Mar 13, 2023 - Sports

Chicago Bears' offseason starts with a bang

Photo of two men on a football field.

Head coach Matt Eberflus and Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles. Photo: Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Today, NFL teams are allowed to start negotiating with players before the free agency period officially starts on Wednesday.

Why it matters: This offseason is off to a fast start, thanks to a blockbuster trade Friday night.

Driving the news: The Bears traded their No. 1 overall pick to the Carolina Panthers for star wide receiver DJ Moore and a slew of draft picks for this year and next.

  • Now they can focus on other needs in free agency.

By the numbers: Among NFL teams, the Bears have the most salary cap space available to sign free agents.

Reality check: Expectations are high for GM Ryan Poles to fix the roster holes that led to one of the worst seasons in franchise history.

Yes but: Poles has hinted he wants to rebuild the roster through the draft, not free agency.

Photo of a football player in uniform running on field
Offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey is reportedly high on the Bears list of free agents. Photo by Michael Owens/Getty Images

Free agency: Look for Chicago to make early offers to offensive and defensive linemen, because the Bears struggled on both sides of the ball in 2022.

Some players who could be on the Bears' radar:

O-Line: Mike McGlinchey (49ers), Ben Jones (Titans), Kaleb McGary (Falcons).

D-Line: Javon Hargrave (Eagles), Dre'mont Jones (Broncos), Arden Key (Jaguars).

  • The team is also linked to other defensive players like linebacker Bobby Okereke (Colts) and cornerback Jamel Dean (Bucs).

Draft: The Bears will now pick No. 9 overall in the draft, which could take them out of the running for the elite defensive players coming out of college.

Yes, but: They also added a second-round pick, which could produce another opening stay starter.

  • They also received the Panthers' first-round pick in 2024 and second-round pick for 2025.

The bottom line: Poles could reshape the Bears' roster for years to come.


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