4 Free Agents Still Within the Chicago Bears' Reach

Ross Read@@RossReadContributor IIIApril 16, 2014

4 Free Agents Still Within the Chicago Bears' Reach

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    Everybody has their NFL draft goggles on now but there are still some free agents to be had on the market. 

    The veteran framework of the Bears is in place but it's still always wise to peruse the wire and see who can be brought into camp for some friendly competition. 

    The Bears could still use a backup quarterback and are they really going to go with Kevin Butler's son as the punter? Click ahead to see the five free agents who are realistic fits for the team. 

Guard Wade Smith

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    The Bears still have some depth issues along the offensive line. Eben Britton is back but he's still not a solid option behind guards Kyle Long and Matt Slauson. 

    Former Texans guard Wade Smith has already 10 years in this league so he's likely winding down but could still be a good backup.

    Smith has started 98 games in this league and could help the team if injuries arise, 

Quarterback Josh Freeman

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    It was reported by CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora that Josh Freeman recently visited the Bears. The team is still in need of a backup quarterback and Freeman could be a nice rebuilding project for head coach Marc Trestman. 

    Through all his trials and tribulations, Freeman is still only 26. If Trestman can do wonders for Josh McCown's career, what can he do with a quarterback who is not that far removed from a 27-touchdown season? 

    Given his physical skills and talent, it would be a good gamble for the Bears. He is close to rock bottom so it wouldn't cost the team much at all and if he pans out then it only enhances the team. 

    Freeman knows he doesn't have too many chances left and would likely relish the opportunity to work with Trestman. 


    Update: Josh Freeman has agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the New York Giants. 

Running Back LaRod Stephens-Howling

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    LaRod Stephens-Howling was supposed to be the featured change of pace back for the Steelers last year. Sadly, he tore his ACL at the beginning of the year forcing him to miss the season. 

    As we have seen around sports lately, a torn ACL is no longer a career death sentence. It will likely still take him some time to get back to his old ways but he can help the Bears in a backup role. 

    When Stephens-Howling was at his best, he was a solid secondary option with the Cardinals who also caught 58 passes in his career and has over 4,000 career return yards. 

    If Stephens-Howling is healthy then he deserves a camp invite. He is a solid option for when Matt Forte needs a blow and could push other players in camp in the return game. 

Punter Zoltan Mesko

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    Signing a punter may not be the sexiest move but it would be a wise one. As of now the Bears have unproven options in Tress Way and Drew Butler. 

    Zoltan Mesko has punted in New England, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. He can handle his own in Soldier Field. 

    Mesko also played his college ball at Michigan, has 43.9 yards per punt average and would be the team's first player from Romania. How could you not want that?