Mike McGlinchey

Potential Bears free-agent target Mike McGlinchey says money will be a big factor in free agency

San Francisco 49ers right tackle Mike McGlinchey will soon hit the open market and become an unrestricted free agent in March, assuming the 49ers don’t use the franchise tag on him. The Chicago Bears need a right tackle, making McGlinchey a natural free-agent target.

The Bears also have the most money to spend in the 2023 free agency period, and that should marry up well with one of McGlinchey’s offseason priorities: getting paid.

“Well, it certainly will have a lot to do with it,” McGlinchey said last week. “I’m not an idiot. I understand what my value is. And I think they do, too. And I hope the rest of the league will when the time comes.”

New Orleans Saints Ryan Ramczyk has the NFL’s highest average annual salary for a right tackle at $19.2 million. Philadelphia Eagles star Lane Johnson is next at $18 million. It’s fair to assume McGlinchey’s payday will be somewhere in that range.

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While a big factor, money won’t be the only variable in McGlinchey’s free agency thought process.

“It’s hard to ever want to leave this place,” he said. “I’ve seen people do it and be heartbroken about it later on.”

The Chicago Bears have a league-best $98.6 million in salary-cap spending power. That’s nearly $40 million more than the next closest team, the Atlanta Falcons ($56.4 million).

Bottom line? If the Bears want Mike McGlinchey, and McGlinchey’s main priority this offseason is getting paid, you can write his name in pen as Chicago’s starting right tackle in 2023.

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