The Chicago Bears finally have new management. With the Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus era ready to begin, no one knows how they will approach this team. Let’s take a look at three offseason moves the Chicago Bears could make.
1.) Bring In A Veteran Wide Receiver
Darnell Mooney should be a perfect partner for Justin Fields. Mooney’s deep threat ability is impressive and Justin Fields throws the best deep ball Chicago has seen since Jay Cutler. However, this offense needs more than one good weapon.
Allen Robinson is coming off of a brutal 2021 season. Some are pointing out that Matt Nagy iced him out of the offense because of a contract dispute. Others are just saying Robinson is washed up and this is the start of his decline. Either way, Allen Robinson will most likely not be back in 2022. Chicago needs new weapons on offense.
Bringing in a guy like Brandin Cooks could be the perfect solution. Cooks has had over 1,000 receiving yards in six of his last seven seasons. At 28 years old, he still has plenty of juice left in his game as well.
He’s a guy who Chicago would have to eat a lot of money for, but could provide a huge boost to this offense as well as help Justin Fields in his development. His 16 million dollar cap hit isn’t appealing, but Houston could look to trade him for nothing or even give up a draft pick to get him off of their books.
Chicago has 25 million dollars in salary cap space without making any cap saving moves heading into the 2022 off-season. If Ryan Poles wants to surround Justin Fields with talent in 2022, adding a proven veteran playmaker like Cooks would be a good under-the-radar move while gaining a late-round draft pick.
Another possibility is that Brandin Cooks becomes a cap-casualty in Houston and Chicago is able to sign him as a free agent at a much lower salary.
Projected Trade Compensation:
- Chicago receives: Brandon Cooks, 2022 6th round (183rd overall) draft pick, 2022 6th round (206th overall) draft pick
- Houston receives: 2022 6th round (185th overall) draft pick
2.) Trade Back From Pick #39
Ryan Poles inherited a less-than-ideal situation from former general manager Ryan Pace. With only five draft picks in 2022 and an aging roster. Chicago needs an injection of youth and talent.
The NFL draft is often times called a “crap shoot” because of how unpredictable it is. Players drafted in the top 50 picks sometimes ‘bust’, players drafted outside of the top 50 sometimes hit. It’s common sense, but taking as many “dart-throws” as possible could be a good way of adding talent without a first round draft pick.
To gain extra picks, Chicago is going to have to trade back from #39 overall. At the top of the second round is where we often see the most trades of the draft. With teams having a night to reassess and reconstruct draft boards, there’s a great chance teams will be calling for that pick.
If Chicago could trade back with a contender trying to win-now, they might be able to add a few extra draft picks in 2022 in the process.
A potential trade with the Los Angeles Chargers could make some sense. Brandon Staley and the Chargers are fighting to make the playoffs in a tough AFC conference.
Los Angeles has eleven draft picks in the upcoming draft. Trading away a few late round picks while jumping up ten spots in the draft could be beneficial for both sides. The Chicago Bears offseason would be a major success if they pulled off a trade of this caliber, while still drafting a difference maker.
*Note: Chicago traded up from 52nd overall to 39th overall last year and gave up their 3rd round pick (83rd overall) in the process as well, a trade of this size isn’t unrealistic.
- Chicago receives: Los Angeles Chargers 2nd round draft pick (49th overall, 4th round (119th overall), 5th round (158th overall), 6th round (195th overall), 7th round (251st overall)
- Los Angeles receives: Chicago Bears 2nd round draft pick (39th overall)
3.) Prioritize Offense In The Draft
This is slightly more open ended for a Chicago Bears offseason move. Ryan Poles inherited Justin Fields. We assume that he likes Justin Fields and believes in him, but he did not make the choice to trade up for him and name him the next franchise quarterback.
Poles will have to find out as soon as possible if Justin Fields is the answer in Chicago. Similar to why the Bears need to bring in a veteran wide receiver, they also need to bring in young talent at offensive line and also at receiver.
Offensive Line Questions
Last season’s starting left tackle, right guard and right tackle Jason Peters, James Daniels and Germain Ifedi, respectively are all set to become a free agents. Teven Jenkins is still an unknown At left tackle. Poles has to operate as if he is the starter, but that shouldn’t hinder him from adding more talent along the offensive line.
Sam Mustifer was also below average as a starting center for Chicago last year and Poles could look to upgrade there as well.
Questions At Receiver
As mentioned above, Allen Robinson is most likely gone this offseason. Without many proven options on the roster to begin with, Chicago needs to continue to add playmakers, even if they do bring in a veteran like Brandin Cooks.
Drafting a wide receiver on day two of the draft would give Chicago a nice mix of veteran and youth talent.
A player like Chris Olave in the second round would be a perfect fit for Chicago. Although many draft analysts think me may be gone by then, Olave and Justin Fields’ chemistry from Ohio State would help both of their developments immensely.
Another option could be small-school standout, Christian Watson. Watson displayed surprising agility and route-running acumen at the Reese’s Senior Bowl last month. At 6’4” he would also add a different body-style to the receiver room as well when paired with 5’11” Darnell Mooney.
Adding two or three new pass-catchers to this offense should be a priority for Ryan Poles as he tries to distinguish if Justin Fields is a star quarterback or not.
Chicago Bears Offseason Conclusion
“There’s a heigh ceiling. It’s just putting him [Justin Fields] in a position to succeed and seeing how high that ceiling really is.”— Ryan Poles
The Chicago Bears offseason is going to be filled with moves. The defense is aging and the offense is under-developed. However, finding out if Justin Fields can be a great quarterback will be the priority. Building an offense to cater to his strengths will be offensive coordinator Luke Getsy’s number one priority. Getting Luke Getsy all of the players he needs sounds like it will be Ryan Poles’ number one priority.