The first phase of the 2020 NFL offseason will kick off on March 18 when the signing period for free agency officially begins. Teams can negotiate with free agents beginning on March 16, and the Bears are expected to be among the cluster of clubs searching for upgrades at several key positions.
GM Ryan Pace is likely to focus his free-agent budget on a veteran quarterback, help along the offensive line, and the secondary where players like Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Prince Amukamara face uncertain futures. There's also the tight end problem, which Pace can use free agency to land a quick fix.
This year's free-agent class his headlined by high-upside yet risky players. Many of the top names are coming off of breakout seasons but have resumes of underwhelming production.
Here's a look at the top 30 free agents scheduled to hit the open market.
Now that Greg Olsen is spoken for by the Seahawks, the Bears must continue their search for an upgrade at tight end. Pro Football Focus has released their predictions for the top 50 free agents this off-season and they suspect the Bears will sign former Colts' TE Eric Ebron.
The argument put forward by PFF is solid. With both Trey Burton and Adam Shaheen underperforming in 2019, the Bears are desperate for anyone with experience at TE. Enter Ebron, who has been a consistent receiver putting up grades between 69.4 and 71.4 over the past four years of his career. During his first season in Indianapolis in 2018, Ebron scored 14 touchdowns. His 2019 season was cut short due to an ankle injury, with him scoring three touchdowns and 31 catches in 11 games. Consistency has been the biggest issue for the Bears offense, making Ebron an attractive prospect for Chicago.
PPF projects the Bears will sign him to a 3-year, $7.5 million per year contract ($14 million guaranteed).
This isn’t the first time the 2018 Pro-Bowler has been connected to the Bears. Eagle-eyed fans caught Ebron interacting with Akiem Hicks and Tarik Cohen on Twitter earlier this year, with many speculating the current Bears’ players were encouraging Ebron to join them at Soldier Field in 2020.
Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears.
Laurence Holmes, JJ Stankevitz and Mark Grote join Kap on the panel.
0:00 - The pressure continues to mount on Rob Manfred as the Astros scandal lingers. He apologized on Tuesday but should that be enough for him to keep his job?
17:00 - Drew Brees is heading back to New Orleans, so Teddy Bridgewater will be looking for a new home. The guys discuss if he'll be too expensive for the Bears. if he is, who could come to Chicago to join Mitch in the QB room at Halas Hall?
Listen here or in the embedded player below.
Sports Talk Live Podcast