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Free Agency Preview: Chicago Bears

2022 Record:

The Chicago Bears finished the 2022 season with an abysmal 3-14 record, placing dead last in the NFC North. Yet the season had many highlights for Bears fans including large improvements in second-year QB Justin Fields. 

Cap Space:

Cap space for the Chicago Bears has fluctuated during the off-season, first estimates placed the figure around $118 Million, but a number of factors have contributed to that number dwindling to around $75 Million. Notably, incentives for lineman Riley Reiff as well as Proven Performance Escalators for a number of Bears players have eaten into that cap space. It’s worth noting that the Bears still have about $13.5 million more in cap space than the next NFL team. 

Draft Capital:

After a fantastic trade with Carolina, the Bears have seven of the first 150 picks of the draft, including the number nine. The remaining picks currently are the 53, 61, the 64, 103, 133, and 137, as well as a number of picks later in the draft. With a talented young QB in Justin Fields and D.J. Moore filling the WR1 spot after the blockbuster trade, the Bears will be looking to improve at both the offensive and defensive line positions. 

Notable Free Agents

The Bears have a number of players entering Free Agency, most notably RB David Montgomery. The former Iowa State RB is coming off a solid year averaging 4.0 yards per carry and scoring 5 touchdowns. Montgomery doesn’t turn any heads with his run style, but has consistently gotten tough yards for the Bears. Both Montgomery and the Bears have expressed an interest in resigning, however that’s far from a done-deal.

Byron Pringle, another player entering free agency, was acquired by the Bears during the 2022 off-season with the hopes that he could be a consistent target for Justin Fields. However, Pringle finished the year with a measly 10 receptions for 135 yards, despite being the highest targeted player in a number of games. Especially after the pick up of Moore, it’s likely his time in Chicago could be coming to an end. 

The Bears have a number of other free agents to watch including special teams players and safeties Deandre Houston-Carson and Dane Cruikshank. Houston-Carson had a solid season on special teams before transitioning to safety due to injuries to Jaquan Brisker and Eddie Jackson, where he has had his best year in coverage to date. 

Cruikshank is one to watch for another reason, as the special teams player couldn’t seem to stay healthy early in the year. Resulting in Cruikshank making only a single tackle for the 2022 season, it would be surprising to see Cruikshank return to the Bears in 2023. 


To recap: the Bears have the highest salary cap in the league, incredible draft position, and a number of free agents to keep an eye on during the offseason. The coming months will be very telling how this team will turn out, but this is a very exciting time for Bears fans. 



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