As Chicago’s roster takes shape after what was thought to be a monumental offseason, it’s becoming clear who may or may not be key parts of the team going forward, despite what was previously believed. Here are three winners and three losers of the 2023 offseason.
Fields has to make this list because the team announced with authority that Fields is The Guy.
Even after last season, it was fair to question if the Bears viewed Fields as the quarterback they wanted moving forward. (If we all acknowledge the moves Poles made this offseason show the team’s commitment to Fields, then we must also acknowledge that the moves Poles made last year showed uncertainty about the young quarterback.) The Bears did their homework on the quarterbacks in the draft — a decent group — and instead decided to stick with Fields, knowing they almost certainly wouldn’t be in position to draft a replacement next year.
Poles added a top-20 wide receiver and replaced the entire right side of the offensive line. He signed a free agent running back and drafted another; added a wide receiver in the draft and signed a tight end who has been a productive player in the NFL.
Fields is the guy, now he has to reward the faith.
Jenkins might have to fight for his job but there’s no question he will enter training camp as the favorite to start at left guard. Many expected the Bears to spend a Day Two pick on either a center or a guard. Instead, the team didn’t draft a single interior offensive lineman. That means Jenkins is penciled in at left guard with Cody Whitehair shifting to center and Lucas Patrick backing both of them up.