Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

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Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:00 am

Well... it's the offseason, so I guess it's time to start looking at the roster and possible moves. Here's a quick opinion after a glance at the roster.

Free Agents:
Bobby Massie - Continuity is important and Massie has been reliable/good, but he's going to be 31 and this is his last chance to cash in.

Kevin White - Poor kid. I think he has a chance to be good, just not with the Bears.

Aaron Lynch - Lynch played really well until getting hurt. My gut says the Bears would like him back but I imagine another team will offer him more money.

Bryce Callahan - Someone is going to pay him like a starting corner, and it shouldn't be the Bears simply due to durability concerns.

Josh Bellamy - After being nearly universally hated during the Fox era, Bellamy has quietly become a decent 4th option that Mitch clearly trusts. He also excels on special teams. I think he gets a modest extension.

Pat O'Donnell - He hasn't been bad, but he isn't exactly clutch. I could see them drafting a replacement.

Eric Kush - He's a fun guy but he's just not durable enough to keep.

Benny Cunningham - They can replace his production with a UDFA or late round pick.

Bryan Witzmann - He was ok…but he's a complete liability in the running game.

Zach Miller - I love that the Bears kept him on so that he could receive the best medical care available. But his playing days are over.

Marcus Williams - Roster filler who didn't make an impact on defense or special teams.

Nick Williams - Rotational guy that didn't see the field much.

Patrick Scales - He's a restricted FA, which is weird for a dude who is going to be 32. He did his job so whatever.

Adrian Amos - I love Amos, but Deon Bush is a similar player who no longer looks out of his element. If there is a bidding war the Bears will move on. I'm cautiously optimistic that there won't be.

Michael Burton - He was barely active and the Bears don't use a traditional FB all that much.

DeAndre Houston-Carson - Being a RFA he will at least be back for camp.

Roy Robertson-Harris - RRH didn't have the breakout year that everyone expected, but he is a solid contributor. I expect him to get a decent extension.

Ben Braunecker - He's as good or better than Sims for a fraction of the price. He's made some surprisingly big catches.

Rashaad Coward - I don’t know if he’s ready to step in as a replacement for Massie, but they clearly saw enough in him to keep him around to find out.

Isaiah Irving - He got a lot of playing time after Acho got hurt. I like him as a rotational guy and the Bears seem to as well.

Possible cuts:
Long - I love him, but man... you just can't count on him. The Bears could use some of his money, so hopefully he restructures. If not, I could see the Bears moving on.

Sims - This should come as no surprise.

Parkey - This will be the debate that rages all offseason. Fans hate him, players are undoubtedly upset with him. It'll come down to if they want to eat his contract and pay for a replacement that might not be any better. If he's not cut he absolutely should have competition in camp.

Possible trades:
Howard - I don't think the Bears want to move him, but if someone comes calling with a pick in the 35-40 range, they may bite. He deserves to go to a team that suits his strengths. The Bears owe him that.

Burton - This is unlikely, but aside from being pretty good on third down, he just hasn't had a huge impact. Nagy's offense needs to have the TE make an impact down the field, not just on 3rd and 4. Plus the weird injury thing at the 11th hour.
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:38 am

Good listing. I generally agree with your thinking. So I'll point out my disagreements...

Bobby Massie... As you said, continuity IS important. Especially with a young QB who will have more on his plate in 2019. Massie isn't great, but he's good enough and Biscuit knows what he does and doesn't do well. There's value there. He will probably get a raise to around $10M/year. But 31 isn't old for an OT. And where to you go for a replacement without a pick until R3? This is their #1 priority re-sign as the Bears want the devil they know.

Bryce Callahan... Because he's small and does get injured, he may not get offered top dollar.
Keep. Maybe.

Adrian Amos... Amos will get a good offer, because some team will look at his PFF scores and be dazzled by his physicality. Like you, I love Amos, but in a tight cap year, the fact that SS is the easiest position to fill on a defense and now that Bush has shown he can play, he's the odd man out.

Kyle Long... If he got injured by non-contact stuff, I'd think differently. But his injuries are almost always brutal rollups that just can't be accounted for. I think he makes $6-7M and that's a bargain for a whole year of his play, which can happen if something else stupid doesn't. He's a true locker room leader who isn't that old and I don't know they'd want to boot out.
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:38 pm

Thanks for the list WAB. I wasn't really sure where we stood with the roster going into the offseason. Much like MikeFive, I'll present my disagreements;

Pat O'Donnell - is back next year on a minimal contract. We're not going to waste one of our few draft picks this year on a punter. He'll resign for a couple million and we'll be good.

Adrian Amos - He'll be gone. Bush is a similar talent, for a fraction of the price.

Kyle Long - I am guessing he wants to stay in Chicago. I'm assuming he will restructure his contract vs. getting cut. He has $11M in dead cap. They could restructure that as guaranteed money over the next three years, and re-sign him for 60% of what he's being paid now. He's such a leader and a talent when he's healthy, I'd hate to miss out on a good year.

Cody Parkey - They are going to have to run a huge PR campaign on this one, but I think he's back. Pace can't blow $6M in cap because he had a bad year. Yes it was brutal. But you've got to give him a chance to fix it in the offseason.

Jordan Howard - I am holding out hope that Nagy sees the value of running a full zone blocking scheme next year, and wants to see Howard hit the ground running next year. He's just such a force when he's on a roll.

This will certainly be an interesting offseason to be sure.
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 4:59 pm

Anyone who played meaningful minutes and can be had for barely above vet minimum needs to be resigned. If not you will be filling the roster with un-drafted free agents. Cutting Simms gives you 12 roster spots to fill and $26M in cap, but you need to leave room for our 4 draft picks (no 1st, 2nd, or 6th) and emergency signings, say $4M. Callahan, Amos and Lynch are due for big raises. The RFAs and ERFAs are going to get little raises. The rest can be had for slightly more than their current APY, most are at vet minimums that only go up $75-100k per year.

Player__Pos.__Type__Snaps__Age__Current APY
Bobby Massie__RT__UFA__99.5%__30__$6,000,000
Kevin White__WR__UFA__15.8% __27__$4,140,762
Aaron Lynch__OLB__UFA__33.7%__26__$4,000,000
Bryce Callahan__CB__UFA__64.2%__28__$1,907,000
Josh Bellamy__WR__UFA__29.9%__30__$1,907,000
Pat O'Donnell__P__UFA__24.4%__28__$1,500,000
Eric Kush__LG__UFA__32%__30__$1,350,000
Benny Cunningham__RB__UFA__3.4%__29__$1,050,000
Daniel Brown__TE__UFA__2.1%__27__$925,000
Zach Miller__TE__ UFA__ 0%__ 35__$790,000
Marcus Williams__CB__UFA__3%__28__$790,000
Nicholas Williams__DE__UFA__4.2%__29__$705,000
Bryan Witzmann__LG__UFA__49.5%__29__$630,000
Patrick Scales__LS__RFA__24.8%__31__$630,000
Adrian Amos__S__UFA__97.7%__26__$628,070
Michael Burton__FB__UFA__4.6%__27__$616,080
DeAndre Houston-Carson__S__RFA__4.4%__26__$585,000
Ben Braunecker__TE__RFA__11.1%__25__$585,000
Roy Robertson-Harris__DE__ERFA__33.7%__26__$542,333
Rashaad Coward__RT__ERFA__0%__25__$510,000
Isaiah Irving__OLB__ERFA__11%__25__$510,000
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:24 pm

I have mixed feelings about Long and Massie but it's clear that the line needs the most work of any position group. I don't think Massie or Long are worth lots of money right now, but with so few draft picks we'll probably need to retain one of them. The market for Massie would dictate which one, I guess.
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 7:42 pm

RRH, Coward and Irving are all EFRA so they'll be back on those deals.

Sims and Acho are defo gone.

Bellamy I can see with a decent extension, we'll only have five receivers on the roster once White leaves and he's obviously valuable on special teams. Still a poor catch percentage at 56% so it wouldn't be ridiculous to move him on rather than tie up a couple of million of cap room on a 29 year old special teams player.

Lynch is in a good position since we've still only got Mack, Floyd and Irving but will also depend on Fangio and how much he can get on the open market (*cough* one year deals are a bad idea Ryan *cough*).

O'Donnell is gone after that last punt. There's a street guy who is as good as him that will take vet min or exception.

Amos I think is gone after the performance Bush put in, just a cap game there though I wish him well.

Anyone else think McMannis looked decent at nickel and that stops us paying Callahan? Annoying as I've been advocating a multi year deal for Callahan for a while, he's always been good when fit and I can handle a bit of injury proneness from a nickel.

Then Bobbie Massie. Can we go into a season as a Super Bowl contender with Coward as the starting RT? Particularly with RG being up in the air? I can't see how he's not back unless the bidding gets ridiculous. Perhaps Pace tries to find a 2nd rounder from somewhere to draft a replacement but otherwise I think he's back.

Overall I'm pretty happy. The roster is pretty tight with a lot of good players locked up, which is good as there isn't huge amounts of cap to throw around. I'm trying to think where we need an upgrade?

OL was graded at 7th for pass blocking but down at 28th in run blocking. I think some of that is down to scheme but Long helps that if fit, I don't see a talisman getting cut when it doesn't need to happen yet.
QB is set.
RB has the mismatch with Howard but is that solved with scheme or does Pace look for a replacement?
WR looks fine, particularly with the Wims cameo.
TE has Burton locked in contract wise but another is required unless Shaheen shows more and can be compatible with Nagy's scheme.

DL is 2/3 great with the other spot fine, perhaps better if Nichols continues to rise.
OLB could be improved outside of Mack but Floyd still deserves that chance, depth is a little lacking.
ILB looks very nice.
CB is great bar for nickel if Callahan doesn't return.
S will need depth if Amos goes but Bush has shown enough to warrant a look at SS.

I'll be really interested to see where Pace thinks we can upgrade. If Massie is back with the EFRAs and filler, I think I'd be fine going into next season. A nickel back and proven depth as the only holes isn't a bad position to be in, RB sitch notwithstanding.
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Tue Jan 08, 2019 11:50 pm

For me, the focus on the draft has to be improving the run blocking and the right side of the O line.

I’d keep Long if we can afford it and take our first pick at replacing Massie if there’s a player there that we like at RT.
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Re: Bears pending Free Agents and Roster

Wed Jan 09, 2019 7:58 am

Wab thanks for compiling the list. You often do cool stuff like that, it is noticed, so again thanks.

I'd like to keep Long if possible, I've nothing against Massie, but I am hesitant to resign because of his age and the chance we can find a younger RT with equal/similar skill set whom Hiestand can work with. Amos and Callahan I'd like to keep both, but it won't kill the team if they move on. O'Donnel could/should be replaced, he's a JAG. I'd like to keep Lynch if the price is right, and hope Irving and RRH return.

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