Adam Bielawski via Pixabay
Very simply put, the Bears are a mess. They’re an 8-8 playoff team with a middle of the road draft pick and 30 pending free agents. They have an offensive minded coach who has led the Bears to 18 games in which they’ve scored one or fewer touchdowns, and have no cap space to work with. This is an absolutely pivotal offseason in which I’d like to see the following moves made.
1-Fire Nagy and Pagano*. Nagy was brought in as an offensive mastermind. I don’t care how many playoffs he’s made nor do I care what his record is. He is a HC with a .560 win% that can’t call plays to save his life. He dumps responsibility for losses on his players, and is the only offensive guru I can think of to have to give up play calling halfway through the season.
Pagano, on the other hand cannot, scheme a defense to save his life. Watching Danny Trevathan try to match up with Marquez Valdez-Scantling in the slot with Aaron Rodgers at QB and no safety help was the last straw. He has a defensive line that takes up a quarter of the cap space and still cannot scheme a pass rush to save his life.
2-Tag and trade Allen Robinson. He is tired of the Bears, frustrated that he did not get extended, and has made that known. Why let our best offensive weapon walk with no return? Tag him, trade him for some draft capital, and then let another team sign him to an extension.This way we get some return, he gets a new contract elsewhere, and we can ensure he doesn’t end up with a team like the Packers where we have to see him twice a year.
3-Clear cap through the trade market. I’d like to see Kyle Fuller be moved this offseason.He’s a solid corner who is about to hit 30 and struggles in man to man. Trading him frees up 11 million in cap space and gets the Bears at the very least a couple of picks.
A similar move could be made by trading Hicks, which would free up around ten million dollars in cap space, and would allow Bilal Nichols to step up and fulfill the role of the nasty interior run stuffer.
4-PLEASE ADDRESS THE QB SITUATION. Dak Prescott, Philip Rivers, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jameis Winston, Jacoby Brissett, and a few other free agent names are out there right now, including Watson on the trade block in Houston. While Prescott is likely the only longterm guy on that list, I would be more than content if the Bears signed a veteran to a one year deal and drafted a QB in the second round of what is shaping up to be a solid QB draft. A package of Nichols and Fuller along with two first rounders would possibly be enough to right the wrongs of Ryan Pace and bring in Watson, something I’d be more than happy to see.
5-Take a first round OT. The Bears offensive line finally clicked at the end of the season, but they are still a piece away. This is a solid tackle draft and the Bears should have some guys available at 20, so assuming they resign Ifedi, I’d be more than happy with them going into training camp with a first round OT, Charles Leno, Cody Whitehair, James Daniels, San Mustipher, Alex Bars, and Ifedi. Whitehair and Daniels at Guard, Mustipher at center, andLeno/Ifedi at Tackle along with a first round tackle would be fantastic. I’d also love to see us let 32 year old Bobby Massie walk to save 6.7 million in cap space.
At the end of the day, the Bears have a lot of work to do, but with the right moves, RyanPace could have them right back in playoff contention.
*Article written prior to Pagano’s announced retirement.