Teams can finalize contracts with free agents at 3 p.m. today, but the Bears have almost all their shopping done already. On Tuesday, wide receivers Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel, tight end Trey Burton, linebacker Sam Acho, cornerback Prince Amukamara and kicker Cody Parkey reportedly agreed to sign with the Bears, but there still are some open spots on the roster for Ryan Pace to fill...
5:40 p.m. update
QB Mike Glennon, WR Markus Wheaton, CB Marcus Cooper
The news: The Bears released all three players
As expected, the Bears parted ways with 2017's three biggest free agent swings and misses, and saved about $21 million in cap space in the process. Glennon quickly found a landing spot, signing a two-year, $8 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals:
The #AZCardinals are signing QB Mike Glennon to a 2-year deal worth $8M, source said. He has upside in addition to that.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2018
5:30 p.m. update
DE Mitch Unrein
The news: Will sign a three-year deal with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Mitch Unrein signs for 3 years on a deal worth $10.5M, source said, with $4M guaranteed. Underrated, versatile player. https://t.co/fPI5qOvwBR— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2018
Unrein was a favorite of defensive coordinator Vic Fangio and defensive line coach Jay Rodgers for his assignment-smart football that helped allow Akiem Hicks and Eddie Goldman to play fast. Losing him to Tampa Bay means the Bears could turn to Jonathan Bullard as the other defensive end opposite Hicks in Fangio's 3-4 base.
3:10 p.m. update
PK Cody Parkey
The news: He'll receive $15 million, with $9 million guaranteed, in his four-year contract
K Cody Parkey's deal with the Bears: four years, $15 million with $9 million in guarantees, source says.— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 14, 2018
That's a considerable investment in the kicking position, which has been inconsistent for the Bears since they released Robbie Gould prior to the 2016 season. Parkey connected on 21 of 23 field goal in 2017 for the Miami Dolphins.
2:40 p.m. update
P Kevin Huber
The news: Will re-sign with the Cincinnati Bengals
BREAKING: #Bengals have managed to keep punter Kevin Huber - staved off a strong push from the Chicago Bears. Three year deal to keep the Cincinnati native home.https://t.co/m65sNCmQtO pic.twitter.com/pPHL36BrD2— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) March 14, 2018
The Bears reportedly kicked the tires on Huber, but he's not going anywhere. We'll see if this means Pat O'Donnell will be back after all.
2:10 p.m. update
LB Trent Murphy
The news: Will sign a three-year, $21 million deal with the Buffalo Bills
Former Washington DE Trent Murphy intends to sign a 3-year, $21 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2018
The Bears' biggest need is at outside linebacker going forward, and finding impact guys to pair with Leonard Floyd there in free agency will be difficult. Most likely, the Bears will have to take a flier on someone like Alex Okafor, who tore his Achilles' in November, or Aaron Lynch, who hasn't improved off a promising start to his career back in 2014 and 2015. Murphy fit that bill, having missed the 2017 season with a torn ACL but netting nine sacks in 2016.
WR Taylor Gabriel
The news: His deal is worth $26 million over four years, with $14 million guaranteed
The #Bears are expected to sign WR Taylor Gabriel to a 4-year deal worth $26M, source said. He gets $14M guaranteed. The max is $28M with incentives. Nice deal for the former undrafted speedster who finally cashes in.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2018
Best guess here is most of that guaranteed money is paid out in the first two years of Gabriel's deal. The average annual value of $6.5 million is less than what Albert Wilson will get ($8 million/year over three years), for what it's worth.
TE Trey Burton
The news: More info on his contract
New Bears TE Trey Burton's 4-year, $32 million deal has $18.1 million over the first two years, $18 million of which is fully guaranteed. From there? Nothing fully guaranteed. So two years with, as a practical matter, two team options.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 14, 2018
What's interesting here is the Bears signing Burton and Gabriel to four-year contracts that don't include clear outs after one season. That was how Ryan Pace structured three-year contracts given to Dion Sims, Marcus Cooper and Mike Glennon, as well as the two-year contract signed by Markus Wheaton, a year ago. Pace is betting on the upside of Burton and Gabriel, as these guys aren't signed to low-risk deals.
9:55 a.m. update
OL Zach Fulton
The news: Will sign with the Houston Texans
So Fulton indeed goes to the Texans on a deal that'll pay him, on average, only about $500,000 less than Josh Sitton was due to be owed in 2018 had the Bears picked up his option. Josh Kline, who will re-sign with the Tennessee Titans, will average $6.5 million per season in his four-year deal. If the Bears go cheaper than Fulton and Kline at guard, they could still keep the door open to draft Notre Dame's Quenton Nelson with the eighth overall pick. Or the Bears could slot in Eric Kush, who's coming off a torn ACL suffered last training camp, at one of their starting guard spots and then draft another guard in April. 2017 fifth-round pick Jordan Morgan could be in the mix as well.
9:05 a.m. update
OL Josh Kline
The news: Will re-sign with the Tennessee Titans
Titans are signing G Josh Kline to a 4-year, $26M with $12M gtd, per source. Potential to make up to $27M.— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 14, 2018
The Bears still need to find an interior lineman to replace Josh Sitton, and Kline seemingly could've been an option before opting to stick in Tennessee. The terms of his deal are worth noting here if the Bears dip into his tier of guards to sign someome -- that's probably too much money to spend to then draft Quenton Nelson with the eighth overall pick. If the Bears go for a cheaper option, it could keep the door open for Nelson to come to Chicago.
P Kevin Huber
The report: The Bears have interest
Punters deserve updates too. With Pat O’Donnell slated to hit free agency, the Bears have spoken to Bengals free agent Kevin Huber, source says. Punters!— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 14, 2018
Pat O'Donnell is a free agent, so kicking the tires on another punter isn't out of the blue for the Bears.
7:25 a.m. update
QB Chase Daniel
The news: Will sign with the Bears
The #Bears are expected to sign QB Chase Daniel to a 2-year deal worth $10 million, source said. He gets $7 million guaranteed and... it’s voidable after 1 year. That’s huge, in case something happens and he becomes this year’s Nick Foles. He’d be a free agent in 2019.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 14, 2018
Daniel has connections to Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy, having spent 2010-2012 with the New Orleans Saints and 2013-2015 with the Kansas City Chiefs, so the Bears' interest in him makes a lot of sense. While Daniel has only thrown three passes since the end of the 2014 season, he's highly regarded for his football intelligence and fits as a mentor of sorts for Mitch Trubisky.
LB Sam Acho
The news: Will sign a two-year, $7.5 million deal with the Bears
Sam Acho’s new deal with the Chicago Bears is 2 years up to 7.5 million with 3 million guaranteed. *150K due to little brother upon signing* (i hope).— Emmanuel Acho (@thEMANacho) March 14, 2018
Checkmate @AdamSchefter lol
Acho's older brother scooped all the big names on this one. Bringing back Acho retains another steady piece of Vic Fangio's defense, and rewards a guy who appeared in all 16 games and played 60.4 percent of the Bears' defensive snaps. Acho notched three sacks and forced a fumble in 2017.