ESPN analyst says Bears must win the NFL offseason

Louis Riddick says Bears must win the NFL offseason originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

It is a pivotal offseason for the Chicago Bears.

General manager Ryan Poles has $100 million in cap space to work with in free agency, $45 million more than any other NFL team. Chicago also owns the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft.

That's quite the war chest for a GM, and that's not even taking into account that the Bears might have finally found a star, franchise quarterback in Justin Fields.

On ESPN, Riddick listed the top five teams that must win the offseason and the Bears sit atop the rankings.

"This is a slam dunk," Riddick said. This is the Bears. It's about the Bears.

"Because all this talk about (Justin Fields), whether or not they should go ahead, trade him and reset the clock and draft Bryce Young. And just kind of basically take Justin Fields and say, 'hey, nice knowing you' after two years of having different regimes come in there and not having any weapons around him, that's just ridiculous to me.

"They have a ton of cap space. They're going to have a ton of draft picks once they trade out of that number one spot and build up this roster."

And Riddick set the bar high for Poles with the Bears' potential next year if they can nail the offseason.

"I'll tell you this, Ryan Poles you're on the clock," Riddick said. "You're on the clock, man, because you have it all sitting there right now. You have everything you need to take this team and maybe have a worse to first type of turn around if you hit it all right. Let's see what you got."

And Riddick, who yesterday elaborated on his confusion at Fields trade talks, is right Fields not having been set up to succeed so far.

Fields has had two different head coaches and offensive systems in two seasons. Three offenses if you count the tweaks offensive coordinator Luke Getsy made during the Bears' mini-bye.

And Fields has lacked weapons and protection on offense. A lot of times Fields was running for his life.

The assets are there to fill those gaps and right the ship.

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