Data Entry: Outlining My Ideal Free Agency

| March 6th, 2018

The Combine just ended and NFL free agency is about to kick off. Teams and agents were already talking in Indianapolis, and the official legal tampering period starts next Monday.

With that in mind, I’m going to lay out both positions and players I think the Bears should target. I’ll explain my rationale for each, detail why they are a good fit, and try to provide a contract estimate. I’m not going to address smaller depth needs – backup QB, 3rd RB, etc. Just the main contracts that will take up most of the cap room.

Salary Cap

The Bears are currently projected to have around $80 million in cap space after accounting for their eventual draft picks, so they have plenty of money to work with. They could also clear up to another $15 million by cutting Dion Sims ($5.7 million), Markus Wheaton ($5 million), and Marcus Cooper ($4.5 million).

As we’ll see below, however, they have a number of significant needs to address, and that’s before you begin to consider extensions for in-house candidates like Eddie Goldman, Adrian Amos, and Cam Meredith, which GM Ryan Pace said at the Combine were being discussed.

The Bears have money to spend. But they can’t just throw it around willy-nilly because that money won’t go as far as many might casually think from looking at the large number.

Wide Receiver

I’ve already spent a lot of time talking about wide receiver this offseason, so this discussion is going to be short. I think the Bears should try to add two players, one to be a WR2 and one as a WR3. There are plenty of FA options available for both roles who fit their new offense well.

As I stated before, my ideal targets would be Marqise Lee as the WR2 and Albert Wilson as the WR3. Lee has proven to be reliable, while Wilson knows the offense, and seemingly has a strong relationship with Matt Nagy. Both are fits.

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Why I’d Make a Deal For Muhammad Wilkerson

| March 21st, 2016


Muhammad Wilkerson will only be 26 years old when the 2016 season begins. And, if he’s medically cleared, he will be one of the best defensive ends in the sport. He is also available for the right price. But should the Bears pay it?

There are two sides to the Wilkerson coin. First, the Bears have to be willing to bail out of the 11th overall selection. There are not many foreseeable scenarios wherein the Bears don’t, at the very least, swap first round picks with the Jets (with the Bears throwing later picks into the mix as well). Second, the Bears will have to work out a deal with Wilkerson’s agent that is going to guarantee him no less than $40 million. Giving big money to defensive linemen is the biggest hit or miss prospect in the free agency game. For every Reggie White there’s been an Albert Haynesworth.

Would I make the deal? In a heartbeat. Wilkerson is the defensive piece that would immediately put the Bears over the top – a top tier defensive end with the ability to ruin games. Is that player available at 11? Maybe. But why play theoretical when the facts are right in front of you. Wilkerson has done it at the highest level and at 26 he’s going to be able to do it for the next 3-5 years. Is it a hefty price tag? You’re damn right it is. But spoiler alert, folks. Great players cost a lot of money. The reason the Bears have so much cap room is because they haven’t had any good players to pay for a long time.

Swap ones and try to convince the Jets to take an additional fourth. (It’ll probably cost a third but that’s fine.) Pay Wilkerson the contract he’s earned. Go from being a team expected to significantly improve in 2016 to a team that may very well contend for a division title or more.