The Chicago Bears made four big signings on the first day of 2023 free agency. Linebackers Tremaine Edmunds and TJ Edwards will revamp the second level of the defense, guard Nate Davis brings athleticism and power to the offensive line, and DeMarcus Walker has a chance to be a productive chess piece that slides up and down the defensive line.
But there are still several positions the Bears need to address in free agency.
The good news for GM Ryan Poles is that several top-tier free agents remain unsigned. Some of them are at major positions of need. Others would qualify as luxury signings. Regardless, the Bears can improve over the next few days.
Here are the biggest need areas that remain on the Chicago Bears roster entering Day 2 of free agency.
Justin Jones was fine in 2022, but the Bears need an upgrade to take full advantage of coach Matt Eberflus’ defensive scheme. Chicago missed out on Javon Hargrave and Dre’Mont Jones, leaving the best available free agents at the position being more second-wave players. Perhaps Poles revisits Larry Ogunjobi, who he targeted as his first big signing in 2022’s free agency period.
Right tackle is a position the Chicago Bears can find a high-level talent on Day 2 of free agency. Kaleb McGary is the first name that comes to mind. Orlando Brown Jr. is an option, too, although he’s made it clear in recent years that he’s a left tackle. If the Bears stay out of the McGary and Brown sweepstakes, I’d expect Poles to avoid the position in free agency and focus on landing an offensive tackle in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
The addition of Nate Davis has some speculating that Cody Whitehair will return to center. If the Bears decide to let Whitehair go, perhaps a player like Garrett Bradbury would make sense. He’s a former first-round pick who has one of the best seasons of his career in 2022. Bradbury is a good athlete and would fit OC Luke Getsy’s scheme well.
The Chicago Bears have their top two corners set in Jaylon Johnson and Kyler Gordon, but the depth chart sinks fast after that. Cornerback tends to be a pricey position in free agency, but the longer some of these cover guys hang around, the more likely they’ll take a one-year team-friendly deal in 2023. There are still several quality corners — like Byron Murphy Jr. and James Bradberry — who remain unsigned.
Cole Kmet is fine, but the Chicago Bears need a more dynamic run-after-the-catch guy. Mike Gesicki would be a good get, as would a player like Hayden Hurst. The Bears won’t have to break the bank on either tight end, and it could be the best way to enhance the receiving corps without signing a traditional receiver.