The Chicago Bears will have some decisions to make on the interior of their offensive line, not only with who to re-sign, but also with who ends up playing which position. They have some tackles that could end up moving inside to guard, and some guards that they may want to have play center, so once the coaching staff dives into all the film they’ll have a better idea on their plans for 2022.
There could be some crossover to the center position depending on who ends up at guard in 2022 for the Bears, so be sure to check out yesterday’s article on guard.
In this 12-part series I’ll be listing the contract status of all the current Bears players on a position by position basis, while speculating on some offseason moves that could happen.
Sam Mustipher - Exclusive rights free agent - The last regime valued Mustipher’s leadership and his intelligence, and those are most definitely valuable assets to have at center in the NFL, but from a physical standpoint there were some limitations in his game. Another offseason working on his craft and his body will do him well, and I think as an ERFA the Bears should bring him back. I’m not saying they should pencil him in as the starter, because an upgrade is needed, but get him in camp to compete. Him showing an ability to play some guard would help his long term prospects in the league too.
Dieter Eiselen - Signed a Reserve/Futures contract - Eiselen spent most of last year on the Bears practice squad, and they brought him back on a Reserve/Futures contract this offseason. He played mostly guard in college but has done a lot of center work with the Bears. His college tape featured a lot of nasty, so he’s probably a player new GM Ryan Poles is intrigued by.
Willie Wright - Signed a Reserve/Futures contract - Wright was out of the NFL a year ago, so he’s a long shot to make the team. He played tackle at Tulsa, so maybe he’s a late bloomer with his center technique.
2022 OUTLOOK - The Bears will be adding to their o-line in both the draft and free agency, and once they figure out who will be playing where, they’ll know which position to attack.
If they go the free agent route the Buccaneers’ Ryan Jensen is a name a lot of fans have been discussing, but he’s going to cost a lot. The Rams’ Brian Allen could be in play if L.A. lets him walk, as could the Titans’ Ben Jones. But a determination on free agent James Daniels coming back to Chicago could factor into how much money they have to spend on the o-line.