After Day 1, a look at the Bears’ remaining free-agent needs
Subscribe for unlimited digital access.
Try one month for $1!
Subscribe for unlimited digital access. Try one month for $1!
The Bears addressed two needs by agreeing to add starting nickel back Buster Skrine and versatile running back Mike Davis on Monday, the first day of the NFL’s legal free-agency tampering period.
As they move into Day 2 — teams can negotiate with agents but players can’t officially sign until Wednesday — the Bears still have work to do. Here are their biggest areas of need:
Starting safety: A deep class didn’t prevent the top of the market — Landon Collins (Redskins), Tyrann Mathieu (Chiefs), Kenny Vaccaro (Titans) and Lamarcus Joyner (Raiders) — from cashing in. Can the Bears get a bargain in the middle of the free-agent pack? Adrian Amos, who started 56 games in four years for them, will join the Packers.
Kicker: The Bears don’t figure to go into the draft with only Redford Jones and Chris Blewitt — combined NFL snaps: zero — in the fold. The only question is if they feel the pressure to add a kicker this week or later this month. Punter Pat O’Donnell is a free agent.
Another wide receiver or two: Josh Bellamy agreed to a two-year deal with the Jets worth $2.75 million guaranteed and as much as $7 million overall, a source confirmed Monday night. That leaves the Bears with exactly three wide receivers who caught more than four passes last year: Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and Anthony Miller. The Bears will be on the lookout for a speed guy at receiver and perhaps another one who can contribute on special teams.
Blocking tight end: The Bears gave tight end Ben Braunecker a two-year deal on Monday morning, locking up a core special-teamer who caught three passes for 42 yards last year. They still need an in-line blocker, though, and that’s not Braunecker.
Another edge rusher: No one expected the Bears to find a backup outside linebacker on the first day of discussions. In a few days, though, after the initial rush of starters signing, the Bears figure to sharpen their focus on a veteran to play behind Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd. There’s no such thing as too many edge rushers.