The first wave of free agency has come and gone, and the Chicago Bears have been quite active. They have filled multiple needs at OL, LB, and WR with trades and signings, some short-term fixes, like Andrew Billings, DeMarcus Walker, Robert Tonyan, D’Onta Foreman, and some more long-term fixes like DJ Moore, Tremaine Edmunds, and TJ Edwards. Still, the Bears have many needs left to fill with the second and third waves of free agency as well as the draft. Here’s five guys I think the Bears should target in the second and third waves of NFL free agency.
DE Frank Clark
Frank Clark had a great first year in Kansas City, helping them win a Super Bowl, but since then he has mostly struggled in the regular season, totaling just 15 sacks and 20 TFL the last 3 regular seasons. But one thing that’s undeniable with Clark is he shows up when it matters most. He is third all-time in playoff sacks, and the Chiefs definitely do not even make the Super Bowl this year without him. I like to call him Mr. January. Clark turns 30 this year which is still not too old for a DE. The Bears can probably sign him to a 1 year deal as a short-term option, and he shouldn’t cost too much, about $8 million. He would be a good mentor for the young DEs on the roster.
OT Jermaine Eluemunor
Eluemunor started all 17 games for the Raiders last season at both RG and RT. The Bears would theoretically be signing him to compete with a rookie at RT. He allowed just 3 sacks in 17 games, and posted a PFF grade of 75.3. He would be a fantastic option to have, basically having the role of Riley Reiff last season except younger (28) and better. He could probably be had on a 1 year deal worth $7 million.
DT Poona Ford
Ford and Billings are pretty similar players. So in this simulation, the Bears would draft a pass-rushing specialist DT to backup Justin Jones (Jalen Carter falling to 9 or someone else?) and Ford would be the backup NT to Billings, a run-stuffing specialist. He is just 27, and while he had kind of a down year last season (Seattle’s defense was notoriously bad at stopping the run) he could have a bounce-back campaign for Chicago. He did at least have a career high 3 sacks last season along with 6 TFL. Ford could probably be had for about $3 million for 1 year.
CB Levi Wallace
Wallace had a career-high 4 interceptions for Pittsburgh last season. He gave up a 55% completion percentage and had a 62.8 grade on PFF. Not bad numbers for a CB2. The Bears could sign him to compete at the second boundary corner spot with Kindle Vildor, allowing Kyler Gordon to stay and develop in the slot. He also shouldn’t cost too much, no more than say 2 years $11 million.
WR Olamide Zaccheus/Richie James
Zaccheus and James are both small but fast and shifty receivers, who can create separation with their agility and pick up yards after the catch. The Bears don’t really need a starting WR right now, especially with the many rumors connecting them to Jaxson Smith-Njigba and next season having two firsts with Marvin Harrison Jr being draft eligible. But they do need some depth, as it doesn’t appear N’Keal Harry or Dante Pettis will return, and Equanimeous St. Brown and Velus Jones Jr’s struggles are well documented. James and Zaccheus at the very least at the veteran’s minimum offer good depth, and James can be a returner too.