The NFL’s early negotiating period is underway, and while the Bears haven’t made any signings since the start of the period, they appear to be doing their due diligence on arguably the market’s top offensive lineman.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported on Monday that the Bears have inquired about 49ers left tackle Trent Williams and what his asking price will be. Williams was traded to San Francisco after 10 season with the Washington Football Team, making his eighth Pro Bowl appearance of his career in 2020.
Biggs had this to say in his article about Williams and the possibility of the Bears signing him in free agency:
Finding a way to sign Williams would dramatically change the look of the offensive line, but the Bears will face serious competition if they’re bidding in earnest to sign him when free agency opens at 3 p.m. Wednesday. The team would also have to continue to massage the books by creating additional cap space as it continues in a search to find an upgrade at quarterback and add to other areas of the roster.
The Bears are currently listed as being over $1 million in the red in terms of cap space by Spotrac, so they will have plenty of financial maneuvering to do if they want to afford Williams, who is projected to have a market value of $18.2 million.
Though the Bears face steep odds to sign Williams — the Colts, Chiefs and 49ers are among teams Biggs listed as competitors — he would undoubtedly be a tremendous upgrade along their offensive line. He’s 32 years old, but has shown no signs of slowing down and has been one of the league’s best offensive linemen on a yearly basis.