The Chicago Bears have a lot of needs in free agency and a lot of holes to fill on their roster. Their defense could be in for a complete overhaul, but the overall depth of the roster needs to be addressed as well. The Monday Morning Quarterback has listed out their top 100 free agents and they include their best team fit for each player.
The Bears receive a lot of mentions in their piece.
We'll go over free agents 100-51 this time out and explore 50-1 next time.
The first Bear mentioned on their list is back up QB Josh McCown, their #97 free agent, and here's what the MMQB had to say
Did an outstanding job keeping the Bears afloat after Jay Cutler's injury last season and looked perfect for coach Marc Trestman's offense. Best fit: Bears. No reason to break up a good thing at this stage in career.
I agree. Unless a team throws insane money at the 35 year old McCown, I think he returns to the place he's had his most success.
The remaining Chicago mentions on the first half of this list is for other teams free agents fitting on the Bears.
Their 93rd ranked free agent is punter Pat McAfee from the Colts.
Has been one of the league's best and most consistent punters but slumped a bit last season. Colts valued him enough to tag him last year. Best fit: Bears. They'll probably go draft or UDFA route to find competition for Adam Podlesh, but McAfee could be intriguing if cheap.
You guys do remember Pat McAfee don't you?
While I'd like to have the "Destroyer of Worlds" on the Bears, I don't see them cutting Adam Podlesh to save money, then looking for a veteran coming off a near three million dollar contract to fill his role.
If McAfee is dangling a while looking for work, he may bring his asking price way down, but I think the Bears will go with a much cheaper alternative.
The next Chicago prediction on their list intrigues me. At number 76 they have defensive tackle Earl Mitchell from the Texans as a good fit for the Bears.
A player who's steadily improved during his career. Doesn't seem quite to be a fit for Romeo Crennel's new 3-4 scheme. He's more of a tackle than nose tackle. Best fit: Bears. Could fill an instant need on the interior of Chicago's line.
Mitchell is kind of flying under the radar of potential d-line free agents, but he would be a solid addition to the Bears. He's only 26 years old, he's 6'3" and 300 pounds, and he has some athleticism to his game. The former 3rd round pick ran a 4.74 40 at his combine, and his 10 yard split of 1.56 is very good for a defensive tackle.
He started 14 games for Houston last year and he racked up 48 tackles with 1 and a half sacks. I can see him settling in to the Bears 1 gap 4-3 scheme quite nicely.
Next up is a head-scratcher in my opinion, number 73, quarterback Josh Freeman.
Despite last year's circus Tampa and then Minnesota, Freeman is still a former Pro Bowler and just 26. There's talent there to develop in right situation. Best fit: Bears. If McCown leaves, Freeman should jump at chance to work with coach Marc Trestman.
I think if McCown does leave, the Bears will draft a developmental guy late and re-sign Jordan Palmer to serve as the veteran backup.
Don't get me wrong, I think Trestman would be able to work wonders with Freeman, I just don't think Freeman would want to sign somewhere to be a clear cut #2 QB.
Then again, if the QB market is tough, I can see him wanting to work with Trestman for a year or two with the notion he'd see some playing time backing up Jay Cutler who has had some injury issues.
I have mixed feelings on this one, but I do see the reasoning behind adding a talent like Freeman.
Number 59 on their list is a player Bears fans know quite well, Packers NT B.J. Raji.
Ninth overall pick in '09 draft has youth and durability on his side. But his play headed downward last season. A change to 4-3, one-gap system could unleash him. Best fit: Bears. Would be good pickup for the NFC North rival if allowed to freelance more.
Raji is pegged as a 2 gap run stuffing 0 tech NT, but he does have a quick enough first step to play in a 1 gap scheme. Back in '09 some scouts thought he could even play the under tackle (3-Tech DT) in a 4-3 front. I don't see him as a 3-Tech at this point in his career, but if signed he would be an immediate upgrade at nose tackle for the Bears and be their top interior defensive lineman.
What are your thoughts on the MMQB's predictions?
If the Bears have some representation on the 50-1 list, we'll spotlight those later today.