Missing Pieces the Chicago Bears Could Still Get
The NFL free-agency period has come and (almost) gone—there are still some unsigned players out there—and the draft has been completed. Teams like the Bears have also signed some undrafted free agents.
That said, the Bears still have some holes, and there could still be some players out there who could help. There are no game-changing players out there, but perhaps, there is a free agent or two, or even the possibility of a trade out there that could close any remaining gaps the team may have.
As currently constituted, the Bears roster should be plenty good enough for the team to contend this season. But with good teams like the Lions and Packers in our own division, any and all help is appreciated.
Despite a solid offseason by GM Phil Emery, the Bears could use some help at a couple of positions. Plus, injuries could happen, so extra depth never hurts.
With that in mind, I will try and find a few more pieces for the Bears to obtain. Feel free to let me know what you think.
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Adams is still available, as far as I know, and could be brought back into the fold to provide some depth at defensive tackle if none of the undrafted free agents work out.
I know the Bears released him, but he knows the system, and while he was not a consistent performer, there's no reason why Chicago wouldn't consider him since depth at DT is of some concern.
Amobi Okoye signed with the Buccaneers as a free agent, and the team did not draft a tackle, so Adams would seem to be a guy they have in their hip pocket in case nothing else works out.
Currently, the Bears have only three tackles with NFL experience on the roster.
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The Minnesota Vikings recently signed former Bears offensive tackle Levi Horn and Gabe Carimi is still a question mark due to injury. J'Marcus Webb is bad, and the team is so desperate at left tackle they are considering moving Chris Williams back there.
If the prospect of Williams playing tackle concerns you, then you agree the team could use some competition at the position.
That's where Marcus McNeill comes into play. Yes, he's still remaining on the open market, though knee and neck injuries led to surgeries and missed games over the past two seasons for the ex-Charger.
But when healthy, the 28-year-old is a top-notch tackle option. Someone will snatch him up soon, if he's healthy.
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Before you laugh this one away, consider that 1) Harris played decently at times last season; 2) he understands the Bears' defensive system and 3) is desperate for another chance so he's highly motivated.
Now, I am not going to tell you he's starting material for the Bears or any other team. But he could come in and provide experienced depth at a position of need for the Bears.
I know it's a long shot, but it's not completely out of the question. Actually, reports say the Bears have considered a reunion with Harris.
Consider this report from www.rotoworld.com, who sources the Chicago Tribune: "Harris was cut by Chicago last offseason, when he was scheduled to earn $5.3 million. After losing Amobi Okoye and cutting Anthony Adams, there's a fresh need for depth up front. Harris would be no higher than fourth on depth chart if he's brought back. "He could be productive in stretches," one personnel director said of Harris recently. "But he has degenerative knees. It will be a question as to whether or not he can get through a season."
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He could re-sign with the Cardinals, as the unrestricted free agent hasn’t generated much interest on the market. The Bears are thin at DT, and Holliday was a rotation player on the defensive line last year.
Cards GM and former Bears personnel man Rod Graves has already acknowledged that the veteran will likely be brought back. Holliday would play a reserve role behind Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett if he re-signs.
But if the Bears show interest, he could bring some experienced depth to the position. It's a thought.
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I expect the Bears to at least kick the tires on a couple of veteran free-agent safeties, especially if they don't like what they see in camp.
Jones, 30, had 92 tackles and no interceptions for Tampa Bay in 2011. Overall, Jones has 513 tackles and 17 interceptions in his eight-year NFL career.
Jones was rated 57th out of 61 safeties who played in least 50 percent of their team's defensive snaps in 2011 by ProFootballFocus.com.
He could be had cheaply and provide some depth at strong safety, where the Bears are not sold on Major Wright.
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Leonhard is a good player, but he likely won't be ready to start the season on time. The Bears could consider him during the preseason as a player who they could bring in to play after the first or second week of the season.
Jenny Vrentas of the Star-Ledger reports that Leonhard, a free-agent safety after his three-year contract with the Jets expired, "is in a holding pattern right now as he continues to rehab a season-ending patellar tendon tear sustained in Week 14 last season. He has "no doubt" he'll be ready for training camp in August, but he said he needs to progress further in his rehab before it would be worthwhile to approach interested teams about workouts or visits. He's "getting close" to that point, he added."
I know that the Bears have depth at the guard position, but depth doesn't always equate to starting ability. Scott is a free agent who could still start for teams, yet hasn't signed with anyone as of yet.
If Carimi isn't ready to go, the Bears will have needs at both tackle positions (despite what they may say about J'Marcus Webb), so another guard could be useful at the right price.
Scott is a big man who has trouble opening up running lanes. But he's still a solid pass protector, and with the Bears possibly passing more this season and throwing the deep ball and getting more use out of their tight ends, they have a need for a pass-blocking lineman like him.
The ex-Titan is 31 but should still have another solid year left in him. The eighth-year pro has the ability to play either guard position and has even started three games at right tackle during his career.
Plus, Scott is a seasoned veteran of the postseason, having qualified for the playoffs in five of his first six seasons in the NFL, including winning a Super Bowl with the Colts in 2006.
Scott graded out as one of the top pass-blocking guards by Pro Football Focus and has started 124 consecutive games in four years with the Titans