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Chicago Bears 2022 Free Agents

The Bears have a lot of free agents, so this team may look drastically different for the 2022 season.

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

I’m not calling the 2022 season a rebuild year for the Chicago Bears, but there will be plenty of roster changes from whoever the new general manager and head coach are. With so many free agents it’s possible the team looks vastly different that what we just saw, and considering the Bears went 6-11 that’s a good thing. The new regime are sure to have “their guys” that they’ll bring in, but I would also expect them to look towards a handful of the current Chicago free agents.

Josh Sunderbruch’s mini “State of the Bears” series has the raw data on where the roster is now plus some of his thoughts on the team, so if you haven’t seen those yet, be sure to check those out.

For this article I’m taking a basics only approach, but in a week or two I’ll kick off my annual offseaosn Roster Turnover series where I go position by position taking a detailed look at each player on the team, the chances they return, plus some options at each position.

Chicago Bears 2022 Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents

  • Akiem Hicks, DL
  • Bilal Nichols, DL
  • Margus Hunt, DL
  • Marqui Christian, DB
  • Artie Burns, CB
  • DeAndre Houston-Carson, S
  • Deon Bush, S
  • Cassius Marsh, OLB
  • Bruce Irvin, OLB
  • Joel Iyiegbuniwe, ILB
  • Alec Ogletree, ILB
  • Christian Jones, LB
  • Allen Robinson, WR
  • Damiere Byrd, WR
  • Marquise Goodwin, WR
  • Elijah Wilkinson, OL
  • James Daniels, OL
  • Jason Peters, OL
  • Pat O’Donnell, P
  • Patrick Scales, LS

UFAs are free to negotiate with any other team once the 2022 league year opens on March 16, 2022. The Bears could approach them prior to that with an extension offer to keep them in Chicago.

Void Year UFAs

  • Damien Williams, RB
  • Jesse James, TE
  • Jimmy Graham, TE
  • Andy Dalton, QB
  • *Jakeem Grant, WR
  • Germain Ifedi, OL
  • Tashaun Gipson, S

These 7 players are all UFAs, but they have void years added to their contracts. The Bears could renegotiate to bring any of them back, which would then add in the void money to what ever new contract they decide on, but regardless if they return or not the Bears will need to eventually pay the void money that is tied up in those players. Depending on when the Bears officially release them from the voids they could spread the cap hit out through 2023. Former GM Ryan Pace left a $12,772,500 void money parting gift for his successor.

* Grant has void years but no void money due to the deal he reached with the Dolphins prior to the trade that brought him to Chicago.

Restricted Free Agents

  • Alex Bars, OL
  • Ryan Nall, RB
  • J.P. Holtz, TE
  • Teez Tabor, DB
  • Xavier Crawford, CB

The Bears will have the right of first refusal on RFAs if they offer them a tender contract. Depending on the type tender offered, it’s possible the Bears can recoup a draft pick if the player is allowed to leave, but it’s doubtful any of these 5 would get get anything more than a right-of-first-refusal tender.

Exclusive Rights Free Agents

  • Lachavious Simmons, OL
  • Sam Mustipher, C
  • Jesper Horsted, TE

ERFAs have less that 3 accrued seasons in the NFL, and all a team needs to do to ensure they return is offer them a league minimum deal for the 2022 season.

How many of these free agents do you guys see the Bears bringing back for the 2022 season?

More in-depth info on the types of free agents here at NFL.com.

Contract data can be found at both Over the Cap and Spotrac, and while neither is 100% accurate (due to the inaccurate nature in which teams allow contract info to leak out) I do find that OTC has a better track record. However, I do always cross reference with each before writing about contractual stuff.