It's getting close to the time of year when Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery makes a big splash and does what most Bears fans thought wasn't possible.
Emery won over Bears fans in his first season by trading for wide receiver Brandon Marshall. Since then, Marshall has 218 catches and 23 touchdowns as he has become a fan favorite.
Last season, the Bears had huge holes along the offensive line and tight end, but not a lot of salary cap space to fill them. Still, Emery came away with one of the top offensive linemen and tight ends in Jermon Bushrod and Martellus Bennett.
Like last year, this free agency period appears to be rich where the Bears are weak. There are a number of defensive linemen, linebackers and defensive backs who would be huge upgrades. For the sake of this list, I tried to focus on the players who would provide the biggest "wow" factor.
The salary cap is always an issue, but the Bears have shown they can manipulate it. The work they did to bring in Bushrod and Bennett last year was shocking to everyone and don't be surprised if Emery and Cliff Stein have more tricks up their sleeves.
I wouldn't count on the Bears looking to do much through the trade market. There may be some star players moved this offseason, but the Bears have a lot of holes and need to keep as many draft picks as they can.
That includes draft day trades. While a player like South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney would fit a need, the Bears have too many needs to move up and get him.
So, what does Emery have up his sleeve this year? Well, in the following slides you'll see a few ideas.