Bobby Massie - Signed through 2018 - The Chicago Bears tried to upgrade at right tackle last year, but they lost out on Ricky Wagner when he elected to sign with the Lions. If there’s a chance to find a better player than Massie this offseason, the Bears will likely take it, but if it doesn’t work out, I think they’ll be fine plugging Massie in for one more year at right tackle.
Massie is a serviceable player. He’s a good run blocker, and as a pass blocker he struggles with the speedy edge guys. But most tackles in the NFL struggle with speed off the edge. Smart offensive schemes send help or call plays to keep defenses off balance. I think the offensive brain trust, led by head coach Matt Nagy, will be a big plus for the pass protection.
Bleacher Report had Massie ranked as the 14th right tackle in the NFL, just ahead of the aforementioned Wagner saying “When Massie is on, he looks like one of the NFL’s top right tackles at times, displaying tremendous range in pass protection and a violent strike. In the running game, Massie won with power and physicality when he maintained leverage.”
When he struggles in pass pro is when he misses with his hand punch, but if his technique is sound, if he moves his feet and is able to lock his hands on a defender, he usually keeps his block.
Cutting Massie would save the Bears about $5.5 million, but unless there’s a better option, they need to hold onto him.
And I’ll say this again over here just to drive the point home. Do not expect the Bears to move Kyle Long to right tackle.
Charles Leno Jr. - Signed through 2021 - Leno has made strides every season he’s been in the league, which is why general manager Ryan Pace gave him that contract extension last year. He’ll never be a powerful run blocker, but he’s a good athlete and he can get out in front of those outside runs and he’s an above average pass blocker. Even though he’s about to start his fifth year with the Bears, he’s only 26 years old.
I had both Leno and Massie each down for allowing 3.5 sacks last year.
Bradley Sowell - Free agent - I wasn’t a fan of this signing last offseason, and I don’t think he’ll be back in 2018. He was able to kick inside and play guard, so that may earn him another contract, but I’d rather it not be in Chicago.
Brandon Greene - Signed through 2018 - Greene played tight end, tackle and guard at Alabama, and he has the kind of athletic ability that makes me wonder what o-line coach Harry Hiestand will do with him.
2018 OUTLOOK - Unless an upgrade presents itself at right tackle, I think the Bears stick with Massie. The free agency list isn’t that impressive, with the biggest name being former first round pick Greg Robinson who only played six games for the Lions last year due to an ankle injury.
If the Bears go tackle in the draft, grabbing Pittsburgh’s Brian O’Neill or Humboldt State’s Alex Cappa (whom Jacob profiled here) could be nice in the fourth round.
The Bears will need to address swing tackle, and Tom Compton, whom I touched on yesterday with the guards, could return for that role. I’m just getting tired of all the one year stop-gap backup players. I’d love to see a young guy grow into that role.
What do you guys think the Bears will do at offensive tackle in 2018?