In his second offseason with the Chicago Bears, basic supervisor Ryan Poles has loads of salary-cap house to remodel a roster that completed 3-14 in 2022.
With the NFL’s new league yr now right here, permitting free brokers to start signing with new groups, the Tribune will observe all the Bears’ arrivals and departures and supply perception into what they imply.
The free-agency negotiation window opened throughout the league at 11 a.m. Monday. Unrestricted free brokers may finalize offers when the brand new league yr started at 3 p.m. Wednesday.
The Bears launched backup quarterback Trevor Siemian.
What it means: Siemian, 31, was the backup to beginning quarterback Justin Fields in 2022.
He performed in two video games and made one begin in November towards the New York Jets when Fields was out with a left shoulder damage. Siemian injured his indirect earlier than that recreation however nonetheless performed, finishing 14 of 25 passes for 179 yards, a landing and an interception. But the Bears positioned Siemian on injured reserve after the sport as he underwent surgical procedure on his indirect.
The Bears signed quarterback P.J. Walker on Wednesday to be the brand new backup.
The Bears signed journeyman defensive sort out Andrew Billings, in keeping with his representatives at SportsTrust Advisors.
What it means: To this level the Bears have executed little to fortify their line of defense, and the addition of Billings on a one-year, $3.5 million deal provides them a flexible inside defender who has began 51 video games throughout his profession.
Billings, 28, entered the NFL as a fourth-round select of Baylor in 2016 and spent three years with the Cincinnati Bengals. He signed with the Cleveland Browns in 2020 however opted out of that season through the COVID-19 pandemic and performed solely six video games the next yr earlier than the Browns waived him. Last season, Billings began 14 video games for the Las Vegas Raiders and contributed 39 tackles and a sack.
The Bears are nonetheless pushing so as to add depth and competitors to the inside of their line of defense whereas additionally hoping to seek out go speeding assist.
“I feel comfortable between the rest of free agency as well as the draft that we can get that group as good as we possibly can,” basic supervisor Ryan Poles mentioned Thursday. “At the same time, there are going to be some weak spots on our roster where we can’t fix everything.”
The Bears agreed to phrases with quarterback PJ Walker on a two-year contract.
What it means: The arrival of Walker possible provides the Bears a brand new backup to Justin Fields. Walker, 28, began seven video games over the earlier three seasons for the Carolina Panthers, going 2-3 final season when Sam Darnold was injured. The former Temple standout spent two seasons on the Indianapolis Colts follow squad starting in 2017 and starred within the USFL for the Houston Roughnecks in 2020 earlier than COVID-19 shortened the season.
After the USFL stint, he reunited with former Temple coach Matt Rhule with the Panthers in 2020 and began one recreation that season and one in 2021.
Walker’s talent set extra intently matches that of Fields as he could be elusive within the pocket, and which may have been engaging to the Bears.
Adding Walker creates doubt about the way forward for Trevor Siemian, the No. 2 quarterback final season. The former Northwestern QB began the 31-10 highway loss to the New York Jets in Week 12 regardless of struggling an indirect damage in pregame warmups. Siemian wound up having surgical procedure and completed the season on injured reserve. He’s underneath contract for this season with a base wage of $1.865 million and a $100,000 exercise bonus.
Walker’s 2022 season featured one of many high highlights of the season as he accomplished a 62-yard Hail Mary landing go to new Bears huge receiver D.J. Moore within the closing seconds of an October recreation in Atlanta.
The landing tied the rating at 34, however Moore eliminated his helmet on the sector in celebration and the 15-yard penalty for that infraction pushed the additional level again to 48 yards. Eddy Pineiro missed, sending the sport to time beyond regulation, and the Falcons received on a area purpose.
The Bears made 5 free-agent signings and the commerce of the No. 1 decide official.
What it means: The new league yr started at 3 p.m. Wednesday, and the Bears introduced their beforehand reported offers with linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards, defensive finish DeMarcus Walker, offensive lineman Nate Davis and working again Travis Homer, pending physicals. Edmunds agreed to a four-year deal, whereas Edwards, Walker and Davis are on three-year offers and Homer on a two-year deal.
The Bears additionally introduced the commerce of the 2023 No. 1 draft decide to the Carolina Panthers. The Bears obtained a 2023 first-round decide (No. 9), a 2023 second-round decide (No. 61), a 2024 first-round decide, a 2025 second-round decide and huge receiver D.J. Moore.
“Having the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft gave us a tremendous opportunity to take steps forward this season and in our plan of building long term,” Bears basic supervisor Ryan Poles mentioned in an announcement.
“We are excited about the additional picks acquired, including staying in the top ten selections this year, but also the addition of a proven and dynamic playmaker in DJ Moore. We had multiple aggressive offers to consider, but in the end it felt right for both teams in what Panthers GM Scott Fitterer presented and it keeps us in an area of this year’s draft that we really like.”
Poles, Moore and the opposite free brokers are scheduled to talk with reporters Thursday morning at Halas Hall.
Running again David Montgomery is signing a three-year cope with the Detroit Lions, ESPN reported.
What it means: After 4 seasons with the Bears, Montgomery joins their NFC North rival on a deal reportedly value $18 million with $11 million assured.
The 2019 third-round decide rushed for 3,609 yards and 26 touchdowns in 60 video games for the Bears, averaging 3.9 yards per carry. He additionally had 155 catches for 1,240 yards and 4 touchdowns. His greatest season was 2020, when he topped 1,000 speeding yards and had a career-high eight touchdowns and 4.3 yards per carry.
Montgomery was a favourite of many throughout his time at Halas Hall due to his work ethic and character. Poles mentioned earlier this offseason he would like to hold the working again in Chicago, however he famous the contract must work out.
The Bears return Khalil Herbert, who totaled 731 speeding yards and 4 touchdowns in 2022, his second season within the league. Herbert’s 5.7 yards per carry was greatest within the NFL amongst working backs.
The Bears are signing former Seattle Seahawks working again Travis Homer, a supply confirmed.
What it means: A short while after Montgomery’s deal was introduced, information got here out that the Bears agreed so as to add Homer on a two-year deal that ESPN reported is value a most of $4.5 million.
Homer was a sixth-round decide by the Seahawks in 2019. In his first 4 years, he rushed for 453 yards on 83 carries and had 52 catches for 464 yards and two touchdowns. He additionally had 18 kickoff returns for 444 yards and a landing and 26 particular groups tackles.
It stays to be seen if the Bears will add one other working again as a complement to Herbert past Homer, who has worth on particular groups in addition to offense.
The Bears are signing former Tennessee Titans defensive finish DeMarcus Walker, a league supply confirmed.
What it means: Walker, 28, is a six-year NFL veteran coming off a profession season with the Titans during which he had seven sacks, 16 quarterback hits and 10 tackles for a loss in 17 video games. He was a second-round decide by the Denver Broncos in 2017 and performed in 36 video games for them with 5 begins, notching 10½ sacks over 4 seasons. He had two sacks in 13 video games with the Houston Texans in 2021.
Walker’s deal is for 3 years and $21 million with $16 million assured, a league supply mentioned.
The Bears had been in determined want of assist at defensive finish after totaling simply 20 sacks in 2022. Poles traded Khalil Mack final offseason and Robert Quinn at midseason and launched Al-Quadin Muhammad final month, leaving restricted choices on the place. Walker joins a gaggle that features Trevis Gipson and Dominique Robinson.
Inside linebacker Tremaine Edmunds is becoming a member of the Bears on a four-year, $72 million deal, a supply confirmed.
What it means: The Bears secured one other playmaker for a protection in want of them and have assured Edmunds $50 million on a four-year contract settlement. The signing is notable after the group hit an deadlock final fall in its negotiations with linebacker Roquan Smith. Smith was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a second-round decide and later signed an extension in Baltimore for 5 years, $100 million with $60 million assured.
Edmunds successfully slots in as Smith’s alternative and is the second starting-caliber linebacker the Bears have added in free company after they earlier agreed to a three-year contract with T.J. Edwards.
Edmunds, the No. 16 general decide within the 2018 draft by the Buffalo Bills, has made 74 profession begins and received’t flip 25 till May. Last season, he had 102 tackles, a sack and an interception. His manufacturing was inconsistent over his 5 seasons with the Bills. But when he was at his greatest, he showcased spectacular athleticism and really feel. The Bills had been within the combine to re-sign Edmunds and coach Sean McDermott sang his praises.
“To watch him mature and grow on the field and off the field has been a true joy as a coach,” McDermott mentioned on the NFL mix two weeks in the past.
The Bears, although, pushed to make Edmunds a big-ticket signing within the first wave of free company and can welcome the linebacker into Matt Eberflus’ system.
The Bears are signing former Tennessee Titans guard Nate Davis to a three-year deal, a supply confirmed.
What it means: Davis’ deal is for $30 million over three seasons with $19.25 million assured.
Davis, 26, began 54 video games over 4 seasons with the Titans, who drafted him within the third spherical out of Charlotte in 2019. He missed eight video games during the last two seasons with COVID-19 and accidents, together with ending the 2022 season on injured reserve due to an ankle damage.
The Bears had been slated to have left guard Cody Whitehair and proper guard Teven Jenkins return this season, so it is going to be value watching to see how the addition of Davis impacts these roles. Jenkins discovered some success in his transition from sort out to proper guard in 2022, however he battled accidents all year long and began simply 11 video games. Davis performed proper guard in Tennessee.
The Bears are signing former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards, a supply mentioned.
What it means: Edwards, who went to Lakes High School in Lake Villa and Wisconsin, returns house to the Chicago space. An undrafted rookie in 2019, Edwards went on to start out 47 video games and play in 61 for the Eagles over 4 seasons. He had a career-high 159 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss, seven passes defended, 5 quarterback hits and two sacks in 2022.
The Bears are signing Edwards to a three-year, $19.5 million contract with $12 million assured. After buying and selling linebacker Roquan Smith midseason in 2022, the Bears had an enormous want for a playmaker on the place. They additionally return linebacker Jack Sanborn, who additionally performed at Wisconsin. Edwards performed center linebacker in Philadelphia, and he possible would play at that place in Chicago too, although the Bears may additionally attempt him on the Will place.
Edwards performed for an Eagles protection that ranked among the many greatest within the NFL with simply 243.7 yards allowed per recreation, a unit that fueled the staff’s run to the Super Bowl. Edwards had six tackles and a go defended within the Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Cornerback Josh Blackwell and defensive lineman Andrew Brown are returning, the Bears introduced.
What it means: The Bears tendered one-year contracts to Blackwell and Brown, who had been exclusive-rights free brokers.
Blackwell, an undrafted rookie out of Duke, was a key particular groups participant in 2022. He had 23 tackles, a compelled fumble and a fumble restoration. He noticed time on protection in 4 video games late within the season when accidents depleted the Bears secondary.
Brown joined the Bears in November off the Arizona Cardinals follow squad and performed in 5 video games. He has appeared in 28 video games during the last 4 seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Chargers and Bears.
Long snapper Patrick Scales is returning to the Bears, his agent tweeted.
What it means: Scales, 35, has been with the Bears since 2015 and hasn’t missed a recreation within the final 5 seasons. He returns with a specialist unit that features kicker Cairo Santos and punter Trenton Gill.
Scales is the longest-tenured Bears participant on a roster that Poles has largely turned over.
The Bears are bringing again veteran fullback Khari Blasingame on a two-year extension, in keeping with his company.
What it means: Blasingame joined the Bears on a one-year deal final season. And whereas he didn’t obtain an offensive contact, he stays well-regarded inside Halas Hall for his intelligence, work ethic and toughness.
As a blocker, Blasingame contributed to a Bears offense that averaged a league-best 177.3 speeding yards per recreation whereas setting a single-season franchise document with 3,014 speeding yards. It shall be fascinating to see how his function evolves or expands in 2023 as coordinator Luke Getsy continues to mildew the scheme across the gamers he has.
The Bears have vital work to do to stabilize their offense and should work by their plans within the backfield with David Montgomery in line to hit the open market subsequent week. But Blasingame’s return was a precedence. The veteran fullback spent his first three seasons in Tennessee and can look to carve out an even bigger function with the Bears this season.
The Bears are releasing defensive finish Al-Quadin Muhammad, ESPN reported.
What it means: Muhammad signed a two-year, $8 million contract final spring to affix coach Matt Eberflus in Chicago. Muhammad, who’s coming into his seventh NFL season, was coming off a profession yr with the Indianapolis Colts in 2021 during which he had six sacks and 13 quarterback hits. But he totaled simply 21 tackles, one sack, three quarterback hits and a compelled fumble in 16 video games with the Bears final season.
The Bears had been anticipated to revamp a line of defense that contributed to only 20 staff sacks. Cutting Muhammad, who shall be 28 in March, saves almost $4 million in salary-cap house and comes with simply $500,000 in lifeless cap house, in keeping with Spotrac.