The Bears managed to claw their way to a playoff berth this season, but they need to add quality free agents in the offseason to repeat that feat in 2021.
Chicago can’t afford to rest on the laurels of squeaking into the playoffs this season. If Matt Nagy wants to stay with the Bears for the long haul, he needs to secure an infusion of free agent talent this offseason.
The question of who will be the team’s starting quarterback next season will dominate the headlines. Mitch Trubisky’s late-season run gives him a chance to head into 2021 as the team’s starter. The smarter move for Chicago would be to move on from the former No. 1 overall pick and sign an established veteran capable of triggering Nagy’s offense.
Quarterback isn’t the only big need the Bears will face. If Allen Robinson, as expected, departs via free agency they’ll need to sign a No. 1 wide receiver to take his place. Fortunately for Chicago, there’s a decent crop of wideouts to choose from in this year’s class.
The first name on this list will be designed to help boost Chicago’s pass rush. Khalil Mack is still a great player, but he needs more help.
3. Bud Dupree
Dupree isn’t a perfect fit for every team looking for help on the edge, but he’s tailor-made to play on the edge in Chicago’s 3-4 defensive system. Lining him up opposite Mack on obvious passing downs would lay the foundation for a ferocious Bears’ front.
Dupree’s game isn’t versatile enough to merit a huge contract in free agency, so the Bears should be careful not to get caught in overvaluing his sack totals. He’s a specialist in a league that typically values versatility at the linebacker position. Even so, the Bears should pounce on Dupree as long as his market doesn’t get out of hand.