What’s next for D’Andre Swift? 4 questions to consider as the Chicago Bears’ free-agency activity continues.

The free-agency negotiating period had been humming for more than two days when the NFL officially rang in its new league year at 3 p.m. Wednesday. That allowed ink to finally be put onto deals that had been agreed to earlier in the week and also opened the door for trades to become finalized.

Already this has been an eventful week across the NFL, and the action is a long way from slowing down. The Bears will introduce a handful of their newcomers to the media Thursday and Friday at Halas Hall while continuing to proceed through the next few waves of free agency.

General manager Ryan Poles has made significant progress in fortifying the roster during this pivotal offseason. After the first day of the new league year, here are four questions worth addressing.

1. What did the Bears accomplish Wednesday?

The team announced the signings of running back D’Andre Swift, tight end Gerald Everett and safety Jonathan Owens to multiyear contracts. All those deals had been agreed to before Wednesday.

Poles also finalized a one-year contract for veteran offensive lineman Matt Pryor, who will be joining his fourth team in his sixth NFL season and figures to compete for a backup role. The Bears also agreed to terms on a one-year deal with quarterback Brett Rypien — as if Chicago’s QB conversation needed another surprise twist to heat things up.

It’s also worth noting that two of Poles’ biggest expenditures for the 2024 free-agency period were invested in players who were on the roster in 2023. Pro Bowl cornerback Jaylon Johnson finalized a four-year, $76 million extension last week, now locked in for the foreseeable future as a core leader and key secondary playmaker. Poles also got out in front of free agency last fall when he traded for Montez Sweat, then quickly put together a four-year, $98 million extension for the defensive end.

Had the Bears opened this week by adding a standout pass rusher and high-level corner cornerback from the top shelf of free agency, fans in Chicago would be having a parade right now with the rest of the league impressed with those additions as well.

That’s something to keep in mind when assessing Poles’ work with roster improvements. Add in the Bears’ weekend signing of veteran safety Kevin Byard and it’s easy to recognize that Poles has strengthened in his starting defense.

2. What does the signing of Swift mean for the offense?

The 25-year-old running back is coming off a career season with the Philadelphia Eagles in which he totaled 1,049 rushing yards and five touchdowns while adding 39 catches for 214 yards and another score. It’s also worth noting that of Jalen Hurts’ 11 1-yard touchdown runs last season, five came immediately after Swift was stopped just short of the goal line.

Swift joins a running backs room at Halas Hall that includes Roschon Johnson and Khalil Herbert. Swift also was part of a run Monday that saw several big-name backs change teams with significant money attached as Saquon Barkley went to the Eagles, Derrick Henry joined the Ravens, Josh Jacobs landed with the Packers and Tony Pollard signed with the Titans.

Swift’s three-year contract reportedly includes more than $15 million of guaranteed money with a total value of $24 million. He will slide into the offense of new Bears coordinator Shane Waldron as a multidimensional weapon capable of bolstering the running game and contributing to the passing attack.

He is still young and should lend speed and explosion to the offense.

3. What are the Bears’ biggest needs going forward?

Poles entered the offseason with an aspiration of adding oomph to the pass rush and still has plenty of time to get that done as the free-agency market evolves and with the draft arriving on April 25.

The biggest names on the open market landed huge contractual rewards this week with Danielle Hunter leading the way with a two-year, $49 million deal with the Houston Texans.

Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, meanwhile, got $84.8 million guaranteed on a four-year, $110 million deal while Chris Jones stayed in Kansas City with a nine-figure guarantee on a five-year, $158.8 million extension.

Poles has prided himself on remaining practical and disciplined in free agency in a way that marries up to the value board the Bears have established internally at Halas Hall. So it wasn’t a shock that they didn’t overextend for a big-splash signing for the defensive front. But the Bears still have work to do there to continue upgrading and will keep that a priority in the days and weeks ahead.

Among the top pass rushers still available in free agency are Jadeveon Clowney and Chase Young. Defensive tackles yet to sign include Sheldon Rankins and Quinton Jefferson.

The Bears also will keep an eye on any notable cuts in the days ahead.

4. What should we read into the signing of a backup quarterback?

It’s difficult to say right now what the initial vision for Rypien might be. He spent 3 1/2 weeks with Waldron in Seattle last season during a whirlwind stretch in which he went from the Rams to the Seahawks to the Jets between Weeks 10-13.

The most recent of Rypien’s four career starts came in a 20-3 Rams loss to the Packers in Green Bay in November. He went 13-for-28 for 130 yards with two turnovers and was waived two days later.

Yes, Rypien is a nephew of Super Bowl XXVI MVP Mark Rypien. But it will be interesting to see how much opportunity the Bears provide him to compete for a role in the coming months.

As heated as the conversation has been about the quarterback options for 2024, Poles, coach Matt Eberflus and Waldron must unite on a play to address their QB2 role heading into the summer and fall. Tyson Bagent, an undrafted rookie in 2023, finished last season as the incumbent backup.

Justin Fields, meanwhile, remains on the roster as Bears leaders plot out their plan and work toward a decision on what to do with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

As for the importance of potentially pushing to have an established and experienced veteran inside the quarterbacks room as a mentor for a rookie, it’s worth noting that Eberflus already has stocked his coaching staff with a horde of quarterback overseers including Waldron, passing game coordinator Thomas Brown, quarterbacks coach Kerry Joseph and assistant quarterbacks coach Ryan Griffin.