Mark Potash: Analyzing the Bears’ flurry of free-agent agreements

The Bears made a big splash on the second day of “legal tampering” in NFL free agency Tuesday, agreeing to terms with wide receiver Allen Robinson, tight end Trey Burton and place-kicker Cody Parkey. The Sun-Times’ Bears beat writers — Patrick Finley, Adam Jahns and Mark Potash — take a look at how the Bears did and what impact it might make on the 2018 season.

Mark Potash’s take:

Allen Robinson over Sammy Watkins?

Considering the Bears’ wide receiver corps last year, does it really matter? Either player would be a huge upgrade. Robinson arguably has the higher ceiling, but also is the higher risk, coming off a torn ACL. At least Ryan Pace is in a little better position to roll the dice.

Allen Robinson celebrates a 17-16 victory over the Bears at Soldier Field with Jacksonville Jaguars teammates in 2016. Robinson had three receptions for 49 yards in that game. (Jeff Roberson/AP)

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Adam L. Jahns: Analyzing the Bears’ flurry of free-agent agreements
Patrick Finley: Analyzing the Bears’ flurry of free-agent agreements

Did the Bears solve their passing-game problems?

If everybody’s healthy, Mitch Trubisky at least should have an NFL-caliber receiving corps this season. Robinson is a proven big-play receiver who should create opportunities for other receivers. Taylor Gabriel adds speed, but so did Markus Wheaton. Tight end Trey Burton looks like a good fit — he scored three touchdowns (7 catches, 112 yards) in two games that Zach Ertz missed.

An underrated need is …

Place-kicker. Cody Parkey was 21-of-23 (91.3 percent) for the Dolphins last season. But that was last season.

The Bears can’t fix this in free agency …

Injury issues. If the Bears can’t stay healthy, Mitch Trubisky will have to develop into Aaron Rodgers or Drew Brees in a hurry to succeed.

The Bears should be excited about …

Valued free agents wanting to play for Matt Nagy and with Mitch Trubisky. But you shouldn’t be getting too excited about free agency. It’s only part of the process, and a complementary one to drafting and developing your own players.

Did Ryan Pace get his big signings right?

Free agency is too much of a crap-shoot to know that in March. But Pace aggressively attacked the biggest need by signing Allen Robinson. Assuming he’s the same player he was prior to the ACL injury, that alone gives Pace a head start to the offseason.

Follow me on Twitter @MarkPotash

Email: mpotash@suntimes.com

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