Building a Trade Deadline Wish List for the Chicago Bears
The Bears are in great shape so far, sporting a 4-1 record and showing that this is the most talented team the Windy City has seen since the 2006 Super Bowl run.
While the offense has shown improvement on a weekly basis and the defense has been incredible, there are some areas that could be upgraded to put the Bears in great position heading into a crucial part of the schedule.
General manager Phil Emery has to feel good about his roster, but here are some moves that could make it even better.
Add a TE
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The Bears made a big mistake in trading away tight end Greg Olsen—no thanks to Mike Martz.
Martz was displeased with Olsen's blocking ability, but ignored his importance in the passing game.
Kellen Davis has left more to be desired with his performance this season. Adding a better option for Jay Cutler over the middle could take this offense to another level.
While acquiring the next Rob Gronkowski or Jimmy Graham isn't going to happen, Chiefs tight end Tony Moeaki is a viable option. Moeaki had a solid rookie season last year, catching 47 passes for more than 550 yards and three scores.
Moeaki has seen his production decrease this season, however, which may be credited to the Chiefs' struggles at quarterback—in addition to the presence of Kevin Boss (who will miss the rest of the season because of a concussion, via The Kansas City Star).
With the Chiefs' season heading downhill, the Bears may be able to score the young tight end. Moeaki doesn't have the size of Davis, but Matt Spaeth can handle the blocking duties while Moeaki would be a big upgrade in the passing game.
Add a Safety
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The Bears secondary has played well this season, exemplified by ranking fourth in the NFL in pass defense, with the league lead in interceptions.
However, while their pair of starting corners is among the best in football, the talent at safety could use improvement.
One option they could go with is trading for New England Patriots safety Tavon Wilson. Wilson was drafted in the second round out of the University of Illinois and has performed exceptionally this season. In only two starts, Wilson has two interceptions.
Currently, Wilson is the backup free safety for the Pats, and the Bears could get him at a reasonable price. The rookie safety has a nose for the football, which would be extremely useful in the Bears' Cover 2 scheme.
Wilson would be an upgrade over Chris Conte, and Bill Belichick might be intrigued by an offer that includes a mid-round pick and a backup on the Bears' deep defensive line.
Upgrade at LT
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It's no secret that left tackle is the biggest area of weakness on the Bears depth chart.
Everybody in Chicago knows the name "J'Marcus Webb," as it goes together with expletives better than peanut butter does with jelly.
Nevertheless, banking on consistent play down the stretch from the former seventh round pick may be too risky, considering to the Bears' Super Bowl aspirations this season.
Unfortunately, left tackles are extremely valuable possessions in the pass-heavy NFL of the present day. There aren't many teams willing to part ways with their front line of defense.
However, if Emery wants to get aggressive, Jaguars left tackle Eugene Monroe could be an option. Monroe was selected eighth overall in the 2009 draft and still has two years remaining on his rookie deal worth around $5 million per year.
Admittedly, getting Monroe would be a long shot, but if Emery wanted to package a second round pick with Israel Idonije, the Jags (who are in need of defensive line help) might take the bait.
Idonije is in the final year of his contract and the play of Shea McClellin has made him expendable.
Kansas City Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert, playing in the final year of his deal, is also a possibility. Like Monroe, Albert is a former first round pick out of the University of Virginia, and would drastically improve the offensive line.
Once again, it all depends on how much the Bears are willing to offer. It's a long shot for either one of these to happen, but it's worth it for Emery to at least make a quality offer.
This team is a solid left tackle away from being a complete team. Maybe that will be enough to get the negotiations started.
Keep Devin Hester
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There has been a great deal of talk about the possibility of Devin Hester leaving Chicago, but let's be honest, he isn't going anywhere.
Hester may not be as "ridiculous" in the return game as he once was, but he still poses as a major threat in opponents' game plan.
Critics of Hester have also pointed to his lack of development as a wide receiver, but he is still a valuable deep threat opposite Brandon Marshall, and will continue to benefit from the attention that Marshall draws.
The injury of Alshon Jeffery also makes Hester's presence even more valuable. Furthermore, even if Hester is expendable, what do Bears fans think they can get for Hester in a trade?
Is a mid-round pick worth the threat that Hester poses on week-to-week basis?
Patience is growing thin for Bears fans in relation to Hester, but he is far from done. Hester is one return away from winning back the fans that he amazed a short time ago.