James Daniels - Signed through 2021 - The Chicago Bears, and new offensive line coach Juan Castillo, need to decide if Daniels is moving back to center or if he’s found a home at left guard. There’s no question his play took a step back in 2019 after looking very promising at guard as a rookie. So if Daniels, who will still only be 22-years old when the 2020 season starts, can bounce back, I think he’s going upgrade what ever position he ends up at.
While I was very adamant about him playing center last year, at this point I don’t really care where he ends up as long as he stays there. Him having issues setting the protections last year was a problem, but the mental aspect of his craft should be improved going into his third season.
I have a feeling the Bears won’t be in a rush to decide where he and Whitehair ends up until after the draft and free agency is in the books.
Rashaad Coward - Restricted free agent - He’s come a long way since his days as a defensive tackle, and while I think there’s still some upside there, the Bears need to have a better plan in place for back up guard than him. I think hey should tender him an offer and let him compete for a reserve role.
Ted Larsen - Free agent - Much like the last time Larsen played for the Bears (2016), he’s gonna be a one and done.
Alex Bars - Signed through 2020 - Bars signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent, in part, because of offensive line coach Harry Hiestand, who is no longer with the team. He only received a few snaps a year ago during the regular season, but in the preseason he was one of Chicago’s better players where he was forced to play left tackle after mostly playing guard at Notre Dame.
He’s a technically sound player that will be another year removed from the knee injury he suffered in college, so maybe he’s ready to seriously compete for a starting spot at guard. If he wasn’t injured he certainly would have been drafted, so maybe GM Ryan Pace found a diamond in the rough.
Corey Levin - Signed through 2020 - The Bears added Levin late last year due to some injuries and he’ll get a shot in camp to earn a back up spot. He was originally a sixth-round pick of the Titans in 2017.
Kyle Long - Retired - Kyle gave his all to the Bears, and his presence will be missed not only on the field but in their locker room as well, but stepping away is the right decision as his play wasn’t at a respectable level a year ago.
2020 OUTLOOK - While I would love for Alex Bars to have a great offseason and training camp, and come out and take control of the right guard job, I think the Bears should try to find a starting caliber guard in free agency. The top guard on the market will be Brandon Scherff, who will likely be priced out of the Bears range, but there should be a few decent options in free agency.
Detroit’s Graham Glasgow can play center or guard, but after Scherff, he may be the most coveted on the market. Other guards the Bears could be looking at are Michael Schofield III, B.J. Finney, and Andrus Peat. Schofield (29-years old) has started the last two years for the Chargers at right guard and could also kick out to tackle. The 28-year old Finney has been Pittsburgh’s top reserve on their interior and could be looking for a chance to start. Peat is only 26 and he can also play tackle, but he’s had a few injuries the last few years.
In looking at the NFL Draft, our own Jacob Infante thinks that Georgia’s Solomon Kindley would be a good fit for Juan Castillo’s offensive line.
Kindley is a powerful and intense interior blocker who packs a punch upon contact and fights hard to the whistle. He isn’t a stellar athlete, but the Georgia mauler could be in the cards for Chicago in Round 2.
I think the Bears will get an interior lineman in the draft plus double dip in free agency to fortify the position.
Where do you think the Bears will go to address offensive guard?