2016 Chicago Bears Offseason Positional Needs
Chicago Bears Team Needs
The Chicago Bears finished last in the NFC North for the second consecutive year. Last offseason was the start of the rebuilding process. The Bears hired Ryan Pace to be their general manager and was promised to have the final call on players and coaches. Pace’s first decision was to hire veteran head coach John Fox to turn the Bears around.
This offseason Pace and Fox will look to sign players that can excel at key positions on the defensive side of the ball. Players that do not fit the scheme will not be resigned or will be traded. We have already seen this with Charles Tillman and Jared Allen last season. Here are the top positions the Bears will need to address this offseason:
1. Inside Linebacker
It is no surprise that the Bears need to replace their starting inside linebackers after finishing at the bottom of the league in run defense last year. Despite moving back to his natural position, it is obvious that Shea McClellin will not live up to his first-round selection.
Undrafted linebacker Christian Jones has had his moments on the field at times, but is more suited in a backup role and a special team standout. Other inside linebackers such as Jonathan Anderson, LaRoy Reynolds, and John Timu should be competing for a special team spot. The Bears must find solid replacements in order to control the run.
2. Defensive Line
There is no doubt that the Bears will address their defensive line this offseason. This unit was rated one of the worst 3-4 defenses in the entire league and they were especially bad at defensive end. The one bright spot is second-year nose tackle Eddie Goldman, who Pace selected in the second round in last years draft.
Jarvis Jenkins and Mitch Unrein recorded the most snaps at defensive end this past year. It looks as though they will not be back with the Bears as they are both free agents. Third-year pros that will be back are Will Sutton and Ego Ferguson.
Outside of Kyle Fuller the Bears are extremely thin at the cornerback position. A 3-4 requires athletic corners that can shut down an opposing team's wide receiver. Fuller will be entering his third year in the league and made positive strides last year despite a shaky rookie season.
Tracey Porter played well for the Bears last year but is a free agent. Pace must decide if Porter can hold down the cornerback position with Fuller another year. The Bears will still need to add depth and youth to one of their weakest positions.