There is no rush for Chicago Bears GM Ryan Pace to make a decision regarding his team’s offseason direction, but it’s worth knowing some of the roads he may travel down in pursuit of a team sitting at 3-7 and on the verge of a third consecutive losing season.
For example, no pending Bears free agent has played more snaps than cornerback Kyle Fuller (616). There have been times where Fuller has flashed first-round talent, but he is currently mired in a bit of a slump. Chicago could stand to add secondary talent, and Fishbain sees a one-year “prove-it” deal as a possibility for Fuller. However, a prove-it deal probably won’t be an option for Prince Amukamara, who could seek a long-term deal if he finishes the year strong as the team’s top cornerback. Injuries have long been a concern for Amukamara, who missed two games earlier in the year and hasn’t played a full 16-game slate since 2013.
Three wide receivers who have combined to play 691 snaps will hit free agency begins. The Bears clearly need to re-work their receivers room, so the future of players such as Kendall Wright (355 snaps), Josh Bellamy (226), and Dontrelle Inman (110 in two games) is still very much up in the air. Wright has been a steady contributor and one of the few free agent additions from the class of 2017 to provide a positive impact. Bellamy has spent time as a starting receiver and is a special teams ace. Inman has made an immediate impact and has become Mitch Trubisky’s favorite target on the outside.
In total, Fishbain’s list features 13 players and provides pros and cons the Bears should weigh during the process of whether or not to retain these players. There are 10 who have accounted for 3,234 snaps on the offensive or defensive side of the ball in 2017, which includes six players who have made at least six starts, and three others who have started at least twice.