Ranking the 13 biggest Bears additions this offseason

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It’s been an offseason of change for the Chicago Bears following a disappointing 6-11 season. The Bears fired both general manager Ryan Pace and head coach Matt Nagy and ushered in a new regime to get this franchise back on the winning track.

While the Bears haven’t made any big splashes this offseason, they made some important additions to the roster that will go a long way in determining the outcome of 2022 and beyond.

From rookies to veterans to coaches, here’s a look at the Bears’ biggest offseason additions.

QB Trevor Siemian

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears certainly don’t have a quarterback controversy, but that didn’t stop Poles from making moves at backup QB. While it’s difficult to argue that Trevor Siemian, who signed a two-year deal, is an upgrade over the departed Andy Dalton or Nick Foles, the Bears felt confident enough in Siemian to serve as Justin Fields’ backup. The hope is that Fields can stay healthy this season, but Siemian is just one play away from being thrown out there.

CB Tavon Young

AP Photo/Terrance Williams

Cornerback was the biggest area of weakness for the Bears defense last season, especially at the nickel position. Chicago upgraded at the position with the addition of veteran Tavon Young, who singed a one-year deal. He’s been solid at nickel when he’s been able to stay healthy, which is what the Bears are hoping for. Young will battle second-year pro Thomas Graham Jr. for the starting job in training camp.

EDGE Al-Quadin Muhammad

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The Bears traded star edge rusher Khalil Mack to the Los Angeles Chargers this offseason, leaving Robert Quinn and Trevis Gipson as the only proven commodities. Which is exactly why Chicago brought in a familiar face in Al-Quadin Muhammad, who worked with Matt Eberflus in Indianapolis, to a two-year deal. Not only does Muhammad have a good understanding of the defense, but he provides more stability off the edge for the Bears.

WR Byron Pringle

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Wide receiver was one of Chicago’s biggest areas of need this offseason, but the Bears didn’t make any splashes. In free agency, their big move was signing Byron Pringle to a one-year deal. Pringle was essentially buried on a loaded Chiefs depth chart, and the hope is he’ll break out on this Bears roster. In fact, the team is counting on it, especially considering the other moves at the position this offseason.

LB Nicholas Morrow

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears defense is making the transition to a 4-3 defense, where Roquan Smith was the only starting linebacker on the roster ahead of free agency. Chicago went out and landed Nicholas Morrow to serve as a starter alongside Smith, where it sounds like Morrow could be the one calling the plays for the defense.

OL Lucas Patrick

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Poles made it clear that the offensive line would be a focal point this offseason, as evidenced by the addition of center Lucas Patrick. Patrick has versatility along the interior of the offensive line, but the Bears brought him in to serve as center. Patrick already has a good understanding of the system Luke Getsy is running, which should help matters as he builds a rapport with Fields.

DL Justin Jones

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears lost three defensive starters in the trenches from last season, which makes the addition of Justin Jones a big one. Jones was the emergency plan for Poles, who initially agreed to terms with Larry Ogunjobi to serve as the three-technique. Eberflus explained there will be a rotation in place along the defensive line to keep fresh legs, but it certainly helps to have a solid 3-tech in place in Jones.

WR Velus Jones Jr.

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

The Bears didn’t do much in terms of adding a strong supporting cast around Justin Fields this offseason, but third-round rookie Velus Jones Jr. was one of their biggest moves. Jones possesses elite speed and run-after-the-catch ability that give him the potential to become a dangerous threat in Luke Getsy’s offense. But most importantly, Jones could give Fields another solid option in the passing game outside of Darnell Mooney.

S Jaquan Brisker

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

When Ryan Poles called Jaquan Brisker to tell him the Bears were drafting him, Brisker said they got “the steal of the draft.” And he might be right. Brisker fills an important need at strong safety opposite Eddie Jackson, where the expectation is Brisker will contribute immediately as a rookie. Brisker, a hard-hitting defensive back with a nose for the football, has already been making a strong impression this offseason.

CB Kyler Gordon

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Cornerback was arguably the biggest need outside of wide receiver and offensive line, and the Bears found themselves a good one in the second round with Kyler Gordon. Like fellow draft mate Brisker, Gordon is expected to start immediately as a rookie, which is an immediate upgrade at cornerback. He’s a versatile defensive back with experience playing outside and in the slot, but the Bears already revealed he’ll be starting on the outside opposite Jaylon Johnson. At least for now.

OC Luke Getsy

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Offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, the guy in charge of developing quarterback Justin Fields, is easily one of the biggest additions this offseason.  Getsy made it a point to build Chicago’s offense around Fields’ strengths, which starts with a strong commitment to the run game and utilizing Fields’ mobility. Going from Matt Nagy to Getsy, it’s already a step forward for the Bears offense.

HC Matt Eberflus

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Following the disaster that was Matt Nagy, the Bears turned to another Matt in Matt Eberflus to get this team back on track. Eberflus has been a breath of fresh air, and he’s already changing the culture in Chicago. Eberflus is holding players accountable, not handing out starting jobs and conveying strong expectations that will hopefully get this team back to their winning ways. While we won’t know for a few years whether this hire works out, Eberflus’ presence is a huge one for the Bears.

GM Ryan Poles

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Ultimately, every addition on this list falls on the shoulders of new Bears general manager Ryan Poles, which makes him the biggest addition to the franchise this offseason. Poles wasn’t in the best position when he took over for the fired Ryan Pace. But Poles has stuck to his promise to build through the draft, as well as parting ways with some aging veterans with big contracts as he rebuilds the roster his way. It’s far too early to evaluate Poles, but when we look back in a few years, this could be either a great or disastrous move for the Bears.

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