Every Chicago Bears 2020 mock offseason to this point has focused on what might happen based on needs and other factors. For the first time though, the new coaching staff is officially set. Matt Nagy has his new guys ready to go and several of them bring interesting experience to the table. Not to mention connections that could potentially be exploited in the right circumstances. It’s a matter of how GM Ryan Pace manages the logistics.
This latest variation is directed at a number of gambles. Players involved will be legitimate win-now moves. At the same time, thanks to some unexpected strokes of good fortune they are also able to set themselves up a little better long-term. Is this enough to get them back into the mix? Take a look and decide for yourself.
Chicago Bears 2020 mock offseason goes for it
Kyle Long ($8.1 million)
While he insists it isn’t a retirement, Long is stepping away from football at age 31 due to multiple injury issues. This will free up lots of cap space that the Bears will be able to use elsewhere. It’s not how Long wanted things to end for his career. Sadly that’s the hand guys sometimes get dealt.
Prince Amukamara ($8 million)
Two things a player never wants to be attached to his name are age and health concerns. Amukamara is encountering both at the worst possible time. Not only did leg issues hamper him down the stretch last year, but he also is pushing further into his 30s. It might be time to say goodbye.
Taylor Gabriel ($4.5 million)
Gabriel was expected to become the true deep threat for this Bears offense. The Tyreek Hill for Nagy in a sense. That has not been the case. While the receiver has provided some nice big plays, his inconsistency has been a problem and now he’s dealing with concussion issues. His future is uncertain.
Ben Braunecker ($1.5 million)
He’s never really become much of an offensive asset. That said, Braunecker at least had some value on special teams. However, with an overhaul at tight end drawing closer by the second, it wouldn’t be a shock if the Bears wanted that money for use elsewhere.
Adam Shaheen ($1.27 million)
Easily one of the biggest draft disappointments of the past decade. Shaheen had some much talent to work with coming out of Ashland but he proved unequal to the task of making it in the NFL. His body breaks down constantly and he seems to lack that killer instinct most of the top tight ends need.
Salary cap: $44.31 million
Bears send 5th round pick to Jaguars for QB Nick Foles and 2nd round pick
People are begging the Bears to make a bold move at quarterback. Well, here it is. Their reconfigured coaching staff now has three different members who have strong ties to Foles. Bill Lazor was with him when he made the Pro Bowl in 2013. John DeFilippo was with him when he won Super Bowl MVP in 2017. They know this guy is capable of playing some really good football in the right system. One similar to Nagy’s. Jacksonville is desperate to get out from under his large contract and is willing to give up a 2nd round pick to sweeten the deal.
Foles’ cap hit is unquestionably massive, but the potential payoff of finally getting that position settled down is worth the risk.
Salary cap: $22.48 million
Allen Robinson – 3-year extension for $51 million ($7 million 2020 cap hit)
The best offensive player the Bears have. After 1,100 yards this past season, Robinson has more than proven he’s worth an extension. He gets $17 million per year in the new deal with a shorter term which would allow him to test the market one more time down the road while conversely allowing the team to negotiate a lower cap hit for next season.
Leonard Floyd – 4-year deal for $30 million ($7.5 million 2020 cap hit)
Whether it’s Pace or the coaching staff, all continue to insist that Floyd is serving a vital purpose on the defense. If so, then fine. Their goal must be about lowering the $13.222 million cap hit he’d have in 2020. The two sides work out a contract that lowers it to something more manageable while he gets his long-term financial security.
Nick Kwiatkoski – 3-year deal for $21 million
Football is a game for the young. As much as the Bears love Danny Trevathan, the ascent of the younger and healthier Kwiatkoski in the past two months of 2019 sealed his fate. “Kwit” will make for a nice affordable member of the inside linebackers group, especially once Roquan Smith gets his next deal. Hopefully, Kwiatkoski can continue his upward trend.
Deon Bush – 1-year deal for $1 million
With Clinton-Dix leaving, competition is most likely for the safety spot opposite Eddie Jackson. Bush flashed lots of improvement early last year and might be ready to take the next step. He returns on a prove it deal to take that opportunity in a system he’s familiar with. All that is left will be to find out who, if anybody challenges him for it.
Kevin Pierre-Louis – 1-year deal for $820,000
Originally signed as special teams help, Pierre-Louis was thrust into the starting lineup after Smith went down with his torn pec. The veteran held his own quite well and has expressed interest in returning for another year. Chicago obliges with this new deal. Having him back will help alleviate the loss of Trevathan.
Roy Robertson-Harris – 1-year deal for $2.144 million
There is a possibility some other team will try to sign Robertson-Harris as a restricted free agent. He’s a big, athletic and improving defender with still lots of upside. That said, the Bears control his fate and should be able to get him back for one more year as a key rotational defensive end.
Rashaad Coward – 1-year deal for $660,000
Coward should be applauded for his ability to switch from tackle to guard this year, start for the first time ever in the NFL and held his own against some really strong defensive fronts. It wasn’t always pretty. The Bears saw enough though to see him as at least a quality backup and both positions.
J.P. Holtz – 1-year deal for $585,000
Quite a little find by the Bears this past year. Holtz arrived to zero fanfare in the middle of 2019 and end up not only their most productive tight end but also played a vital role as fullback for David Montgomery in the ground game. This has earned him the right to return for another year to see if he can improve.
Salary cap: $21.993 million
A.J. Green – 1-year deal for $10 million
If the Bears are going to make a bold move, might as well make it count. Green was a superstar receiver not too long ago. He’s dealt with injury setbacks for the past year and a half. Signing him is a gamble. At the same time, imagine getting him and Allen Robinson on the same field healthy together. That’s a 1-2 punch this team hasn’t had in years.
Miles Killebrew – 1-year deal for $1 million
Depth is needed at safety with Clinton-Dix and Houston-Carson both gone. Not to mention Sherrick McManis. Mile Killebrew is one of the more unsung players at his position. Not only a solid backup at safety, but one of the best special teams players in the league this past season.
Jeremiah Attaochu – 1-year deal for $820,000
He hasn’t gotten many opportunities to play thus far. That said, Attaochu has constantly flashed potential as a 3-4 linebacker. He took a big step forward for Denver this past year with 3.5 sacks in the final four games of the season. He’d make good competition behind Floyd for the #3 spot.
Levine Toilolo – 1-year deal for $900,000
He’s not going to be that elusive pass target the Bears are begging for. That won’t be his job. Toilolo has carved out a niche in the NFL as one of its top blocking tight ends in the league. San Francisco has made great use of him in this capacity. If the Bears want to get back to playing some tough football, he’s a guy who can help.
Olsen Pierre – 1-year deal for $900,000
Nick Williams is probably gone due to his newfound value as a big pass rusher. Good for him. Unfortunately, the Bears can’t afford to keep him. Luckily Pierre will be available at a cheaper price. He’s shown capability as a 3-4 defensive end and would make solid depth behind Akiem Hicks.
Salary cap: $8.373 million
2nd round (via JAX) – Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
If the Bears want to get more out of their pass rush without adding another pricey rusher, then the best thing for them to do is find quality cover corners. With Amukamara gone, the draft is where the Bears must be active. Jaylon Johnson is widely viewed as a true press cornerback who does his best work in man coverage. Put him on a receiver and let him travel. He’s long and physical.
2nd round (via LAV) – Lucas Niang, OT, TCU
The states of Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie should concern people. One regressed in every department last season and the other failed to finish the year because of injury issues. Chicago is living dangerously at the tackle position and it’s time for them to start planning for the next generation. Meckhi Becton has all the tools including size, mobility, length, and the desired nasty streak to handle even the toughest edge defenders.
- Trade: #50 pick to Seahawks for #59 pick and a 4th round pick
- Trade: #59 pick and 7th rounder to Redskins for #66 pick and a 4th rounder
3rd round (via WSH) – Thaddeus Moss, TE, LSU
Son to the great Hall of Fame receiver Randy Moss. Thaddeus plays his position the right way. He’s a tough, determined run blocker but also athletic enough to get out in space and find openings in coverage. He’s capable of making the tough catches for his quarterback and is particularly dangerous in the red zone. Not overly big for a tight end but he doesn’t let it stop him.
4th round (via WSH) – Alex Highsmith, EDGE, Charlotte
Any time a kid produces 15 sacks in a college season, it’s worth taking notice. Highsmith exploded in 2019 and was practically unblockable at times. He has a quick first step, battles with strong hand technique and doesn’t seem to have an off switch from play to play.
4th round (via SEA) – Richie Grant, S, UCF
The Bears seem to like defensive backs with versatility and Grant delivers on this front. He’s a good-sized safety who tackles well while also showing a certain knack for finding the football and creating turnovers. He has a clear instinct for the position.
4th round (comp) – K.J. Hill, WR, Ohio State
Looking for more explosiveness at wide receiver is a big reason why the Bears signed Green. It’s also a reason they draft Hill here. He was never the priority target at Ohio State. Still, he always seemed to deliver a big play whenever his team needed it. He has decent size, route running skill, and enough juice to take it over the top.
6th round – James Morgan, QB, FIU
The Bears showed their interest in Morgan from the start at the East-West Shrine Game. He’s a bigger kid at 6’4 with a strong arm. He’s fearless in regards to turning it loose down the field and show good ball placement and accuracy when his fundamentals are right.
6th round (via PHI) – Michael Onwenu, OG, Michigan
Looking at him, people would assume little more than a large guard who is difficult to move and is a powerhouse. Looks are deceiving. Onwenwu can move pretty well. He’s a monster in the run game and isn’t a liability when asked to protect his quarterback.
7th round – Davon Hamilton, DE, Ohio State
A case of the production and tape not matching up. Hamilton has modest numbers with the Buckeyes but flashes a ton on film. He makes quarterbacks uncomfortable with his presence and is sturdy enough to handle himself in the run game.