NFL free agency opens for business officially on March 15 — with the early negotiation window starting on March 13 — but with the NFL Combine in full swing, many deals will be discussed off the record this week. The Chicago Bears have the most money to spend this offseason, so we wanted to weigh in on a few topics about what we’d like and what we think the Bears will do.
I asked a few of our Windy City Gridiron team to give me their take on these six prompts, and we’ll roll them out in the next several days. First up is...
Give us your unrealistic dream target for the Bears in free agency.
The franchise tag will come into play with these guys, but until the player makes it official and signs and until the team decides there will be no trade, then let us hold onto some unrealistic dreams!
Washington placed the tag on Payne this morning, but they now have a ton of cash tied up on their d-line.
“Looks like he’s headed to the franchise tag, but if the Bears can land him, he’ll change the defense.” ~ Bill Zimmerman
“I don’t feel this is impossible. Especially with how much value a DT of his caliber holds within their defense. Still, any franchise tag applied by the Commanders will make this challenging at the least.” ~ Erik Christopher Duerrwaechter
“Payne would be the perfect addition for Chicago’s three-tech DT spot, so now we’ll have to wait and see if he signs the tag or if this situation gets ugly.” ~ Lester A. Wiltfong Jr.
The tag gives the Commanders the power, but stranger things have happened.
Plenty of rumors surround Atlanta tagging McGary, but it hasn’t happened so far.
“The Falcons tackle had a career year in 2022 and would be a terrific scheme fit for the Bears at barely 28 (literally, it was his birthday as I wrote this). I don’t think the Falcons are in enough cap stress to let a good young offensive lineman go, which is why I’m putting this in the unrealistic category.” ~ Patti Curl
“There is a good chance McGary ends up back with the Falcons due to their abundance of cap space and the franchise tag as well. But if the Falcons let the 28-year-old hit the market for some reason, the Bears will do everything they can to scoop him up. According to PFF (so take this as you will), McGary was not only the most improved Atlanta player, but his 91.8 run-blocking grade was second in the league to only Trent Williams. That run-blocking would greatly benefit a Bears team reliant on the run, and McGary would be a proven addition to an o-line in desperate need of one.” ~ Peter Borkowski
Who is your unrealistic free agency target for the Bears?