The Chicago Bears free agent plan for 2018 will likely be a lot different from 2017. If for no other reason than the 2017 version was a total disaster. GM Ryan Pace has to change up how he operates. No doubt he has certain targets in mind with the idea of filling team needs. He doesn’t have time to think about what the rest of the NFC North division might be doing. Here’s the thing. He should.

The Bears may reside in the toughest division in pro football. The Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions have each made the playoffs at least once since 2016. Chicago has to somehow slam, batter and bully their way through that murderer’s row just to reach the postseason. Nevermind ideas for a Super Bowl.

The Bears need to consider taking a more active approach in trying to undermine those three teams however possible. Even the smallest pinpricks can be effective down the line. With that in mind here’s a free agent from each team that could benefit the Bears roster while simultaneously weakening each of their rivals.

Tavon Wilson (SS, Detroit Lions)

He continues to be one of the more underrated defenders for the Lions the past couple seasons. Wilson isn’t flashy but he’s a steady, reliable presence on the back end who can do a little bit of everything. In just 10 games last season he had over 50 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception. A lot of people might be upset by this idea with how well Adrian Amos played but Wilson is a versatile player. Vic Fangio could find plenty of ways to use him without undermining Amos.

Davon House (CB, Green Bay Packers)

The Packers pass defense took a considerable step back in 2017 and a big reason for that was the continued erratic play of their secondary. That’s one reason they brought back veteran Davon House. He may not have been a star for them but he was definitely one of their most consistent cover men. In 12 games he produced an interception, a sack and six passes defended. With the Bears in danger of losing three of their top cornerbacks, this is certainly not just a move to weaken Green Bay.

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Jerick McKinnon (RB, Minnesota Vikings)

Another running back might seem counterintuitive given the Bears already have Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen. Still, Jerick McKinnon is the sort of versatile back that thrived in the Matt Nagy offense over in Kansas City. He’s athletic, fast and a much better runner than he gets credit for. Imagine a three-headed monster of him, Howard and Cohen in the backfield. It would certainly ease the pressure on the Bears receiving corps. McKinnon was second on the team in 2017 in yards from scrimmage with 991, scoring five touchdowns. It’s hard to lose something like that for anybody.