The Bears are entering the 2023 off-season with the most cap space in the NFL. With the surplus of money and the need for more talent on the roster, the Bears have a lot of work to do when signing free agents. While there are arguments for which position needs attention the most, they all don’t compare to the care that the offensive line needs.
Despite what some media outlets might say, the Bears’ offensive line was not enough to get the job done in 2022. QB Justin Fields was sacked 55 times, the most in the NFL. Many can argue that the receivers didn’t get open in enough time or Fields held onto the ball too long, but the truth is, something needs to change. The wise decision is to sign a lot of talent in the offensive line free agency because if the Bears want Fields to be their franchise QB, they have to protect him at all costs.
The Bears may have had a bad offensive line, but there are some bright spots. The main one being Teven Jenkins, the former second round pick out of Oklahoma State. Bears fans wondered if Teven Jenkins would be a Bear by the start of the season, as reports came out that he wasn’t too fond of the new front office. Teven Jenkins silenced the haters, quickly becoming the Bears’ best offensive linemen in the 2022 season. There were other bright spots, like rookie fifth-round pick Braxton Jones out of Southern Utah.
Excluding the bright spots, the Bears have a lot of holes in the trenches. They’re without a reliable right tackle, as many players filtered in and out of the position throughout the season. They’re also missing a center, as the presumed replacement, Lucas Patrick, was injured all season, leaving Sam Mustipher to play center. I don’t need to tell Bears fans how bad Sam Mustipher is. Left Guard was led by aging Cody Whitehair, who was serviceable at best.
Long story short, the Bears have a lot of talent spotting to do ahead of free agency. That focus will likely be heading to the talent in the trenches. With the Bears’ money, they should be fine signing one or two big-name offensive linemen to help protect Fields. If the Bears decide to go a different direction, they can always draft offensive linemen, and this draft class has plenty to choose from. There are a lot of holes on this roster, but protecting our franchise QB is the number one priority.