The Chicago Bears have a lot of decisions to make this offseason. Those decisions were amplified when they decided to make a coaching change and part ways with John Fox and most of the offensive staff. New head coach Matt Nagy will have his own ideas on how to construct a team, but he will have a holdover defensive staff to ease the transition.
Nagy, defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, and general manager Ryan Pace are deciding on the talent that will get this team to improve on the five wins from a year ago. They have a number of their own free agents awaiting offers, both of the restricted and the unrestricted variety. There are some veterans that could be cap casualties, free agency starts on March 14, and the NFL Draft begins on April 26.
We’ve discussed the top player needs for this franchise on a few occasions and cornerback, wide receiver, pass rusher, and the offensive line all receive frequent mentions. Earlier today, ESPN wrote about the biggest offseason need for every team, and they believe that figuring out what to do at cornerback is Chicago’s top need.
Here’s what they had to say.
The Bears find themselves in a solid spot in the draft, as four of the teams in front of them at pick No. 8 could conceivably be in the market for a quarterback. That should push talent at other positions down the board. Along those lines -- though it’s early in the draft process -- Alabama corner/safety Minkah Fitzpatrick checks many of the requisite boxes to be a top-flight NFL defensive back. Beyond the draft, the Bears should work to retain Kyle Fuller, banking on his progression during his age-25 season under coordinator Vic Fangio. Fuller would be a key retention for new coach Matt Nagy.
Fitzpatrick was the pick in the most recent mock draft we looked at right here.
I think bringing Fuller back is a must, even if they have to overpay a bit for his services. At some point the Bears need to lock up their young talent, and letting a guy walk after his career year isn’t good for business. Fuller’s lost 2016 season is in the past, and his 2017 play should be what he’s judged on. He may not be a shut down #1CB, but those guys are few and far between. Fuller has shown that he can be a damn good football player, so the Bears need to find a way to bring him back.
ESPN says the Bears should “sign Fuller and consider a cornerback in the first round,” but I think re-signing Prince Amukamara may be in the cards as well. Amukamara had a solid season and if the price is right, I think bringing back the 28-year old makes sense.
I agree with ESPN that Kyle Fuller is the Bears biggest free agent decision this offseason. Everything they do in free agency or the draft could hinge on whether he stays or goes.
What do you guys feel is the Bears top free agent decision?