With the 2016 season coming to a close it is time to take a look at the needs of the teams for the 2017 off-season. Up today we take a look at the Chicago Bears. The Bears finished the 2016 season with a record of 3-13 and last in the NFC North. What do the Bears need to do to turn it around in 2017? Here are 3 key moves that Chicago should focus on to start the off-season.
It is clear that current QB Jay Cutler’s time is up with the Chicago Bears. However, do the Bears have a worthy QB on the roster? Backup QB Brian Hoyer s coming off an arm injury and is a journeyman at best. Along with Hoyer, the other QB on the roster is Matt Barkley. He finished the season as the starter. Although he showed some glimpses during his time, he too has had his travels. Since he was drafted in 2013 Barkley has been with 3 NFL franchises. Is this the type of guy that you want starting for your franchise? The Bears would be one of the top 5 teams to look at QB. Maybe this is where Deshaun Watson ends up?
Alshon Jeffery is a free agent and Kevin White cannot stay healthy. The only receiver on the squad that is worth mentioning as a mainstay is Cameron Meredith. He had a tremendous season, especially late. He had 66 receptions for 888 yards and 4 TDs. He was basically the Chicago Bears offense on the season. The Bears are going to have nearly $63 million in salary cap space. This should be an area of concern during free agency. If they do not address it then, they should definitely address it in the 2017 NFL Draft.
The Chicago Bears had a middle of the road defense. Yes, they finished 15th but that was because of their successful pass defense and not the run. They finished 27th against the run. They need to attack the front of the defense in order to change this. John Fox led defenses are usually not that bad against the run. The Bears are going to have to make this a heavy off-season priority in order to return to contention. If they do not, they could be looking at the bottom again in 2017.
If the Chicago Bears make the right moves and get the necessary pieces they can make a climb back towards the top in 2017. They are going to need a year or two to contend again. Especially if they have to play a rookie QB. Bears fans, get ready for the long haul, you will need it.