The Bears approached free agency methodically, letting the market get set with the huge money deals and waiting for the players they wanted to be available at their price, rather than getting into high-priced bidding wars with other teams.
Ryan Pace and company got edge rusher Pernell McPhee, but after that they sat back and let guys like Terrance Knighton and Ron Parker get away rather than pay them more than they wanted to. That might not be 100 percent known but, judging by how much the Bears were rumored to be interested in those players and then, suddenly, were out of it, it appears the Bears just couldn't get them into their price-point.
That's a good thing. Too often the Bears have been interested in getting certain players at any cost and then end up getting locked into a bad contract. Julius Peppers was a worthy addition, but his contract kept ballooning and ballooning and, while the team kept restructuring it, that culminated in Peppers' cap number being prohibitive to the team keeping him. So after 2013 he was released.
Last offseason it was Jared Allen. The Allen contract had some massive up-front money, which isn't bad in itself, but his 2015 cap hit is $12.5 million. That is a huge sum, especially for a player who did not perform last season and isn't a natural fit for the new defense.
Obviously, there are other contracts that the Bears have handed out that have not held up (Tim Jennings, Jay Cutler). The point is, the new regime's approach in free agency has been refreshing. While some will say that they are overpaying the unproven McPhee, he has shown enough to believe that he can be a cornerstone playmaker in Vic Fangio's new defense. Especially if he's going to be paired with a draft pick.
Pace knocked off two of the team's biggest needs by signing McPhee and then adding WR Eddie Royal and S Antrel Rolle.
All this does add to Pace's philosophy of signing free agents to be able to draft the best available player, but the Bears still have some weaknesses on their roster.
Linebacker is still a question mark, they could use some depth on the line and WR, and tackle could use some shoring up.
So, whom would you like to see the Bears get deals with? They've been linked to Mason Foster, but nothing certain has come out on that fact.
Who is left out there that intrigues you? Are there any players you think the Bears should sign?