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The Bear’s Den: January 20, 2017 - Bring back Kush and/or Larsen?

Do the Bears stand pat on their offensive line backups?

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NFL: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings
Ted Larsen... bring him back?
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

The Den will be taking a look at one of the Chicago Bears' 2017 unrestricted free agents (UFA's) and restricted free agents (RFA's) each day until we have knocked out the list.

I will be talking about the player, whether I personally would sign the player and to what contract, and what my best guess the Bears will do with him.

Today I’m doing a double, since frankly Eric Kush and Ted Larsen are a lot alike, both quality backup players.

Here’s their bios from the Chicago Bears website:

Eric Kush: Played in three games with the Chiefs in 2013 and seven contests with the Rams in 2015. Kush was elected by the Kansas City Chiefs in the sixth round (170th overall pick) in the 2013 NFL Draft. On September 5, 2015, he was waived by the Chiefs. On September 6, 2015, Kush was claimed off waivers by Tampa Bay.

Kush played in 8 games, starting 4 of them for Chicago in 2016.

Ted Larsen: Enters first season with the Bears in 2016 after seeing action in 86 games (57 starts) over six seasons with Tampa Bay (2010-13) and Arizona (2014-15)... Has experience at all three interior spots along the offensive line, starting 34 games at left guard, 13 games at right guard and 10 games at center during his NFL career in the regular season... Has added two starts at right guard and one at left guard in the playoffs... Appeared in all 16 contests in four (2011-14) of his six NFL seasons.

Larsen played in all 16 games, starting 8 for Chicago, and he plays both guard and center.

I am not a fan of Pro Football Focus for grades in general, but some people are, and interior linemen are hard to judge. Kush graded out by PFF as 69.6 while Larsen graded out as 72.3. For some reason PFF lumps Kush in with the centers. Larsen’s grade would be considered low average and Kush upper end of the below average range. For example, Josh Sitton had a top 10 grade of 86.2 while Cody Whitehair came in as the sixth best Center at 87.2. Kyle Long was 78.1 playing injured.

Would I bring them back? Yes, both of them, absolutely, I would and I would feel perfectly comfortable with them as backups again next year. They both did a very solid job in that role.

Will the Chicago Bears bring them back? Yes, both of them, and I expect that while their will be competition in camp, chances are very good that the Bears backups next year on the OL will be Larsen, Kush, Hroniss Grassu and a yet to be acquired tackle for competition to beat out Massie and/or Leno, or just be swing tackle.

Share your thoughts below and in the poll!



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