We’ve already gone over several cornerbacks and wide receivers we’d like to see the Chicago Bears go after when NFL free agency gets ramped up on Monday, but today’s topic is all about the trenches. General manager Ryan Poles indicated he wanted some more nasty among his offensive linemen, so he’s sure to add a player or two with starting experience to the group.
The WCG staffers weighed in with an answer to this question in this third part of this roundtable.
Who is the offensive lineman you want the Bears to sign in free agency?
Rahul Ramachandran - In an ideal world, Ryan Jensen. I like Cody Whitehair and James Daniels at OG, but the priority shifts to center. Jensen has a wealth of experience at center, which will take some pressure off of Justin Fields to make pass protection checks at the line-of-scrimmage. He would also bring some big-time physical and mental toughness to the line, which — when you listen to Ryan Poles’ comments about setting the tone — make him a near-perfect fit.
Robert Zeglinski - Ryan Jensen is the creme de la creme, a real foundation piece, and with his presence instantly gives the Bears the potential for a top offensive line. But he’s older, and will be looking for a blank check. With Chicago otherwise digging in on receiver, the move at center is Brian Allen—banking on the late upside of a 26-year-old starter with Super Bowl experience. There are worse ideas.
Sam Householder - Brian Allen, center from the Rams. I think he could be a cheaper signing that would solidify a huge hole in the middle of the Bears’ line. Center is a huge need for Chicago and I think it would be smarter to grab a value signing there then having to force a high pick on it in the draft, where they have fewer selections this year.
Ken Mitchell - Austin Corbett of the Rams. He’s played well since coming over to the Rams, is still a younger guy with lots of tread left on the tires, and can play both center and guard. I’d bring him is as a center. Won’t break the bank.
Bill Zimmerman - Terron Armstead. I know he’s north of 30, I know he’s going to be expensive, and I know he has injury concerns, but you don’t get tackles this talented on the market very often. Bring him in and let him mentor Teven Jenkins along the way. Larry Borom can be a swing tackle or bounce inside.
Aaron Leming - I’ve gone back and forth on this many times. In some ways, I want to say Terron Armstead because he’s exactly the type of left tackle the Bears need (without the injury risk, of course). From a more practical standpoint, I think Bradley Bozeman makes a ton of sense at center. He’s unlikely to “break the bank” and should be had under $10 million annually. They need a long-term center option and he makes the most sense.
Lester A. Wiltfong Jr. - The Rams’ Allen has been my guy since the season ended, so there’s no need to come off that now. As a senior at Hinsdale Central (20 minutes west of Chicago) he received first-team all-state honors (8A) from the Illinois High School Coaches Association, and as a junior in 2013 he was the Illinois state (3A) wrestling champ at heavyweight, and he also took home the state’s shot put title as well.
Now it’s your turn, who is an o-lineman you'd like to see the Bears sign?