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Chicago Bears free agency targets: Virgil Green

As we continue our look through players that the Bears may consider pursuing in free agency, we look at a tight end with experience playing for John Fox.

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Since I started looking into the free agency pool, I've been solely focusing on defensive players so far.

While that side of the ball has the largest undertaking ahead of it, the offensive side of the ball is not without its issues.

Tight end might not appear at first to be one of those positions, but there is little depth behind starter Martellus Bennett. Bennett is coming off a career year, consecutive career years in fact and his first Pro-Bowl appearance.

Bennett has become a break out star with the Bears. After toiling for years on the Cowboys behind Jason Witten, Bennett bet on himself and took a one year prove-it deal with the New York Giants before coming to Chicago.

Bennett has become a huge impact player for the Bears, catching 155 passes for 1,675 yards and 11 touchdowns in his two seasons. While Bennett has overachieved in his short time, he has not been without his issues.

He was suspended for a preseason game and sent home from training camp for body slamming a teammate. He is outspoken and loves the limelight. His big personality did not get him into too much trouble under the Marc Trestman regime; with new leadership in towns, expectations might shift.

Behind Bennett the Bears are lacking a lot of quality players. Dante Rosario is an impending free agent and could be back but his skills lay mainly as a blocker and not so much as a pass-catcher.

So enter Virgil Green.

Green has spent the first four years of his career on the Broncos after being a seventh round draft pick out of Nevada in 2011. He has 23 career receptions for 203 yards and one touchdown.

It is not Green's production but his promise that could put him on the Bears' radar.

Looking back through an old scouting report when he was coming out hints to his athletic ability.

There may not be a more fluid tight end in the 2011 draft class.  Green has quick and seamless motions that allow him create separation.  He possesses the coordination to change his pad level and make the difficult catches.  His explosion off the football helps him get into his routes quickly.  Green's athletic ability makes him a real threat in the passing game.

What he has become though, in the past couple seasons, has him coveted among the Broncos franchise. Green has gotten better as a blocker and, with the emergence of Julius Thomas, Green has become the team's blocking tight end. In fact, according to this article, he was their go-to guy in run situations:

In 2014, when Green was on the field, the Broncos ran the ball with authority. He's a tenacious blocker with a high motor and mean streak. But if anything, the team has under-utilized him in the passing game. He has rare athleticism and made a lot of plays in college. has him rated as the second-best free agent tight end based on his limited 403 snaps, but his rating has him ahead of much more esteemed stablemate Julius Thomas.

Since Green has much less experience he would be much cheaper, but he may not want to play second-fiddle to a more accomplished teammate again. However, head coach John Fox and offensive coordinator Adam Gase are in a unique position to perhaps convince him that he could be showcased as a pass catcher and that there would be a role for him both blocking for Matt Forte and in two-TE sets with Bennett.

An intriguing prospective free agent for sure, but as the earlier article states in the headline, Denver reportedly wants him back. It might be difficult for him to leave that situation, especially since signs seem to point to Thomas skipping town.

Is Green a guy you'd like the Bears to bring in if they can?