Chicago Bears re-signing free agents

Chicago Bears Free Agents: 7 Players to Re-Sign

  • 2021 nfl free agency
  • 2021 NFL Offseason
  • 2021 Offseason
  • Alex Bars
  • Allen Robinson
  • Bears
  • Brent Urband
  • Cairo Santos
  • Chicago
  • Chicago Bears
  • Cordarrelle Patterson
  • Defense
  • Demetrius Harris
  • Free Agency
  • Free Agents
  • Mario Edwards
  • NFC
  • NFC North
  • NFL
  • Offense
  • Offseason
  • Pat O'Donnell
  • Patrick Scales
  • Re-sign
  • special teams
  • Tashaun Gipson
By Luke O'Grady February 21, 2021 0 Comment
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To Re-sign or Not to Re-sign

Much has been made of the Chicago Bears‘ pursuit of a new quarterback this offseason, and for good reason. It is without a doubt, the most important decision that Pace and his staff will have to make this summer. That being said, it isn’t the only decision looming, as Chicago also has close to 30 players set to hit free agency in some capacity. There are some players that we know the Bears will not be trying to retain. But the players the Bears do decide to bring back could make all the difference for the 2021 season. These are the moves that people talk about when they describe a championship roster. Here are a couple of players the Chicago Bears need to consider re-signing.

Defense Bringing the Energy

In a year where Eddie Goldman, arguably the Bears’ best defensive lineman, opted out of the season due to COVID concerns, the Bears had to rely heavily on their depth. Luckily, that move seemed to pay off in spades. Players like Bilal Nichols and Roy Robertson-Harris were called on to be the starters. But rotational players Brent Urban and Mario Edwards made the unit one of the most competitive on the team.

Chicago re-signed Brent Urban to a one-year deal last offseason, and more than showed he was worth it. While not the flashiest player, PFF places Urban as the fourth highest-rated run defender in the league, at the position. He also added three sacks to his season total and a couple of nice air guitar solos for the fans.

Projected contract: 2 yr, $7m total, $1.5m/year, $4m guaranteed.

Mario Edwards was almost the opposite, as all he seemed to do was flash. Despite only rushing the passer 96 times last season, he came away with four sacks, tied for second on the team. He was also fairly stout against the run as well. There are some character concerns with Edwards, however; he will start next season on a two-game suspension for PED use. It seemed like Edwards was starting to really put it all together, and the Bears might be wise to take a shot on a player with such a high ceiling.

Projected contract: 2 yr $2.81m total, veteran minimum ($910k)/year, $1m guaranteed.

Rounding out the defensive side we have Tashaun Gipson. Gipson signed a 1-year vet minimum deal last year and turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise. He started every game at safety opposite Eddie Jackson, and never once looked out of place. Gipson would be affordable and provide reliable play at the position. With Gipson approaching the end of his career, the Bears shouldn’t look to be tied to him for too long.

Projected contract: 1 yr, $2.5 m total, all guaranteed.

Oh So Special Teams

Special teams are often the least talked about aspect of any team. However, in the case of the 2020 Chicago Bears, no news was good news. Pat O’Donnell has never been the best punter in the league, but he’s far from a concern for the unit. Cairo Santos might have lowkey had the greatest kicking season in Bears history. His 93.8% completion percentage on field goals easily eclipsed Robbie Gould’s old single-season record of 89.7% and even did so on more3 attempts than Gould took.

Then there’s Cordarelle Patterson. While he is likely the greatest kickoff return man of all time, he has also become somewhat a fan favorite in Chicago too. He can make plays on offense, he’s the Bears’ most active recruiter, and no one seems more excited when the Bears get a win than Cordarelle. He should absolutely be re-signed and if the price is right, I’d consider making him a Bear for the rest of his career.

Patrick Scales, the long snapper, is really well-liked in the organization. If everyone else is coming back, they might as well keep the band whole band together.

Projected Contracts:

Pat O’Donnell: 2 yrs, $4m total, $1m/year, $2m guaranteed.

Cairo Santos: 3 yrs, $12m total, $2.5m/year, $4.5m guaranteed

Cordarelle Patterson: 3 yrs, $16m total, $3.5m/year, $5.5m guaranteed

Patrick Scales: 1yr, $1.05m total, all guaranteed.

No Offense Taken

And that just about wraps up the moves I think the Bears should make regarding their free agents this year. I know what you’re thinking: not one offensive player should be re-signed this offseason? No, not exactly. Alex Bars (OL) proved to be serviceable last year in his time starting and will be automatically retained by the Bears at the vet minimum. Then, of course, there is the Allen Robinson situation, but that deserves a deep dive on its own. The only other offensive player with any meaningful snaps heading to free agency is Demetrius Harris, and I can’t see any real reason that he would return.

The Chicago Bears’ main goal this offseason remains to find their new starting quarterback. The last thing they would want would be to secure one, and not have the roster around them to compete (See Deshaun Watson in 2020). All of the moves above helped to raise the quality and competition on the roster, and do so without breaking the bank.

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