The Chicago Bears let Sam Mustipher walk in free agency again in yet another questionable move by Chicago Bears GM Ryan Poles.
Sam Mustipher is not a long-term starter, he’s not a quality starter and was arguably the worst offensive lineman on the Chicago Bears roster last year. He should not have started ahead of Lucas Patrick or Teven Jenkins at center or right guard. I called for him to be benched after his pathetic week two performance against the Green Bay Packers last year.
That said, Sam Mustipher should have been retained as a quality backup who can play both guard and center in a pinch. Ryan Poles just made the Chicago Bears’ offensive line worse by not retaining Mustipher to play in a strictly backup role. My opinion is not because I like Mustipher, it’s just a reality in today’s NFL. You need players who have seen war in the trenches, who have been healthy, who know your system and who are young. Those are the exact qualities the Baltimore Ravens likely saw in Mustipher when they signed him to a one-year contract.
Mustipher has started 40 of a possible 43 career games with the Chicago Bears which is ideal for a high-quality backup, which is precisely what he should be. The Bears are instead completely resetting the developmental and experience clock and hoping either Doug Kramer a 2022 sixth-round draft pick who is recovering from a major injury or Ja’Tyre Carter a seventh-round pick is up to the task of being one of the top three backups the Bears will need in 2023.
If either Carter or Kramer wind up playing this season it will be the first time they’ve seen any game reps in regular season action. That’s not how you build up quality depth in your organization and it’s a constant failure from Poles. Poles constantly talks about guys who fit his system and fit his culture, a narrow-minded focus that in the case of Teven Jenkins completely ignored his talent, and now in the case of Sam Mustipher ignores the starting experience that could qualify him as being kept as a young backup with starting experience in the trenches.
At some point, Ryan Poles is going to have to stop making mistakes because it’s beginning to be obvious that he doesn’t know what he’s doing or how he plans to construct the Chicago Bears’ roster.
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