The last three seasons, the Chicago Bears have been treading water, going 28-20 with a pair of 8-8 campaigns along with a 12-4 season that saw the team win the NFC North but fall in the first round to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Last season, the Bears made the playoffs but again were not true contenders to make much of an impact in the NFC, and the team fell rather easily to the New Orleans Saints in the Wild Card round.
The team ended the season knowing that they need more playmakers on offense and that they have a decision to make at the quarterback spot.
The club ranked 22nd overall in the NFL last season, scoring 23.3 points per game, and gave up 23.1 points a game on defense, good for 14th of 32 teams in the NFL.
The biggest question about the Bears will be the future of quarterback Mitch Trubisky, who went 6-3 as a starter in 2020 and 29-21 overall in four years as the Bears’ starter.
Chicago already declined the 5th year option on Trubisky, meaning that if the Bears are going to bring him back, they will need to do it with a new deal.
Trubisky put up 205.5 yards with 1.6 TDs and 0.8 INTs per game in 2020, very average numbers that likely won’t be enough long term to get this team to a Super Bowl.
The Bears also need to figure out their future with Allen Robinson. The wide out finished sixth in receptions last season with 102, was ninth in yards with 1,250 and scored six touchdowns.
He’s one of the very few playmakers on the Bears’ roster, so the team will have to battle with other teams to get him back.
Overall, the Bears are not going to have a ton of money to play with this offseason unless they revamp the roster, as they are projected to be $89,572 over the cap.
The team has 26 free agents to make decisions on as the free agency period gets closer in mid-March, with the biggest ones being Robinson, Roy Robertson-Harris, and kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson.
Here’s a complete list of Bears’ free agents that the team will have to decide upon:
TE Demetrius Harris, 30
WR Dwayne Harris, 33
KR/WR Cordarrelle Patterson, 29
T Germain Ifedi, 27
T Jason Spriggs, 27
WR DeAndre Carter, 27
G Rashaad Coward, 26
TE J.P. Holtz, 28
G Alex Bars, 25
RB Ryan Nall, 25
CB Artie Bars, 25
S Deon Bush, 28
DE Mario Edwards, 27
S Tashaun Gipson, 31
S DeAndre Houston-Carson, 28
DT Jordan Jenkins, 32
CB Michael Joseph, 26
DT Daniel McCullers, 29
DE Roy Robertson-Harris, 27
CB Sherrick McManis, 33
OLB Barkevious Mingo, 30
P Pat O’Donnell, 30
LS Patrick Scales, 33
DE Brent Urban, 30
DE James Vaughters, 28
LB Josh Woods, 25
Offseason Outlook: Getting the quarterback situation decided upon is priority number one for the Bears, and it feels like this team is going to explore all options before they even consider bringing back Trubisky.
Expect to see and hear plenty of chatter about the Bears involved in quarterback trades, but the team had better not wait too long. Matthew Stafford, Jared Goff and Carson Wentz have already found new homes for 2021.
Bringing back Robinson would be huge, but it just feels again like that’s going to be easier said than done, based on how good he’s been the last two seasons, catching 2397 yards worth of passes. He’s just 27 years old, and there are a lot of teams that would be willing to build their receiver corps around a player with Robinson’s potential.
One thing that the Bears have going for them is that their defense is young and doesn’t have a ton of free agents. Their defense is very much ahead of their offense, so if there’s a unit they will lean on in 2021, it’s their defense.
Let’s see how these storylines for Chicago play out. Things should fall into place once they know who is going to line up under center in 2021.