what do you all think? Garçon, Colston, Nicks, and Abraham/Finnegan on the Bears, how does that sound? If you think that some other player deserves to be on this list and you think someone does not deserve to be on this list let everyone know in the comments. And to tell you the truth this article has been pretty fun to make. Thanks for reading.