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NFL Draft

3 Offensive Free Agents Bears Should Target

  • The Draft Network
  • February 25, 2021
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The 2021 season has developed into a potential do-or-die campaign for Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace. Following consecutive .500 seasons, major questions loom within a roster currently unsure of its plan under center. However, with key pieces set to enter the open market in wide receiver Allen Robinson and guard Germain Ifedi, Pace is tasked with retooling an offense that has lacked punch as a unit. 

Following a failed trade for quarterback Carson Wentz, Nick Foles looks primed to take over the reins in Chicago, again, as Mitchell Trubisky’s time with the Bears has seemingly come to an end. For Pace, it would be wise to add playmakers around Foles and running back David Montgomery to provide relief to one of the league's top budding defensive units. The Bears currently sit $2.5 million over the cap, which isn’t a stranglehold, but Pace must get creative if he wants to add top-tier talent this spring.

Here are three players that could fit nicely into the Bears’ veteran offense. 

Austin Blythe, IOL, Los Angeles Rams

The manufactured game of musical chairs along Chicago’s offensive line in 2020 was an unwelcome shuffle for Trubisky, Foles, and Montgomery. A total of 10 linemen garnered snaps for Nagy’s unit up front, with eight of them totaling at least 300 snaps. As you could expect, the run game suffered, and the Bears finished 21st in the league in yards per carry (4.2). 

The Bears have failed to find the right combination within the interior of their line. The cap restraints hurt here, as Washington Football Team’s All-Pro guard Brandon Scherff or Green Bay Packer’s center Corey Linsley would be ideal plug and plays, but they simply don’t have the money. Enter Austin Blythe, who offers versatility at both center and guard for a large discount compared to the aforementioned All-Pros. 

With Ifedi, Alex Bars, and Rashaad Coward set to enter the open market, adding the durable and versatile Blythe, who’s missed just one game the past four campaigns, would provide Nagy a true anchor within the heart of his offensive line, a vacancy long unoccupied in Chicago. 

Corey Davis, WR, Tennessee Titans

There’s a lot of give-and-take here with Corey Davis. Allen Robinson has one foot out the door, but he hasn’t shot down a potential return to the Bears. 

However, I don’t see it happening. 

So, Davis is the clear headliner for Pace this spring, as he should do everything he can to sign the former Titan. Davis by no means is Robinson, but he represents the clear target within Chicago’s price range to pair with Darnell Mooney and Anthony Miller. Davis’ breakout 2020 campaign was a welcomed one in Tennessee after an underwhelming first three years following his subsequent selection as the fifth player taken in the 2017 NFL Draft. Davis tied a career-high in receptions (65), accumulated a career-best 984 yards receiving while hauling in five touchdowns, also a career-high. 

Davis, who is diving into his overall skill set as a wideout, ultimately has shown he succeeds within an offense that isn’t one-dimensional from a pass-game standpoint. Davis thrives when he doesn’t have the pressure to produce as a true X receiver. In Tennessee, he worked opposite A.J. Brown, who was the de facto top target for Ryan Tannehill. In Chicago, his role would undoubtedly increase, and the narrative could change in new threads; but if Pace were to dish out the required money to sign the 6-foot-3 wideout, don’t be shocked to see Mooney and Miller create a trio in Chicago that could surprise a lot of skeptics, instead of a one-man band that has failed the Bears in the past.

Nelson Agholor, WR, Las Vegas Raiders

Let’s be clear: I wouldn’t put it past Pace to sign a veteran quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick or Andy Dalton, who has prior experience with Bears offensive coordinator Bill Lazor; but it just doesn’t feel right with Chicago currently sitting with the 20th-overall selection that could be used on one of the tier-two quarterbacks in this year’s class. 

Instead, Chicago can add more pop to the wideouts room. Nelson Agholor would enjoy reuniting with Foles, who he worked well with during their Super Bowl title in Philadelphia. 

Since his departure from the Eagles, Agholor carved out a nice role within the Las Vegas Raiders offense totaling a career-high in receiving yards in 2020 with 896. Still just 27, Agholor offers juice both vertically, stretching defenses with his long strides, and within the second level on crossers and combo-routes, a role primarily served by Robinson and Mooney last year. 

If the Bears decide to cut Miller, inserting Agholor into the WR2 role opposite Davis would offer a formidable unit alongside Mooney, who enters his sophomore campaign. Miller has left much to be desired; with Cordarrelle Patterson set to enter free agency, Pace could opt to add Agholor into a young wide receiver room desperate for production if Robinson does indeed depart Chicago.

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