The Chicago Bears were officially eliminated from the playoff hunt after losing to the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. This unfortunate loss now raises the question that no fan base wants to be asking themselves in mid-December, “What happens now?”
Well, general manager Ryan Pace has quite the “to-do list” ahead of him, and I thought it would be a good idea to go through exactly what that list entails.
What Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Pace Needs to Do in the Off-Season
Trim the Fat Off the Roster
It’s no secret that the Bears locker room is a tightly knitted group, so it is going to be that much harder to see players depart. However, some tough decisions must be made in order to properly retool this roster. Let’s start with the most logical ones.
Kyle Long, Adam Shaheen, and Taylor Gabriel are the first cap causality candidates that come to most people’s minds. The Bears can save around $13 million by cutting this group, and considering each of their individual situations, moving on from them seems like the right move.
Leonard Floyd would be next on that list. I would even go as far in saying that cutting Floyd is a no-brainer. We saw how much his inability to rush the passer hurt the Bears defense when Akiem Hicks went down. So, paying him the $13.2 million he would be owed is asinine.
However, I am not sure the Bears front office views Floyd in the same light. Ryan Pace has seemed fully invested in Floyd up to this point, no matter how unproductive he has been. It would not surprise me if Pace gave him one more year in hopes that he can put it together in a contract season.
Lastly, Prince Amukamara is the only other name that could receive some consideration to be cut. He didn’t show any significant signs of decline this season, but he will be on the wrong side of 30 and is owed $10 million against the cap in 2020.
It’s not hard to imagine a scenario where the Bears front office attempts to be ahead of the curb and cut ties a season early. Especially, with a young guy like Kevin Tolliver II showing some flashes in limited playing action.
Determine Who Is Coming Back
Danny Trevathan, Nick Kwiatkoski, and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix are the most notable Bears free agents. In an ideal world, you would like to bring them all back, but the Bears just do not have the funds to make that happen.
With that in mind, bringing back Clinton-Dix and either Trevathan or Kwiatkoski would be a huge win. Yet, signing just one of the three seems more realistic.
Extend Allen Robinson and Eddie Jackson
Pay good players. It’s as simple as that.
Accept That Mitchell Trubisky Probably Isn’t the Long-Term Guy
The first part of solving a problem is acknowledging that you have one. Well, let’s not beat around the bush, the Bears quarterback has been a problem.
I don’t want to diminish Trubisky’s late resurgence, but you have to wonder if the frequent inconsistency is always going to be a part of his game. Regardless, Pace shouldn’t be crucified if he wants to roll with Trubisky next season. Especially with the Bears not having a first-round pick.
Pace just can’t be afraid to pull the plug on Trubisky if he isn’t getting it done. That said, the quarterback competition that he brings in should foreshadow how short Trubisky’s leash is.