Everyone is talking about Orlando Brown Jr or Lamar Jackson being on the move, but other big-name players in the NFL are available this upcoming Monday. These three players could change the shape of the Bears franchise. Can Ryan Poles finesse his way through a loaded class and top cap space number in the NFL?
Tackle Jawaan Taylor
Justin Fields was under pressure almost constantly during the 2022 campaign. Even with pass rushers in his face all the time, he remained explosive and showed his talents. Now the Bears have the most cap space in the league and have decided that Fields is their guy. Protecting him should be the top priority for this leadership group; by going out and getting this done in Free Agency gives them way more flexibility when it comes to the draft.
With the addition of D.J Moore and the extra pick this offense could really be something if they add more protection for fields.
Taylor had a shaky start to his career but has significantly grown over the past two seasons to a premier pass protector. Trevor Lawrence benefited greatly from Taylors’ protection. I think he can have a similar effect coming over to Chicago and be a foundation piece for the online to rebuild. The Bears end up giving him a four-year 62, million dollar deal with 38 guaranteed.
Defensive Tackle Javon Hargrave
The Bears have had one of the worst rushing defenses in the league for the past two years, and they need an identity on defense to complement Justin Fields. Hargrave can come into the defensive line and do a similar thing that Jawan Taylor brings; attitude and energy. Javon has often been forgotten, even though he is an outstanding player. The Bears could get a tremendous asset out of him.
Harvgrave adds even more since he was recently on a Super Bowl roster. He could be named captain and be a locker room guy who could help the young players.
Javon can rush the passer and anchor the line of scrimmage against the run game. The Bears can offer him a three-year 56 million dollar deal with 34 million dollars guaranteed.
Defensive Back Jamel Dean
After these two relatively large deals, the Bears still have 64 million dollars on the cap to spend. So if you want to build a championship-caliber team, get players on your roster who have won playoff games, Dean not only went to the Super Bowl but also won one.
Dean is a physical press corner who can tackle and has the ability to play zone, and he can fit into almost any defense and contribute right away as a playmaker. The Bears currently have Kyler Gordon and Jaylon Jones, but adding this type of veteran presence and talent will elevate the back side of the defense.
Dean will be demanding a decent-sized contract, but it still would be under the franchise tag annually. So I have them signing him to a three-year 54 million dollar deal with 29 guaranteed. After this signing, the Bears still have 49 million dollars, so let’s add one or two more players.
Tight End Dalton Schultz
Some of you may wonder why the Bears should spend any money on Dalton Shultz when we have Cole Kmet. Well, the answer to that is that they can both be on the field at the same time. Kmet typically plays inline, and Shultz has spent 43% of his snaps in the slot; this is another weapon for Fields to hit between the numbers.
The D.J. Moore deal doesn’t have to kill this signing. Two tight-end sets bring more mismatches, and Schultz certainly can help Kmet learn a few tricks of the trade. Tight Ends are safety blankets, and with a true number one in Moore, the coverage will be soft on them, making them a dangerous combo with Mooney stretching the field and Claypool’s athletic
The Bears don’t have to mortgage the future to sign him, either. I project them to sign him to a two-year 28 million dollar deal fully guaranteed.
Linebacker Bobby Okereke
Matt Eberfluis coached Bobby in Indianapolis and was part of the reason he developed into such a polarizing player. He showed that he could be a top-tier linebacker due to Shaq Leonard’s injury issues; I think that breakout plus a reunion with his former coordinator would give him the ability to become another leader on this team and for this defense that he desperately needs it.
During his time with Eberfluis, Okereke had his highest-graded season by PFF. This would be a three-year deal worth about eight million fully guaranteed.
Aaron Rodgers is on his way out of the division, and this is a rather unique situation where they don’t need a quarterback and have the highest cap space in the NFL. So adding these five players and trading back from the first overall pick (and possibly more than that) could catapult them to the top of the division.