Bear Necessities: What does Alex Leatherwood’s addition mean for offensive line?

·2 min read

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The Chicago Bears were the most active team on the waiver wire following final roster cutdowns, where they landed former first-round offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood.

The Bears were interested in Leatherwood during the 2021 NFL draft, but they traded up for quarterback Justin Fields. In that same draft, Chicago also traded up to select offensive lineman Teven Jenkins.

Which makes it interesting considering Leatherwood is now seemingly in a competition with Jenkins and fellow 2021 draft class mate Larry Borom at right guard and right tackle, respectively.

While Leatherwood played both right guard and right tackle in his rookie year with the Raiders, Leatherwood dominated at guard in his collegiate career at Alabama. It looks to be his natural position, so it’ll be interesting to see where the Bears have him fitting in.

The fact that Leatherwood only lasted one year in Las Vegas — as a new regime takes over in 2022 — isn’t a glowing review. He has a lot of work to do if he hopes to become an impactful offensive lineman down the road. Which is why coming to Chicago is a good situation.

The Bears appear to have their starting offensive line set, which means Leatherwood won’t be expected to contribute immediately. And if Jenkins or Borom ultimately prove to not be the answer at their respective positions, it opens the door for Leatherwood.

With Chicago claiming Leatherwood off waivers, they inherit his contract from Las Vegas. He still has three years left on his rookie deal, and he’s owed $5.9 million guaranteed.

Leatherwood wasn’t brought here to be a reserve. He was brought here to be an impact player down the line. We’ll see how that impacts the offensive line moving forward.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire