The lockout has really put a damper on the Bear’s plans about what to do at the outside linebacker position opposite Lance Briggs. Currently, they do not have either Pisa Tinoisamoa or Nick Roach under contract and that leaves just semi-experienced veterans Brian Iwuh and Rod Wilson to go along with Chris Johnson and Patrick Trahan along with rookie J.T. Thomas to play the position.That’s quite scary.
The Bears are going to have to try to sign either Roach or Tinoisamoa or both to help make sure that they don’t struggle at the position next season. Consider that a priority as soon as the lockout is over.
Unless the NFL lifts the lockout soon and offers some sort of free agency plan this may be the only way that the Bears are going to be able to keep that position somewhat solid next season.
Depending on how things work out with free agency (remember that the Bears could be restricted if the league goes with those rules that they used in 2010 limiting those teams that were the final eight playoff teams and right now the league is looking at applying those 2010 rules when the lockout is lifted) Chicago could try to grab a free agent outside linebacker either to compete for a starting spot or add some better depth.
But that’s if free agency is available, the Bears can participate in it, if there is someone good enough to draw their interest and if they are willing to pay some money for an outside linebacker.
The most likely scenario for the Bears after the lockout is over is that they sign both Roach and Tinoisamoa and let them battle it out. Yes, Tinoisamoa has a problem staying healthy but at this point the Bears may not have any other choice.
So look for the Bears to have Roach and Tinoisamoa, once again, battle for a starting spot at the outside linebacker position whenever training camp starts.
But hopefully the Bears will be able to realize next offseason that they have a need at the outside linebacker position and will take care of it through the draft or through free agency.