I asked out staff to pick 1 must-have free agent from the other 31 teams and here’s what we had to say.
Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter - Again, it’s a toss-up for me since, especially since we don’t know who’s getting tagged yet. Wide out Davante Adams would be an epic acquisition to weaken the Packers and bolster the Bears’ receiving corps. He’s also going to reset the market for how much a receiver can make in the NFL - likely north of $28 million per year. Cam Robinson and Terron Armstead headline the market for left tackles, Ryan Jensen is the best center, and Laken Tomlinson would bolster the guard position with schematic familiarity. It will be worth watching how the Chiefs elect to handle tackle Orlando Brown Jr. this year.
Yet has everyone forgotten how bad the Bears’ corner position is? Aside from Jaylon Johnson, there’s no option available that I can trust full time. Thomas Graham Jr. has flashed potential, yet can he become a dependable option? Meanwhile, arguably the league’s biggest ballhawk in J.C. Jackson might become available (if he’s not tagged). If the Bears can land him, without the need for a trade, then he’s my top splash target. After all, the Bears will be selective, which does *not* mean frugal. Getting a blue chipper in J.C. Jackson, or Davante Adams for that matter, would be big moves. I can see Ryan Poles pulling the trigger on either player if the contract structures make enough sense.
Jack Salo - It’s probably wishful thinking but Justin Fields isn’t just taking too many sacks because of poor o-line play... he’s taking plenty of coverage sacks too. The Bears need to add at least two — but ideally three — new faces to accompany Mooney in the receiver corps. Get at least one through the draft but can Chris Godwin come to Chicago? Odell Beckham Jr. or JuJu Smith-Schuster be nice too.
Robert Zeglinski - The Bears need receivers.
For emphasis: The Bears need receivers.
One more time: The Bears need receivers.
Because I think someone like Davante Adams and his soon to be top contract will be out of reach, I still want a big fish. They don’t get any bigger than the Buccaneers’ Chris Godwin.
The classic mix of a possession/stretch-the-field guy, Godwin would be the perfect security blanket for Justin Fields downfield. Coming off a knee injury, he also might (might) be a little cheaper. He’s a star and should thrive anywhere if he does actually leave Tampa Bay.
Make it happen Chicago.
Sam Householder - It’s Ryan Jensen for me. Give me a nice solid, but unspectacular offensive line signing. I don’t need a flashy huge dollar WR holding up his jersey in the media room. You have to help your quarterback up front. I get that there are few receivers on the roster, but I think they can be found for cheaper and/or in the draft.
Patti Curl - After paying Hicks his worth, the Bears won’t have a lot of money to throw around at fancy free agents, so I’m going to suggest cornerback Steven Nelson for a 3 year, 19 million deal with twelve void years to spread out the cap hit. Nelson is physical and excels in zone coverage. He’ll be a great fit for Eberflus and an overachiever at #2 across from Jaylon Johnson.
Robert Schmitz - The Bears need receivers, but in my opinion Free Agency has to start with the signing of a veteran Center — Sam Mustipher simply isn’t good enough and it’s harder to find one in the draft than meets the eye (paging Grasu, Daniels), so signing Brian Allen, Ben Jones, or Ryan Jensen makes too much sense to me. With the Center in mind, the brand-new offensive coaching staff should get an idea of what schemes they can and can’t use in the run game while players like Cody Whitehair (and maybe James Daniels?) should benefit from a reliable presence next to them. It’s a winning move all-around.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - Chicago needs some new wideouts to work in with Mooney, but they can find quality in the second wave of free agency, and also get a prospect in the NFL Draft. Cornerback is a mess, but I can’t see them landing a top target due to money and teams tagging the top options. So I want to see the Bears bolster their offensive line, and that starts at center with the Rams’ Brian Allen. Los Angeles may not be able to bring him back, and considering he just won a ring he may want to play closer to home. The Hinsdale, Illinois native would stabilize the interior of the Bears o-line for the next few years.
No it’s your turn, who the 1 guy you want to see the Bears sign?