Chicago Bears Free Agent Targets’ Projected Contracts

The Chicago Bears will have more salary cap space than any team in the NFL next year by a wide margin. GM Ryan Poles has stated his goal is to build through the draft. That might be true, but it doesn’t change the fact he can’t plug every hole on this roster with the number of picks he currently has. He will have to do some spending on the veteran market. There is no shortage of options that could help the Bears improve in several key areas. It always comes down to how much it will cost.

Spotrac, one of the most popular salary cap websites out there, released an article detailing their projected valuations for major free agents next spring. Several names stood out as possible targets for the Bears. Here is a short list of the ones that make the most sense and what it might cost to get them.

The Chicago Bears now have an idea of the market.

DT Da’Ron Payne – 5 years, $71M

Payne has really come into his own this year. Most labeled him as a solid run defender during most of his time in Washington. He finally shed that with 8.5 sacks in 13 games this season. He is a complete player at defensive tackle and somebody that can disrupt with interior pass rush consistently.

DT Dre’Mont Jones – 3 years, $21M

It’s surprising how overlooked Jones is. He plays on one of the best defenses in the NFL but is constantly overshadowed by more celebrated teammates. All the while, he has been a steady sack producer on the interior, with 5.5 sacks in 12 games this season.

EDGE Yannick Ngakoue – 4 years, $60M

As former 5th round picks go, Ngakoue has vastly outplayed his draft slot for years. If you’re a team looking for somebody to give you 8-10 sacks per year, then he’s your guy. He isn’t much more than a good pass rusher, which is fine. The Chicago Bears coaches can work around that.

CB Jamel Dean – 3 years, $27M

Kindle Vildor’s comeback story was short-lived. The Bears are thin at cornerback. They might feel the need to pair somebody with Jaylon Johnson. Dean is allowed a 68.7 passer rating this season. He’s one of the best young corners in the game and doesn’t get nearly enough love.

OT Orlando Brown – 5 years, $112M

This might be problematic. Brown wants to be a left tackle. Chicago seems happy with Braxton Jones in that spot. They do, however, need a right tackle. Could they convince Brown to switch if they offer him the money he wants? If so, they’d put two nasty powerhouses together on the right side with Teven Jenkins.

OT Jack Conklin – 2 years, $22M

This is a case of either or. Would the Bears prefer the younger option that will command a huge contract or the older veteran that is cheaper? Conklin is still really good and not yet 30 years old. He should be able to plug the right tackle spot for at least two or three years as Poles fixes other areas.

OG Elgton Jenkins – 3 years, $21M

Luke Getsy has already targeted former Packers before. If by some chance, Jenkins hits the market, he will absolutely be pounding the table for the Pro Bowl guard. It is an easy decision with Cody Whitehair getting older. The Bears could even consider plugging him into the right tackle spot if necessary.

RB Saquon Barkley – 4 years, $48M

The speculation is already out there. Barkley is an undeniable star at running back. The Chicago Bears are a run-first team. Pairing him with Justin Fields seems like a no-brainer. They have more than enough money to afford it. Would Poles risk it? That is difficult to say at this point.

WR Jacobi Meyers – 4 years, $50M

It’s obvious the Bears still need more options at wide receiver. Meyers has been productive in New England despite quarterback issues. He’s quick, fast, and a sharp route runner. He’d be a nice threat in the slot, which is something this team needs. That price is an interesting discussion, though.

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