The Bears have money to snag a Pro Bowl lineman
The Chicago Bears are flush with cash heading into the free agency period. They need it. The Bears will need to add some playmakers to their mediocre roster before they run to the 2023 NFL Draft with the number one pick. A Bears insider thinks the Bears’ best option is a Pro Bowl-caliber offensive tackle.
The NFL increased the overall salary cap to $224.8 million for each team next season. The Bears should have approximately $98 million for next season. That leaves them with ample leverage to outbid other NFL teams for star players. But the unknown factor is what upcoming free agents will not re-sign with their current team.
The Bears’ most realistic option
The Bears’ most prominent, but not exclusive, needs are at wide receiver, the offensive line, and the defensive line. Adam Jahns of The Athletic wrote in his mailbag about potential free agents the Bears could sign. One fan asked Jahns who the Bears’ “most realistic option” in free agency is. Jahns thinks offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. is who the Bears can sign:
“Any list of potential free-agent pursuits for the Bears should start with Chiefs left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Poles is connected to Brown through the Chiefs. Signing Brown would then allow Braxton Jones to shift to right tackle. The Bears’ line would instantly look better.”
Brown would be an excellent pickup for the Bears. The Chiefs starting left tackle had a phenomenal season in which he reached the Pro Bowl for the fourth consecutive time. Brown earned a 75.8 overall grade by Pro Football Focus this season.
Brown gave up four sacks of quarterback Patrick Mahomes and 47 pressures this season during his whopping 769 pass-blocking snaps. For a Bears unit that needs discipline, Brown could help there. He was flagged just six times during his 1,133 snaps in the regular season. Browns’ downside for the Bears, he only blocked for rushing plays 364 times this season. General manager Ryan Poles seems more interested in players who can run block, even at skilled positions, versus building up the passing attack.
Another pricey option for a Pro Bowl player
Another option for the Bears that Jahns mentioned that I like better is Daron Payne. The defensive lineman made the Pro Bowl in 2022. Although, as Jahns notes, his services will not come cheap:
“Or do the Bears pursue Washington’s Daron Payne for their defensive line instead? The NFL informed teams of this year’s franchise-tag amounts on Monday, too. It’s $18,937,000 for defensive tackles.”
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