The Bears had a pretty good free agency period, trading for a very good and one of Jay Cutler's favorite targets as well as filling a lot of primary depth needs, and spent the draft grabbing a potential starting defensive end and another potential starting receiver opposite Brandon Marshall. But what more do the Bears need to do before training camp begins? Hit the jump and we'll discuss some positions that need to be filled in post-draft free agency.
Most of Phil Emery's moves to this point have been with a focus on creating a deeper team. Without adding a starter in 2011 (unless you count Roy Williams), the Bears were 11-5 in 2010 and 7-3 in 2011 before injuries derailed the team's offense. The defense couldn't hold as well as it needed to for all the time the offense spent on the bench after a failed drive. The focus will remain the same in post-draft free agency; starters aren't there to be had at this point (yes, likely even on the offensive line). So, there are a few positions, especially defensively, that I expect the focus to be on.
The first is defensive tackle. The Bears picked up a defensive tackle as an undrafted free agent, but they still need bodies to compete there, as well as someone able to step up and take some quality snaps. Henry Melton, Stephen Paea and Matt Toeaina will be the primary rotation with the departures of Amobi Okoye and Anthony Adams, but the Bears need a fourth tackle - resigning Anthony Adams could be an option, but Paea's development could lead this; is Paea a 3-tech and the Bears need a 1, or is Paea a 1-tech and the Bears need a 3?
The second is safety. Yes, the Bears just drafted another one in the third round, who could probably step into a starting spot, but you can't help but think the Bears would like a fifth "depth" safety, one with more NFL experience than Chris Conte, Major Wright and Brandon Hardin (a combined three years experience - Craig Steltz is the veteran. Gasp.). It's a young group with some decent potential, but the depth behind them needs to be shored up.
Then there's the linebackers. The Bears filled one of the depth spots with Geno Hayes, and still have Dom DiCicco and Patrick Trahan in there, but I'd expect one more veteran to be added for some extra competition. The Bears do spend a lot of time in nickel, but pushing DiCicco and Trahan is hardly the worst thing out there, especially if DiCicco has something to work with.
I'd expect them to kick the tires on some more offensive linemen, but whether any more are signed is another thing. Between James Brown and AJ Greene, they might be satisfied with their additions post-draft, but we'll see, they could use some extra competition. I don't expect any outright replacements to come out of this, however.
What positions are you looking for in post-draft free agency? What do you think is the team's biggest hole yet to be filled?