It’s been a while, the offseason is starting to heat up… sort of. A few of these lists will get shorter as the teams start to make moves. I wish I could keep up, but hey, you do what you can. Also, with the combine coming this week, maybe some draft ideas will change. So, what can the Bears do to compete in the NFC North? We’ll try to dive into it.
Main Players to Cut
Honestly, there’s not a huge cap casualty that needs to go. However, here’s a few controversial guys to create some big space.
Lamarr Houston ($4.02 Million)
Antrel Rolle ($2.72 Million)
Both good players, but it would clear up almost 7 million dollars in cap space.
Players to Re-Sign
These are the players that MUST be brought back at any cost. It’s a pretty exclusive list.
WR Alshon Jeffery – The first player to make the list. Very rarely do I put this much stock into wide receivers. He does have some troubling injury history. But a talent like him can’t go. There’s a lot of great receivers in the league, but he’s one of the few special ones.
The players that the Bears should focus on bringing back.
OG Patrick Omameh – There aren’t a ton of high quality guys on this list, but Omameh was one of the better linemen on the bears. He’s not great, but it fills a hole temporarily. He probably won’t be too expensive either.
For the Right Price
TE Zach Miller – He had his moments last season, including this ridiculous catch against San Diego. He’s worth bringing back to be a #2 TE.
WR Marc Mariani – Decent return man. Decent receiver. Doubt he’d cost much.
The Bears are in a weird scenario. They have a talented QB… But he’s not elite. They have some solid players… But nothing really set. They aren’t a few pieces away from competing, but they aren’t an atrocity either. They are truly trapped in mediocrity right now. So with that being said, now is not the time to go after big time free agents. What they should do is build through the draft. One priority for them should be to build the offensive line. Here are some offensive linemen who might the Bears could take a flier on. OG Jeff Allen, OG Ronald Leary, OG Michael Harris, OT Joe Barksdale, OT Mike Remmers, OT Kelvin Beachum. These are proven players who are still pretty young and who won’t be paid top dollar.
Needs (O-Line, D-Line, WR, CB, LB)
Trade. Trade. Trade. The Bears have the 11th overall pick in the NFL Draft. So far, from what I’ve seen, the talent isn’t separated much from 11-60. Aside from a few top guys, this is a very high-risk high reward draft. The Bears should exploit that. Find trade partners, stock up on picks, and just add talent. Extra 2nd and 3rd rounders are very valuable. That being said, here’s my big board for the Bears if they choose to keep the 11th overall pick.
- Reggie Ragland (ILB, Alabama)
- Taylor Decker (OT/OG Ohio State)
- Vernon Hargreaves III (CB, Florida)
- Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)
- Jarran Reed (DT, Alabama)
- Jaylon Smith (ILB, Notre Dame)
- Robert Nkemdiche (DT, Ole Miss)
- Andrew Billings (DT, Baylor)
- Deforest Buckner (DE, Oregon)
- Darron Lee (OLB, Ohio State)
Mackensie Alexander fans will continue to hate me… I just don’t see it with him. Here’s some high-impact guys that the Bears could take.
The Bears are still a few years away. They’re one of those teams that is more than an offseason away from competing. Still, this is the NFL. A hot streak by Cutler and some improvement on the defense, and I could be eating crow. Any given Sunday.
Photo Credit – http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/oAASPJWtiL0/Philadelphia+Eagles+v+Chicago+Bears/D8fn9x3Cg1t/Lamarr+Houston