A lot of people aren’t happy with Ryan Poles right now. Here’s a new GM trying to rebuild an aging roster while inheriting a young quarterback in Justin Fields. You would think the Chicago Bears should feel more urgent in free agency. So far, this has not been the case. Although the team has made a number of signings, none of them can be called a mover. It was little more than one or two one- or two-year contracts for young players who were substitutes or part-time starters elsewhere.
The Bears’ only big swing was for Larry Ogunjobi, who failed due to a poor physical. Since then, the Poles have operated with remarkable patience. Some would say he was overly cautious. The team can’t wait forever with 40 spots still available. There is no way this approach will work. However, this is not necessarily the case. There is evidence to suggest that market waiting can be very beneficial for teams.
Last year alone is proof of that.
- April 13, 2021 – Cardinals sign James Connor to a one-year, $1.75 million deal
- April 14, 2021 – Browns sign Jadeveon Clowney to a one-year, $10 million deal
- April 14, 2021 – Cowboys sign Keanu Neal to a one-year, $4 million deal
- April 15, 2021 – Falcons sign Cordarrelle Patterson to a one-year, $3 million deal
- May 5, 2021 – Raiders sign Casey Heyward to a one-year, $4 million deal
All of these moves were made long after the first and second waves of free will had passed. Connor scored 18 touchdowns at Arizona and made the Pro Bowl. Clowney had nine sacks and 32 pressures in 14 games for Cleveland. Patterson had over 1,100 offensive yards and 11 touchdowns at Atlanta. Heyward was the best covering corner in Las Vegas last season. Each of these players was purchased for pennies.
The Bears have become a go-to destination leaving themselves plenty of spending money and plenty of vacancies on the roster. they thought they deserved.
What a Jamison Crowder glitch! 😱pic.twitter.com/mcrmH9i0Hg
– PFF (@PFF) October 2, 2020
Tavon Young will be missed in Baltimore pic.twitter.com/53pOGvehV3
— Kevin Oestreicher (@koestreicher34) March 10, 2022
Ryan Poles still has plenty of options there too
Everyone thinks the best players are long gone and there’s no one left to make a meaningful contribution. This is simply not the case. Several big names stay there. Some might even get a discount due to their inability to land a more lucrative contract. If the Bears are smart with their approach, landing two or three of them wouldn’t be too difficult.
- Terron Armstead
- La’El Collins
- Tyrant Matthew
- Jarvis Landry
- J.-C. Tretter
- Jamison Crowder
- Tavon Young
- Jarran Roseau
- steven nelson
Not a terrible list of options.
“Ryan Poles has no reason to feel rushed. He knows the Bears aren’t going to struggle this year. The roster has too many holes and not enough resources to fill them all. His job has to be to secure the space future course while adding young free agents who could evolve within their culture. If he lands a few shots, great. Then in 2023, when he has a full deck, he can be more aggressive. It’s about trusting his patient approach to deliver results.
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