With the NFL Draft now a week in the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at players that are still on the free agent market. Though the Bears don’t have many glaring holes on the team, they still need some depth in certain sports.
Shane Ray (OLB) – Ray is a former all-American and first-round draft pick. His best season came in 2016, Denver’s Super Bowl year, when he tallied eight total sacks. His production went downhill in the following two seasons, as he only recorded two sacks while missing quite a few games due to injury. The upside for the Bears is his youth; he will only be 26 before the season starts. Also, he wouldn’t need to be the first or second option as an edge rushers. He would be worth a shot if the Bears could get him on a short-term, minimal money deal.
Morris Claiborne (CB) – Here is another former first-round talent that is looking for a new home. The last two seasons have been Claiborne’s best since his rookie season. Injuries have been an issue for him at times though. That is why testing these players for this depth is not an issue due to not having to worry about their usage as much. Claiborne put up good numbers last season by breaking up 14 passes. With plenty of young cornerbacks on the roster that are still developing, it couldn’t hurt to add depth with another veteran player.
Tre Boston (S) – Depth behind the two starting safeties is the most vulnerable spot on the roster. Boston would fit right in with what Pagano wants to build with this defense. He hasn’t missed much time in his career and has put a good numbers. His ability to pressure quarterbacks is an aspect of his that gets overlooked. Pagano could definitely utilize another player like that.
Stefen Wisniewski (C/G) – Teams can never have enough depth on the offensive line. The Bears could really use some another veteran presence to back up the young players already on the inside of that line. Wisniewski is durable and has rarely missed games throughout his career. If the Bears were to sign him, they would be adding in a former Super Bowl Champion to a team that is striving for that exact goal. Wisniewski’s best trait is his versatility; he can play anywhere on the inside of the offensive line.
Nick Perry (OLB) – An Ex-Packer? Yes, the talent is there for Perry. The biggest issue for him has been injuries. In 2016, he tallied 11 sacks in only 14 games played. In 2017, he tallied seven sacks in just 12 games. The ability to rotate Floyd and Perry would help keep everyone fresh. We know he can effectively get after the quarterback if he’s not the focal point for opponents to key on.
Training camp is still two months out. Plenty of moves will be made around the league before then. The Bears completed one transaction yesterday when they acquired Eddy Pineiro from the Raiders. Though unexpected, it is a low-cost move that could be a steal in the long run if he works out. There’s no doubting he has a passion for the game!
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