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WCG Free Agency Round Table: Part 4

What does the future hold for Nick Foles, Akiem Hicks, Sam Mustipher, Eddy Pineiro, Ryan Nall and the rest of the Chicago Bears Free Agents and Veteran Cut/Trade Candidates?

Wild Card Round - Philadelphia Eagles v Chicago Bears
Tough decisions loom at Halas Hall.
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

For the past several days, myself and the rest of the Windy City Gridiron crew have been going through all 33 Chicago Bears players that are set to hit some form of Free Agency this off-season, sharing our thoughts on whether they should be brought back, let go, and why. In this 4th and final installment, we go over the Restricted Free Agents, Exclusive Rights Free Agents, as well as our Extension Candidates, Targeted Veteran Cuts, Trade Candidates, and our Final Thoughts.

If you haven’t read Parts 1, 2 and 3, check them out here:

Part 1: https://www.windycitygridiron.com/2020/12/11/22169405/wcg-free-agent-round-table-part-1-allen-robinson-mitchell-trubisky-chicago-bears-nfl-patterson

Part 2: https://www.windycitygridiron.com/2020/12/12/22171115/wcg-free-agency-round-table-part-2-sign-cut-mcmanis-mingo-gipson-ifedi

Part 3: https://www.windycitygridiron.com/2020/12/14/22173875/wcg-chicago-bears-free-agency-round-table-part-3-cut-sign-brent-urban-cairo-santos-scales-spriggs

Now that you have restored your WCG honor, we can continue!

Restricted Free Agents (sign/match or no)

Eddy Pineiro

Kansas City Chiefs v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Ken Mitchell - Yes - “Compete with Santos.”

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes - “Compete with Santos.”

Josh Sunderbruch - No

Jack Salo - Yes

EJ Snyder - No - “Santos is good, keep Pineiro’s number on speed dial.”

Bill Zimmerman - No - “Groin clearly isn’t getting right. This is 3 years now.”

Will Robinson II - No - “Santos is here, healthy and playing well. He’s the guy now.”

Sam Householder - Yes - “Compete with Santos.”

Exclusive Rights Free Agents (tender or no)

J.P. Holtz

NFL: DEC 06 Lions at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes

Jack Salo - No

EJ Snyder - Yes

Bill Zimmerman - Yes

Will Robinson II - Yes - “Guys got utility, and a team friendly price.”

Sam Householder - Yes

Artavis Pierce

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes

Jack Salo - No

EJ Snyder - Yes

Bill Zimmerman - Yes

Will Robinson II - Yes - “I’d like to see what he’s got.”

Sam Householder - Yes

Sam Mustipher

NFL: AUG 08 Preseason - Panthers at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ken Mitchell - Yes - “Sign multi-year. Sam Mustipher has already earned (IMHO) a multi-year low-end deal as long as it’s on the cheap end.”

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes - “Sign min deal.”

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes - “Actually sign.”

Jack Salo - Yes

EJ Snyder - Yes - “Sign multi-year.”

Bill Zimmerman - Yes - “Sign multi-year.”

Will Robinson II - Yes - “A million times, yes!. Sign him long term if you can.”

Sam Householder - Yes - “Sign multi-year.”

Lachavious Simmons

Chicago Bears Training Camp
I’m sure he’s in there somewhere...
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes

Jack Salo - Yes

EJ Snyder - Yes

Bill Zimmerman - Yes

Will Robinson II - Yes - “Cheap, young depth.”

Sam Householder - Yes

Josh Woods

Houston Texans v Chicago Bears Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes

Jack Salo - Yes

EJ Snyder - Yes

Bill Zimmerman - Yes

Will Robinson II - Yes - “Still potential to develop there.”

Sam Householder - Yes

Alex Bars

NFL: DEC 06 Lions at Bears Photo by Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - No

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes - “Actually sign.”

Jack Salo - No

EJ SnyderMaybe - “Depends on coaching situation.”

Bill Zimmerman - Yes

Will Robinson II - Yes - “Solid depth piece, with potential to be more.”

Sam Householder - Yes

Ryan Nall

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - No

Josh Sunderbruch - No

Jack Salo - No

EJ Snyder - Yes - “Useful piece on special teams.”

Bill Zimmerman - Yes

Will Robinson II - Yes - “Multi-position backup and special teamer. Not sexy, but useful.”

Sam Householder - No

Michael Joseph

NFL: Preseason-Chicago Bears at New York Giants Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Ken Mitchell - Yes

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Yes

Josh Sunderbruch - Yes

Jack Salo - No

EJ Snyder - No

Bill Zimmerman - No

Will Robinson II - No - “Ditto what I said about Burns.”

Sam Householder - Yes

Targeted Veteran Cuts

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Jimmy Graham, Bobbie Massie, Buster Skrine (has an out built into his contract for 2021), Nick Foles (there’s always a way to get rid of a QB you don’t want)

Josh Sunderbruch - Buster Skrine (a nickel who can’t cover skinny posts and screens?), Bobby Massie (nearly 7 mil in cap space)

Jack Salo - Jimmy Graham, Akiem Hicks (if you want to make a run for Corey Davis)

Bill Zimmerman - Jimmy Graham, Buster Skrine, Bobby Massie (post draft cut, but only if they end up addressing tackle in the draft in frist two rounds, otherwise he’s going to be a decent value)

Will Robinson II - Buster Skrine (I don’t think he’s as bad as a lot of folks do, but he’s 31 and has an out in his contract. Might be time to get younger at slot corner.), Bobby Massie (Address tackle in the draft, and move on), Charles Leno (if you are able to snag a couple good looking tackles early in the draft, cut him post June 1st and save yourself $8 million, if not, then you can’t afford to lose both he and Massie), Jimmy Graham (Is he useful catching short passes? Yes. Is he useful at anything else? No. Let Kmet take on more of a U/Y hybrid role [which he already is starting to], and let Holtz run the Y, or Horsted run the U in 2 TE sets if need be)

Trade Candidates

Chicago Bears v Atlanta Falcons Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

Josh Sunderbruch - Nick Foles (cut or deal)

Bill Zimmerman - Akiem Hicks (for a 4, sadly that’s all you can get)

Will Robinson II - Nick Foles (I might know a team in Philly who would be interested in his services), Akiem Hicks (I REALLY hate to say it, but he’s 31 years old and carries a $12 million cap hit for 2021. The Bears could use the cap space, not to mention the mid-rounder they likely would garner for him. Another option is a team friendly restructure... but I’m not sure how likely that is. If you can’t trade or restructure, then cut is an option that would save you as much a $10 million, and likely generate a decent comp pick as well ignore that, my brain was still in FA mode lol)

Extension Candidates

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Kyle Fuller

Josh Sunderbruch - Kyle Fuller (Heck yes, extend!)

Bill Zimmerman - Kyle Fuller (hopefully resonable deal through 2023)

Will Robinson II - Kyle Fuller (I mean, obviously. Lock up your home grown all-pro level off-man corner), James Daniels (He’s currently your best offensive lineman, and his value isn’t likely to be lower than when he’s on season ending IR. If he clears medical, lock him up.)

Final Thoughts

Josh Sunderbruch - All of this is assuming that signing the players involved only takes signing them at their current rate or at what is a reasonable projection of market value. It also assumes that the team has moved on from its current leadership enough that any of this even matters.

Bill Zimmerman - This team needs some restructure. There’s no point to pay veterans to stunt young players development. Skrine standing in the way of Vildor, Shelley, maybe Roberson. Need youth on the OL, thus Massie. Graham is pointless to a rebuilding offense at this point, just more snaps for Kmet and if the offense is changing, Graham’s value to the new offense would be pointless, if it isn’t changing, let Horsted get U snaps in 12 personnel.

Will Robinson II - The Bears have some soul searching to do. There’s enough pieces on this team to justify building upon it. On the other hand, there’s enough holes/overpaid players to justify blowing things up and going full-on rebuild. Either way, sacrifices will have to be made to balance this team out. Half measures and band-aids aren’t likely to get it done, no matter who the Coach/GM/President is in 2021.

Sam Householder - I think you let a few other former draft picks test the waters (Bush, RRH) with the hope that maybe it gets you a later comp pick. Some of the guys like John Jenkins or Jason Spriggs are the type that I feel like you can let walk and replace with similar type of guys during free agency. They are true “replacement level” players, very average and they are the kind that can churn every year or two and you don’t sweat.


Thanks for sticking with us while we worked through this extensive Bears Free Agent list. We all know that this season hasn’t gone how most of us would have liked, and it’s never fun talking about the off-season weeks before the play-offs even start. Still, we’d like to thank all of our community members for all your support, and more importantly, for hanging out with us. You’re what makes this a community.

As always, be sure to share your thoughts in the comments, and feel free to make your own list of roster moves if you want:

https://www.spotrac.com/nfl/free-agents/chicago-bears/

Bear Down everyone, and remember, we’re all in this together.

Click on our names to follow us on Twitter: Jeff Berckes; Patti Curl; Eric Christopher Duerrwaechter; Kev H; Sam Householder; Jacob Infante; Aaron Lemming; Ken Mitchell; Jack R Salo; Steven Schweickert; Jack Silverstein; EJ Snyder; Lester Wiltfong, Jr.; Will Robinson II; Robert Schmitz; Robert Zeglinski; Bill Zimmerman; Like us on Facebook.

Poll

What should the Bears do with Nick Foles and Akiem Hicks?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Keep both! Hicks is a super star, and Foles never got the fair shake he deserved.
    (10 votes)
  • 66%
    Deal Foles if you can, but don’t you DARE get rid of Hicks!
    (365 votes)
  • 4%
    The Bears need cap space, and dealing/cutting Hicks can net them 8 figures. Foles is much more difficult to cut loose, so may as well stick with him.
    (23 votes)
  • 27%
    Lose them both. The Bears need to find ways to shed cap, and these two represent a ton of it.
    (152 votes)
550 votes total Vote Now