Editor: ECD was busy this offseason writing thousands of words on his Chicago Bears’ free agency and draft predictions and also on what he was hoping general manager Ryan Poes would do if he were in his shoes. So, ECD naturally wanted to reflect on his hits and misses.
After checking out what he has to say about his free agency predictions here, be sure to toot your own horn in the comment section on your hits, but also be accountable for your misses!
1) What is the one free agency or trade-related prediction that you absolutely nailed?
From the beginning, I felt the Bears’ best chance to improve the wide receiver position would involve a major trade to acquire a young blue-chip player, and finally give Justin Fields a legitimate option to lead the receiving game. That trade manifested into D.J. Moore being shipped along with a bounty of draft picks from the Carolina Panthers in exchange for the number one overall pick. Now, the Bears have that crucial need filled, and it’s a move aimed at both the immediate and long-term futures.
2) What is the one free agency or trade-related prediction that you absolutely whiffed on?
I’m on record saying the Bears’ first day of free agency would open up with major long-term signings at RT and DT. And, to be fair, the Bears were in on Mike McGlinchey, along with several notable DTs, per numerous sources and reports. Alas, neither such move transpired. Instead, both those positions were addressed during the first two days of their latest draft. This is a reminder that just because GM Ryan Poles has the cap space available, it doesn’t mean he will spend money to simply spend money. He’s very firm in his stance of balancing financial value with his roster decisions.
I was fairly certain they would sign a tackle in FA. Was shocked they didn't sign any given how big a need it was.— thefargus (@thefargus) June 12, 2023
I totally called BMarsh to the Bears, and it was beautiful for awhile. And I was certain that Indy would trade DeForest Buckner to us…— Kris Armstrong (@KrisArmstrong1) June 10, 2023
3) Were there any surprises during free agency that stand out to you?
I felt the Bears would double-dip at LB during free agency. Especially when the financial terms of T.J. Edwards’ contract were revealed. I was just shocked when they also landed Pro Bowler Tremaine Edmunds about one hour later. I didn’t expect such a major investment at the “Mike” LB spot when the focus — and hypothetical money value — has historically been the “Will” when discussing the Tampa 2 concepts. Tremaine was always going to be a “Mike” LB in this scheme, one that’s very similar to what the Buffalo Bills have run in recent years. I will chalk this up as a pleasant surprise. Nothing bad exists about this signing, and his arrival will bring back the viability of having a true “Mike” on all three downs. Just like when the Bears had Brian Urlacher patrolling the deep middle for Lovie Smith’s squad.
ECD had some league-wide thoughts too.
4) What is the one move or series of moves from elsewhere around the league that was simply unexpected?
I did not expect the Denver Broncos to be so aggressive during free agency. One could say they simply had no choice, given the lack of draft capital available to them as part of the process. Still, seeing them end the off-season as the biggest spenders for 2023 wasn’t on my personal bingo card. The massive contracts for OG Ben Powers, RT Mike McGlinchey, and DE Zach Allen all exceeded my expectations. In comparison, the Bears were 5th in total cash spending, and they signed/traded for a lot more players for a similar amount of combined salary. I’m not sure if the Broncos’ shopping spree will make them definitively better. It should be fun nonetheless if Sean Payton and their newly furnished trenches can save what’s left of an aging Russell Wilson’s career.
Answer these four questions in the comment section, and stay tuned tomorrow for ECD’s draft prediction hits and misses from the offseason.