Bears Continuing to Build Offensive Talent Base For the Future

Patrick Smith

The Bears' offseason will be dictated by the success of the newly rebuilt defense, but don't underestimate the work put into keeping the core of the offense together.

Remember those years when the Bears would have a new quarterback every season, then when the quarterback was settled, they'd have seemingly a new offensive coordinator or new offense?

2014 brings a welcome change into the Chicago Bears offense - none.

With the hiring of Marc Trestman as head coach last year and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer, the Bears employed the #2 scoring offense last season, and this year, with the exception of veteran backup quarterback Josh McCown, the Bears bring back nearly every significant contributor to that offense.

And most of those guys are going to be around for at least another few years.

Name Position Years On Contract
Jay Cutler QB 7
Matt Forte RB 2
Brandon Marshall WR 4 (3-year extension)
Alshon Jeffery WR 2 (Rookie Contract)
Marquess Wilson WR 3 (Rookie Contract)
Martellus Bennett TE 3
Jermon Bushrod LT 4
Matt Slauson LG 4 (New 4-Year Deal)
Roberto Garza C 1 (New 1-Year Deal)
Kyle Long RG 3 (Rookie Contract)
Jordan Mills RT 3 (Rookie Contract)

So a few important things to note here.

Marquess Wilson is a placeholder above. If he develops into the #3 receiver the Bears are trying to build him to be, having him under contract for another three seasons means (along with a franchise tag or other extension for Alshon Jeffery) that, also combined with Jay Cutler's extension, the Bears' passing game is set to run four-deep in receiving targets for three more seasons.

Matt Forte may be running to the end of his contract as a Bear. When the two years remaining on his four-year contract from 2012 are over, he'll be through eight NFL seasons in a very high mileage position with a lot of usage at the end of his age-30 season. Ka'Deem Carey as a backup should take some of the load off him and, at the end of Forte's deal as it stands, could step in as the starter with another two years on his rookie deal.

Everyone on the offensive line is set for another three years outside of Roberto Garza (and Brian de la Puente, the former center for Kromer's former team the Saints, is only a one-year deal himself). If de la Puente unseats Garza heading into the 2014 regular season, he could find himself in a position similar to Slauson last year - coming in on a one-year deal and playing for a longer-term deal. And for all of Jordan Mills' struggles last season, he still made it through the rigors of starting an entire season at right tackle, and if he happens to be replaced this year, his likely replacement is 7th-round draft pick Charles Leno.

The Bears used the 2014 offseason to put themselves in a position offensively that we haven't seen them in in quite some time, if ever - they put together the core of a good offense, and have put it in place for a good period of time. So while much of the attention they've garnered around trying to rebuild the foundation of a once-revered defense is well deserved, don't underrate the work they've put in to keep the offense together for a few years.

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