Who are five players the Chicago Bears should target in free agency?
The first day of NFL Free Agency was a wild ride around the league. The Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins led the surge during the first day of activity, seeing the Jags sign five and the Fins add four. In total, 15 teams added at least one player to leave more than half of the league without a new addition at the end of the first day.
The Chicago Bears were one of the 15 teams to make an addition, signing Larry Ogunjobi from the Cincinnati Bengals. Ogunjobi spent one season in Cincy after beginning his career with four seasons in Cleveland. Ogunjobi will bring a strong force to the interior of the Bears’ defense that finished 23rd in the league for rushing yards allowed in 2021.
While Ogunjobi is a great addition and one that will surely make a difference, there’s still a lot of work to be done on this Chicago defense. Earlier this offseason I touched on the offseason needs of the Bears and while defensive line was on the list, it was the last of the five needs on the list. What the Bears need to do now is focus on the other four positions left on that list.
According to spotrac.com, the Chicago Bears entered free agency with just under $37 million thanks to $24 million in dead cap from the Khalil Mack trade. That also included accounting for the money that will go towards draft picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. The deal with Ogunjobi is expected to account for about $13.5 million a season, leaving Chicago with roughly $23.5 million to work with the rest of the free agency.
That’s not a whole lot to work with and there also needs to be somewhat of a cushion in case they decide to trade picks. The players that Chicago decides to pursue need to be on the cheaper side while having upside to move forward. It’s a small window, but it is possible.