The Franchise Tag deadline came and went yesterday and only seven teams elected to use their tag. Besides the few teams we pointed out yesterday, the Kansas City Chiefs tagged left tackle Branden Albert, the Dallas Cowboys tagged linebacker Anthony Spencer, and the Miami Dolphins used their tag on defensive tackle Randy Starks.
While Albert getting tagged was a sting to Bears fans, some notable omissions from that list are Titans tight end Jared Cook, Dolphins LT Jake Long, and Packers wide out Greg Jennings. With Green Bay not tagging Jennings, that presumably gives them some wiggle room to keep tight end Jermichael Finley. Another potential Bears target possibly off the board.
The Patriots didn't use their tag at all, so WR Wes Welker is a free agent, as is tackle Sebastian Vollmer.
Free Agency begins on March 12th, and the Bears have some work to do. The Bears need to create some room via a few restructures, and locking up Henry Melton long term would help too, but they can find some cap space to sign at least one big time guy.
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One popular name around WCG the last few weeks has been Buffalo Bills offensive guard Andy Levitre. He would be a definite upgrade for the interior of the Bears line. Besides Jake Long, who I believe would be a mistake, the Saints LT Jermon Bushrod is also available. Whichever way the Bears decide to go, they do have options on the o-line.
So now we take it to the poll; Do you think the Bears will make a splash in free agency? Whether you consider re-signing their own key guys a "splash" is up to you, but let us know your realistic expectations for Chicago's free agency in the comment section, after you vote in the poll.