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Bears Top 3 Offensive and 3 Defensive Free-Agent Targets

With an abundance of cap space and holes to fill, the Chicago Bears should target these 3 offensive and 3 defensive free agents.

The Chicago Bears are heading into the 2024 offseason with a projected 46.88 million salary cap space. Notably, veterans like free safety Eddie Jackson and offensive guard Cody Whitehair are expected to be cut, bolstering the Bears cap space. With critical positions needing to be filled, what are some impact free-agent targets the Bears can sign on both sides of the ball?

Free-Agent Targets: 3 Must-Have Offensive and 3 Defensive Free Agents For The Bears

Aaron Brewer, Tenessee Titans Center

Starting on the offensive side, center has been a pressing need for the Bears. With solid centers available in free agency, Aaron Brewer has fallen under the radar. He is a reliable center who played 100% of the offensive snaps as the starting center for the Tenessee Titans. Where he lacks in frame, he makes up with his athleticism and quick release from the initial snap. Popular free agent center Connor Williams tore his ACL during the regular season, which could scare the Bears away. Opting for Brewer in a more budget-friendly deal than Williams could afford the Bears the financial flexibility to pursue other free-agent targets.

Projected Contract: 3 years, $18 million, $8 million guaranteed

Curtis Samuel, Washington Commanders Wide Receiver

Adding another wide receiver is paramount, whether through free agency or the draft. Adding Curtis Samuel would make current Bears wideout D.J. Moore a happy camper. Moore and Samuel share a close bond, stemming from their time as teammates on the Carolina Panthers. Samuel is a crafty wide receiver who can be used in various ways on offense. Adding a wideout with a different skill set than Moore can offer the Bears versatility on offense.

Projected Contract: 2 years, $9 million, $3 million guaranteed

Noah Fant, Seattle Seahawks Tight End

The Bears need another pass-catching tight end, with Robert Tonyan expected to depart in free agency. Adding Noah Fant would make sense since the Bears recently hired Offensive Coordinator Shane Waldron from Fant’s current team, the Seattle Seahawks. Fant has proven to be a reliable target, which could help the Bears in 12 personnel sets. When utilized, Fant always seems to get open down the field, thus creating huge chunk plays that the Bears can take advantage of. Additionally, Bears fans know General Manager Ryan Poles loves players with a high relative athletic score (RAS), and Fant’s RAS is a stunning 9.88 out of 10.

Projected Contract: 1 year, $2.5 million, $1 million guaranteed 

Xavier McKinney, New York Giants Free Safety

Heading to the defensive side of the ball, Xavier McKinney is a dynamic free safety who played 100% of the offensive snaps for the New York Giants. Reliability is critical for the Bears, and McKinney offers stability at the free safety position. The Bears have been in a fortunate position to not worry about the free safety position for a long time, with former first-team All-Pro Eddie Jackson. However, his best days are behind him, and with his hefty contract, it might be best to move on from him and look for a cheaper and younger option—time to move on from one former Alabama safety to another.

Projected Contract: 3 years, $21 million, $14 million guaranteed 

A.J. Epenesa, Buffalo Bills Edge Rusher

Former first-round pick A.J. Epenesa has silently been having a productive career with the Buffalo Bills. Amid a market brimming with top-tier pass rushers, Epenesa would be an underrated pickup for the Bears. The Bears’ new defensive coordinator, Eric Washington, previously served as Epenesa’s defensive line coach. Additionally, Poles loves to sign players who grew up in the Chicago area, and with Epenesa being from Oak Park, Illinois, it’s a match made in heaven.

Projected Contract: 2 years, $10 million, $4 million guaranteed 

Raekwon Davis, Miami Dolphins Defensive Tackle

Raekwon Davis is yet another under-the-radar free agent the Bears should target. Being over-shadowed by star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins on the Miami Dolphins, Davis has had a quiet career. His production should substantially increase if the Bears could land Davis through free agency. Davis would be a solid addition for the Bears, bringing a bigger body that can become a scary sight for opposing quarterbacks.

Projected Contract: 2 years, $8 million, $5 million guaranteed

Main Photo: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


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