4 Veteran Free Agents the Chicago Bears Should Bring into Camp

Matt EurichAnalyst IJuly 10, 2013

4 Veteran Free Agents the Chicago Bears Should Bring into Camp

0 of 4

    After the firing of Lovie Smith and his staff after the end of the 2012 season and the hiring of Marc Trestman, the Bears front office took to the free-agent market to help the team in 2013, signing some top free agents like Jermon Bushrod, Martellus Bennett, D.J. Williams, and Matt Slauson amongst others.

    While the 2013 roster seems to be an improvement over the 2012 squad, there are still some areas of weakness that the Bears could still improve by dipping into the free-agent market and bringing a veteran or two to training camp to compete for a roster spot.

    According to OverTheCap.com the Bears have the third least amount of money remaining under the cap with just $1.67 million left.  It is still possible for the team to add more money to that amount by releasing bigger contracts (i.e. Devin Hester) but they could be able to sign some free agents for the veteran’s minimum.  In 2012, veterans with ten or more years of experience signed for $925,000.

    Here are three veteran free agents the Bears should bring into training camp later this month:

Vince Young

1 of 4

    A former third overall selection in the 2006 draft, Vince Young started off his career with a bang, winning the league's offensive rookie of the year that season as well as notching his first career Pro Bowl selection.

    He has had his share of ups and downs both on and off the field, and after a brief stop in Philadelphia for the 2011 season, he was cut prior to the 2012 season by the Buffalo Bills.

    Young threw at the Texas Longhorns' pro day, and according to Gil Brandt (h/t NFL.com), Young "put on a show" and was "magnificent" passing the ball in the pocket and on the run.

    He could be seen as a bit of a risk, but given that the team likes Josh McCown and the fact that he will likely come on the cheap, he could end up being a low-risk, high-reward signing.

    His ability to run and get outside of the pocket would add a nice dimension if he had to fill in for Jay Cutler, and he has enough accuracy to be productive throwing the ball underneath in the West Coast offense.

    He did struggle in Philadelphia getting used to running Andy Reid's West Coast style offense, but after spending two years learning that system, the adjustment to Marc Trestman's West Coast offense should not be that difficult.

Amobi Okoye

2 of 4

    One of the biggest moves this offseason for the Bears was franchise tagging defensive tackle Henry Melton.  Melton has proven to be an effective pass-rusher and is an integral part to the Bears' Cover 2 defense.

    Melton and Stephen Paea are expected to be the starters at the two defensive tackle positions, but after releasing Matt Toeaina and having not re-signed Israel Idonije, the team still needs depth at the position.

    Nate Collins had some solid games last season as a rotational defensive tackle and the team signed former first round pick Sedrick Ellis to a one-year deal, but the team could still be looking to carry one more defensive tackle.

    A former first-round pick of the Houston Texans, Amobi Okoye has spent the better part of the past two seasons with the Bears organization. While he did not put up spectacular numbers last season (one sack), he did have a strong showing in 2011 (four sacks). 

    Okoye has not panned out the way many thought he would after being selected 10th overall in 2007, but considering his familiarity with the Bears defense, he could help provide depth at the position alongside Melton, Paea, Collins, and Ellis.

Dallas Clark

3 of 4

    After releasing Evan Rodriguez, the Bears lost a receiving threat that was speculated to play some of the "F" tight end position where he can be lined up in the backfield and be motioned into the slot position.

    While the Bears look to be solid at starting tight end with Martellus Bennett, the options of Fendi Onobun, Kyle Adams, Gabe Miller, Brody Eldridge, and Steve Maneri leave little to be desired behind him.

    Despite being in the later stages of his career, Dallas Clark was able to haul in 47 catches for 435 yards and four touchdowns last season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

    Clark has experience in the past running the "F" tight end position and could give quarterback Jay Cutler another weapon on the field. Much like Leach, Clark could demand high money, but considering that he just turned 34, he may be more willing to take less money for an opportunity to play for a likely contender in 2013.

Vonta Leach

4 of 4

    After the firing of Lovie Smith and his staff after the end of the 2012 season and the hiring of Marc Trestman, the Bears front office took to the free agent market to help the team in 2013, signing some top free agents like Jermon Bushrod, Martellus Bennett, D.J. Williams, and Matt Slauson amongst others.

    While the 2013 roster seems to be an improvement over the 2012 squad, there are still some areas of weakness that the Bears could still improve by dipping into the free-agent market and bringing a veteran or two to training camp to compete for a roster spot.

    According to OverTheCap.com the Bears have the third least amount of money remaining under the cap with just $1.67 million left.  It is still possible for the team to add more money to that amount by releasing bigger contracts (i.e. Devin Hester) but they could be able to sign some free agents for the veteran’s minimum.  In 2012, veterans with ten or more years of experience signed for $925,000.

    Here are three veteran free agents the Bears should bring into training camp later this month: