Chicago Bears Unlikely to Bring Back Most Remaining Free Agents

The Chicago Bears have been relatively quiet in free agency this year, signing only a handful of players to fill some of their roster holes. While they still have some cap space left, they are unlikely to bring back most of their remaining free agents from last season. Here are some reasons why:

  • Age and injury concerns: Some of the Bears’ free agents are on the wrong side of 30 and have a history of injuries. For example, defensive end Akiem Hicks, who turns 32 in November, missed 11 games in 2019 and four games in 2020 with various ailments. He is still a productive player when healthy, but he may not be worth the risk or the price tag for the Bears. Similarly, cornerback Buster Skrine, who is 32, suffered a concussion in Week 13 last year and missed the rest of the season. He also struggled in coverage and was penalized frequently. The Bears may look for younger and cheaper options at these positions.
  • Scheme and fit issues: Some of the Bears’ free agents may not fit well with the new coaching staff or the schemes they plan to implement. For example, offensive tackle Bobby Massie, who is 31, played in a run-heavy offense under former coach Matt Nagy, but he may not be suited for the more balanced and diverse approach that new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor wants to use. Massie also missed 14 games in the last two seasons with injuries and was a liability in pass protection. The Bears may prefer to draft a more athletic and versatile tackle to protect their new quarterback Justin Fields. Similarly, linebacker Barkevious Mingo, who is 30, played in a 3-4 defense under former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, but he may not have a clear role in the 4-3 defense that new defensive coordinator Sean Desai wants to use. Mingo was mainly a special teams player and a backup last year, and the Bears may have enough depth at linebacker without him.
  • Financial and draft implications: Some of the Bears’ free agents may be too expensive or redundant for the team to re-sign. For example, wide receiver Allen Robinson, who is 28, received the franchise tag from the Bears, which means he will earn $17.9 million this year if he signs it. However, he may still seek a long-term deal with more guaranteed money and security from the Bears or another team. The Bears may not be able to afford him or match his market value, especially after they traded up to draft Fields and gave up some future draft picks. The Bears also have other young and promising receivers on their roster, such as Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller, who may be ready to step up and fill Robinson’s role. Similarly, running back Tarik Cohen, who is 26, is coming off a torn ACL that sidelined him for most of last season. He is a dynamic playmaker when healthy, but he may not have a big role in Lazor’s offense, which favors more power running and less gadget plays. The Bears also have other capable running backs on their roster, such as David Montgomery and Damien Williams, who may be able to handle the workload without Cohen.

In conclusion, the Bears are unlikely to bring back most of their remaining free agents from last season for various reasons related to age, injury, scheme, fit, finance and draft implications. They may still re-sign some of them if they lower their demands or accept lesser roles, but they may also look elsewhere for better value or potential upgrades.

Final Thoughts: Why the Chicago Bears are Unlikely to Re-Sign Most of their Remaining Free Agents

The Chicago Bears have made some significant changes to their roster during the offseason, but they are unlikely to bring back most of their remaining free agents from last season. This decision is based on several factors, such as age, injury history, scheme fit, financial constraints, and draft implications.

Some of the Bears’ free agents are on the wrong side of 30 and have a history of injuries, which can make them a risky investment for the team. For example, Akiem Hicks and Buster Skrine are both 32 and have missed significant playing time due to injuries. Moreover, some of the Bears’ free agents may not fit well with the new coaching staff or the schemes they plan to implement.

For instance, Bobby Massie played in a run-heavy offense under former coach Matt Nagy, but he may not be suited for the more balanced and diverse approach that new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor wants to use.

Additionally, Barkevious Mingo played in a 3-4 defense under former defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano, but he may not have a clear role in the 4-3 defense that new defensive coordinator Sean Desai wants to use.

Financial constraints and draft implications also play a significant role in the Bears’ decision-making process. Allen Robinson received the franchise tag from the Bears, which means he will earn $17.9 million this year if he signs it.

However, he may still seek a long-term deal with more guaranteed money and security from the Bears or another team. The Bears may not be able to afford him or match his market value, especially after trading up to draft Justin Fields and giving up some future draft picks.

Finally, the Bears have other young and promising players on their roster who may be ready to step up and fill the roles of some of the departing free agents.

Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller are two such players who have shown promise as receivers, and David Montgomery and Damien Williams can both handle the workload at running back without Tarik Cohen.

In conclusion, the Bears are making a calculated decision not to re-sign most of their remaining free agents from last season. While some of these players have been productive and valuable to the team, their age, injury history, scheme fit, financial constraints, and draft implications have made them less attractive options for the Bears moving forward.