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Brad Biggs: Chicago Bears complete their backfield with D’Andre Swift on an otherwise quiet day. What’s next for GM Ryan Poles?

CHICAGO — There has been little to show in the way of victories — and certainly no postseason success to brag about — that can be linked to the major headlines the Chicago Bears have produced in free agency over the last decade-plus.

Perhaps that was in the back of general manager Ryan Poles’ mind when the NFL’s shopping season got off to a flying start Monday morning. At 11 a.m., teams were permitted to negotiate with agents, and deals — which cannot become official until 3 p.m. Wednesday — began falling quickly.

It wasn’t long before the Bears had an agreement in place with running back D’Andre Swift, who reportedly will sign a three-year, $24 million contract with basically the first two years guaranteed.

That news came on the heels of a news conference with Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson, who discussed his four-year, $76 million contract extension that was finalized last week. While it wasn’t an addition via the open market, it should be considered as such because the Bears spent to prevent Johnson from departing as a free agent.

The Bears also have a trade agreed to with the Buffalo Bills for center Ryan Bates, a move that will become official when he passes a physical, and they signed free safety Kevin Byard on Sunday to a two-year, $15 million contract. For context, the Bears will pay Bates and Byard combined roughly what the Tennessee Titans are spending on Lloyd Cushenberry, the top free-agent center who got a four-year deal averaging $12.5 million per season.

As the Bears work to climb out of the NFC North basement, it’s worth noting that the Detroit Lions — who have won 20 of their last 27 regular-season games and reached the NFC championship game in January — were only bit players in free agency during GM Brad Holmes’ first two seasons.

Holmes largely bought players on one-year contracts or prove-it deals, with the exceptions being former Bears running back David Montgomery (three years, $18 million) and cornerback Cam Sutton (three years, $33 million), and they were hardly huge signings.

What’s left to do for Poles is interesting, but the Bears, who own the first and ninth picks in the draft, can emerge as one of the big winners of the offseason without spending extravagantly.

It was former Bears GM Ryan Pace who called free agency “dangerous waters,” and you can get a reminder every March if you scroll back 24 months and look at the headline signings from two years ago. Defensive ends Von Miller, Chandler Jones and Randy Gregory, cornerback J.C. Jackson, wide receiver Allen Robinson and guard Laken Tomlinson all got big deals in March 2022.

The Bears still could use an edge rusher, and the Minnesota VikingsDanielle Hunter remains available. He’s 29 and has 56 sacks in his last four complete seasons (he had six sacks in seven games in 2021). It’s likely Hunter’s asking price is the reason a deal hasn’t fallen into place, and the Vikings essentially replaced him by agreeing to a four-year, $76 million deal with the Houston TexansJonathan Greenard.

The Los Angeles Chargers are reported to be shopping former Bears edge rusher Khalil Mack and Joey Bosa, so more talented defensive ends could become available. Whether Poles wants to go with aging players at this point remains to be seen.

One possible fit could be Josh Uche of the New England Patriots. He would fit the role of a nickel pass rusher. He has 18 1/2 career sacks in four seasons with 11 1/2 coming in 2022.

The addition of Swift, 25, gives the Bears a complete backfield. He has averaged 4.6 yards per carry in his four-year career and ran for 1,049 yards and five touchdowns for the Philadelphia Eagles last season. His production would have been greater had the Eagles not leaned on quarterback Jalen Hurts to carry the ball close to the goal line.

The Bears likely wanted to invest in a running back because they figure to replace quarterback Justin Fields, who has propped up the team’s rushing production the last two seasons. Even though the Eagles don’t throw the ball to their backs a lot, Swift is a good receiver out of the backfield and will sign for less than the Eagles are paying Saquon Barkley or the Green Bay Packers are paying Josh Jacobs.

It was interesting to see the market really take off for off-the-ball linebackers a year after the Bears spent early in free agency to sign Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards. The pay scale for guards also is skyrocketing, news that could benefit the Bears’ Teven Jenkins as he looks to the future.

There’s plenty of news to come from the Bears in the weeks ahead, and the draft should provide the biggest momentum surge for the rebuilding effort. It’s always good to remember the big winners in March don’t routinely turn that into success the following January.