Chicago Bears Free Agents – Decisions Coming Soon

Chicago Bears Free Agents – Decisions Coming Soon

Among the things the Chicago Bears must do in the coming weeks is determine which of their own free agents they should re-sign for 2017 and maybe beyond. With an estimated $58,711,446  in salary cap space available, the eighth most in the league (per Spotrac.com), general manager Ryan Pace has plenty of money to spend. The questions are who to spend it on, how much and for how long.

Among the players the Bears must decide on

  • Alshon Jeffery – the sometime enigmatic receiver played under the NFL’s franchise tag last season. The Bears can tag him again at a cost of $17,518,800 or agree on the long-term deal the receiver says he wants with the Bears.
  • Brian Hoyer – The quarterback was roundly criticized by many for not taking more chances downfield in his four games as a starter before suffering an season-ending injury. Nonetheless, in Hoyer’s four full games as a starter he passed for over 300 yards and finished with six touchdowns and zero interceptions.
  • Ted Larsen &  Eric Kush – The journeymen offensive linemen filled in admirably in an offensive line that was hampered from multiple injuries
  • Jonathan Banks – The former 2nd round draft pick was acquired late in the season when cornerbacks were dropping like passes to Josh Bellamy. Pace and John Fox might want to take a longer look at Banks who fits Vic Fangio’s wish list of long corners able to press.
  • Matt Barkley – Picked up right before the start of the season, Barkley had some moments that had some wonder, “Is he the one?” A barrage of interceptions offered an emphatic. “NO!” to the question. But, the Bears may consider him worthy of back-up status.
  • Cornelius Washington – Finally started to flash the the playmaking skills many suspected him capable of when he was drafted in round six of the 2013 draft. His penchant for getting injured or nicked up continues.
  • Connor Barth – Brought in because Robbie Gould had lost the confidence of the team’s coaching staff, Barth’s didn’t do much better. Barth made only 78% of his field goal attempts and missed an extra point.
  • Sam Acho – A locker room leader who can run hot and cold on the field.
  • Marquess Wilson – The wide receiver’s career has been filled with hard luck. Injuries have been his undoing. But, if Jeffery doesn’t return to the Bears Wilson’s familiarity with the system might make him a valuable re-signing.
  • Logan Paulson – The former Washington Redskins player came to Chicago with the reputation of being a reliable blocker. Unfortunately, it looks like those days have passed him given the way he allowed pass rushers to rush by him.

April 21 is the deadline for restricted free agents to sign an offer sheet from another team. Teams can protect the rights to a restricted free agent by tendering, at least, a one-year contract 

  • Josh Bellamy – Was the butt of tons of jokes because of his dropped passes (see above), but Bellamy is indisputably a very good special teams player. He is a restricted free-agent
  • Demontre Hurst and Christian Jones – The best of the remaining restricted free agents. Neither belongs on the field for long periods of time, but could be valuable back-up and special teams participants.
  • Connor Shaw – the quarterback intrigued some fans as a developmental possibility. He suffered a gruesome broken leg in his only pre-season action. In 2015, Shaw injured multiple ligaments in his thumb and one must wonder if he’s injury prone.

An exclusive restricted  free agent has lass than two accrued seasons in the NFL and must sign with his prior team if the team extends a minimum qualifying offer 

  • Bryce Callahan and Daniel Brown – Both are exclusive restricted free agents and both have had moments worthy of further look.

For a full list of all the Chicago Bears’ free-agents click the link to Spotrac.com

 

 

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Aldo Gandia

Aldo Gandia

Among my career highlights I have produced two films while in high school that received nationwide attention; leaned out of a helicopter over the Gulf of Suez at the age of 20 to shoot movies of oil rigs; won an Emmy award for a sports special and another for a kid's fitness show; and led a team of very talented creative professionals to produce break-through corporate communications.



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