No one expected Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles to fix all of the team’s problems during the 2023 free-agency signing period. Let’s face it; the Bears ended the 2022 season with the No. 1 pick for a reason. They have a lot of needs.
But Poles has done a remarkable job adding quality players to the roster. Remember: this is his first real offseason building the Chicago Bears. Last year was spent tearing down Ryan Pace’s team. Now, we’re seeing Poles add a mix of players on multi-year contracts and prove-it deals in an effort to win both now and into the future.
As Poles said in his opening press conference as Bears general manager, his goal is sustained success. You can see that philosophy at work with his decisions in 2023 free agency.
At the time of this post, the Chicago Bears have signed nine players. If you count the trade for former Carolina Panthers wide receiver DJ Moore, the total number of new faces — who will impact the team in 2023 — is 10.
Here are my grades for the nine free agents added this offseason.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB
Edmunds, 24, is an ascending superstar who understands what it means to play linebacker for the Chicago Bears. His introductory press conference made that very clear.
A sideline-to-sideline missile with exceptional coverage skills, Edmunds will be a defensive weapon against the run and pass. He’ll be the cornerstone of the Bears’ defense for a while.
TJ Edwards, LB
Edwards gets the highest grade out of any free agent signing this year because he’s the perfect example of adding a high-end starter at a team-friendly contract. Edwards was one of the highest-graded off-ball linebackers in the league in 2022, per Pro Football Focus, and will pair with Tremaine Edmunds to give the Bears one of their best 1-2 punches at linebacker since Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs.