The Bears could be looking to sign a Pro Bowl OL in the offseason
The Chicago Bears’ offensive line will need to be improved for the passing game to work. Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and quarterback Justin Fields have done a great job moving the ball down the field the past few weeks without good pass protection. Fields has done it with his legs. The Bears might be interested in signing a Pro Bowl offensive lineman in free agency to help the passing attack.
Brad Spielberger with Pro Football Focus wrote about the top ten free agents for 2023. Spielberger names Packers offensive lineman Elgton Jenkins as one of the best free agents expected to be available in the upcoming free agency period. They made the case that the Bears would likely be in the hunt to sign Jenkins:
The Chicago Bears with offensive coordinator Luke Getsy coming over from Green Bay this past offseason could not be a more ideal fit for his services, and they happen to have roughly $125 million in projected 2023 cap space at their disposal. If the Packers don’t work out an extension or place the tag on Jenkins, expect them to throw a literal bag at one of the league’s most versatile offensive linemen.
Jenkins would be a horrible signing for the Bears
The Bears will probably be aggressive in the free agency market for an offensive lineman. General manager Ryan Poles traded for wide receiver Chase Claypool knowing the pool for that position in free agency was bad. The Bears can skip that position in free agency and look for defense and offensive line help.
Jenkins isn’t a guy the Bears should consider. The 2020 Pro Bowl lineman sustained an ACL injury during the 2021 season. Before the injury, Jenkins took the place of All-Pro lineman David Bakhtiari and did well. Jenkins earned an 82.1 overall grade (the same grade for pass blocking) from Pro Football Focus in 2021.
However, Jenkins has not been the same since returning in 2022. He’s graded 67.7 overall for this season. Jenkins has been credited with giving up three sacks, 12 hurries, and 16 pressures. His pass-blocking grade is 59.4. He struggled mightily against the Cowboys in Week 10. In recent weeks, Jenkins’ poor play at tackle had the Packers coaching staff switch him over to left guard. He’s still not playing well at guard.
Besides the poor play, Jenkins is still marked as questionable to play pretty much week-to-week with teammate Bakhtiari. One doesn’t know how serious his knee injury is and if it will affect him in the future with the Bears. But he’s not going to the Pro Bowl this season and likely won’t return to one soon.
The Bears need a sure tackle
The Bears have plenty of options on the offensive line for their interior positions. The Bears need to pay a serious coin for only a Pro Bowl-worthy offensive lineman that can secure the left tackle position in pass blocking. (Potentially less money for a right-side tackle if rookie Braxton Jones can’t pass protect on the right either.)
Jenkins isn’t a sure thing to be a left tackle again. And he might not be able to stay healthy. The Bears have seen what happens this season when you have an offensive line unit full of guards who go down with injuries. The passing game suffers.
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