Chicago Bears Q&A: Is there a real move that GM Ryan Poles could make for the notable WR? Who will be the best addition to the roster?

The Chicago Bears are on summer break until the end of July when training camp begins in Lake Forest. Brad Biggs answers your questions about the Bears in this last mailbox before camp.

I find it curious that the national media has been critical of the level of WR Bears corps talent, constantly urging the organization to trade in draft capital to acquire disgruntled and/or underperforming players from the other team. Kenny Golladay is the latest example of this. Is there a realistic trade for a wide receiver that will really lift the roster, or has Ryan Poles been prudent to stay on course? — David D., Arlington Heights

Well, the Bears don’t have a lot of proven talent in the position other than Darnell Mooney, and I don’t believe many people in the league consider him the No. 1 wide receiver. Could he rise to this role? Without a doubt. The jump he made from his rookie season last year was impressive, and with a new coaching staff, a new game, and some familiarity with quarterback Justin Fields, Mooney could definitely make a big comeback in 2022.

The Bears are hoping Byron Pringle is ready to spread his wings now that he’s off Kansas City and can get more opportunities. Equanimus St. Brown is an interesting player, but he has never been consistent enough to play regularly in Green Bay. Rookie Velus Jones Jr. is a player the Bears are very happy with, but he has yet to lose in the NFL. The vast majority of teams have deeper experience and, in many cases, better known talent.

Do I think the Bears will trade Golladay? No, I do not know. I haven’t heard any rumors about this, and why would the Poles want to pay big bucks – Golladey should be paying $13 million this season – for a player who has a history of injury, especially last season? You would think that the Bears believe they can get a similar product from one of the players already on the roster. In addition, Holladay is 28 years old.

I get repeated questions about the position, and almost all of them are fair. I don’t see the Bears making a blockbuster move to break the game in this position. Who thinks Powles would want to trade his 2023 first-round pick for a player who needs a big contract? Not me. I think the Bears are curious to see how their crop of receivers performs. Not everyone will succeed or live up to expectations, but if one or two of them are reliable, it’s a step in the right direction. Maybe the unknown will take a step forward. I think former Notre Dame wide receiver Chris Finke did well this spring. He’s short, 5’9″, 186 pounds, but maybe he can compete for slot space. Fincke entered the NFL without a draft in 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers. Let’s see what he and the rest will look like when training camp starts.

I feel like the Bears are being dropped nationally and picked worse than the Jacksonville Jaguars. I believe Matt Eberflux will make them play harder and Justin Fields can win more games than people think. A season in Cincinnati Bengals style? — @dpeak1313

The Bengals won the Super Bowl last season. I don’t believe the Bears will experience a similar resurgence in 2022 and end up as NFC champions. However, there is a hell of a big gap in the middle between being worse than the Jaguars and being as good as the Bengals. I agree that Eberflus will likely force the team to play harder, which could create the energy the building needs to handle the scheduling challenges. The coaching staff have been very positive about Fields this spring and he has nowhere to go but upstairs.

I understand that Bears fans, at least most of them, are tired of hearing that this season could be full of growing pains. From a national point of view, why might a team have a different quick look at the team? They won six matches last season. Statistically, Fields has struggled as much as any other rookie quarterback in the past decade. Some important defenders are gone and there are serious questions on the offensive line, which struggled last season. The only additions to the O-line were center Lucas Patrick, who signed a two-year, $8 million contract, and a quartet of day three draft picks. If Fields takes a few steps forward, the Bears could be competitive almost every week and close to the fourth quarter. Then it comes to staging plays.

Are the Bears really in for a really bad season, as all pundits predict? — @jcadengo1

Can you list three or four good reasons why this season could be a first year playoff for Eberflus? Yes, it happened to Matt Nagy in 2018, but he walked through the doors of Halas Hall and talked defensive coordinator Vic Fangio into staying put. The Bears had a playoff-ready defense when Nagy was hired, and the division only got better after Khalil Mak was acquired through a trade. I don’t see a player like Mac added to the roster before the start of the season.

The Bears are starting from scratch both offensively and defensively. Obviously, you need to keep a close eye on Fields and his development. There are many other exciting storylines to keep an eye on. A lineup that has rejuvenated and will be updated over the next 12 months. If Fields comes forward and shows progress this season while a good group of young players gain experience and show promise and the final record is 7-10, is that really bad? Let’s see what’s going on. I think general manager Ryan Poles presented chairman George McCaskey with a long-term plan, a plan that he knew would take several years to materialize. Powles didn’t say that much, but as I’ve written before, this line-up wasn’t a weekend DIY project when he took it on. I think people should be open and form their expectations accordingly.

Do you think Trestan Abner will play a big role in offense, and if so, how does that compare to David Montegomery and Khalil Herbert? — @sambinoo

Big role? Perhaps this is asking too much of a rookie in the sixth round. It projects as a change of pace backwards as it picks up full speed. Injuries to players ahead of him on the depth table could create more opportunities. When I think of a “big role” I think of more than a third of the shots on offense, which seems a bit ambitious given the presence of Montgomery and Herbert you alluded to, as well as Darrinton Evans.

The Bears seem to have decent depth and competition since training camp. Perhaps Abner can find his place at the start of the season, and he catches the ball deftly off the field. I certainly think that he can intervene immediately as a multi-stage participant in special teams. He will be an interesting rookie to keep an eye on during training camp and preseason.

With slots open for linebacker, right-back, and fullback, as well as salary cap slots, are the Bears making more free agents ahead of camp? — @pilcher2700

Who are going to sign? With 32 teams having 90-man rosters right now, it’s not like there’s a bunch of guys on the street who look like first-week starters when they have a contract and kit. Yes, I expect this roster to constantly evolve and that could mean adding players due to injury or other reasons. No, I don’t think the Bears will add a difference from the street. Maybe they’re getting a player or two who can match their system during roster cuts, but that doesn’t mean the Bears are just biding their time, waiting to pounce on potential free agents. Most of the moves at this stage are for the depth of the camp.

What is your MVPA (Most Valuable Player Added) prediction for this roster? — @gentlandif

It’s an interesting question and you might be interested in a few players because there are so many new faces. It looks like the Bears’ plan is to immediately start root guard Kyler Gordon and defenseman Jakuan Brisker, and the rookies can help bolster the minor player who had some problems last season. Midfielder Nicholas Morrow seems to fit this formation really well due to his range and athleticism. If any wide receiver gets on the field – Byron Pringle, Equanimaeus St. Brown or rookie Velus Jones Jr. – it will go a long way in helping quarterback Justin Fields. The Bears believe that Lucas Patrick, the new center forward, can set the tone for the attacking line, and this is certainly necessary. Justin Jones and Al-Quadin Muhammad are new to the defensive line. As I said, there are many options among several new faces.

If I had to choose one, I would choose Gordon. He was their top pick in the draft and looks like he could be the starting left cornerback. Brisker has the perfect combination of size and athleticism and could also be a very interesting young player.

Given the hole in the right back, the possibility of starting Braxton Jones in the left tackle has more to do with getting the top five wingers on the field and perhaps meaning Larry Bohrom or Teven Jenkins playing defense? — @jtbcubs

I see what you’re getting at, but I don’t think you’re making decisions at left tackle from all positions because of the question you have at right back. The left tackle is the main position in the offensive line, and you can conclude that the right defender is at the bottom of the list. I say this because some coaches really value athletic players at left back, prioritizing it over right back.

Yes, the Bears need to find the top five linemen and get them on the field. They have yet to see Borom or Jenkins on guard this spring, at least as far as I’ve seen. Could that change on the first day of mini-camp? Of course. Some people I spoke to when the Bears drafted Jenkins last year thought it was best for him to play on the outs. But I don’t think you put a rookie in the fifth round as a left tackle unless you’re sure he’s your best option in that position, no matter what else you have going on in the lane. Questions on the left solve trump questions from the right defender. Maybe Jones will do well when pads come out next month.

Which player is more likely to start in Week 1: Robert Quinn or Braxton Jones? — @gucasliogito

I have to tell Quinn. He is a starter for this defense while he is not on the list. Jones has a lot of work to do before he can really take part in this work.

What are the Bears doing with Teven Jenkins? — @joeymalabarba

This spring, Jenkins got what amounted to half of the snaps with a starter in the right tackle. It should be noted that he was the first player who also looked there. My guess is that he will stay in the mix to win this job with an outside chance of the team looking inside him at right back. Jenkins is a big, physically fit player who should look better when pads are used in training camp. It would be premature to write him off at this point. There are a lot of moving parts in the offensive line right now and we’ll have to see how things play out in the first couple of weeks of training camp.

Considering Ndamukong Seo’s performance last year (versus Akim Hicks and health included), wouldn’t Soh be a great option for a one- or two-year veteran in the D-line? – @mostly

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers effectively replaced Suh by signing the Hicks to a one-year contract. Su, 35, has expressed a desire to keep playing, but at his age, and after winning the Super Bowl in Tampa, do you think he would be interested in joining a team that is in the early stages of full development? reestablish? I assume not.

Su’s addition would not fit the profile of the players that GM Ryan Poles had already brought on board. You don’t see many famous players who are on the other side of their careers. In fact, you really don’t see anything. What he did was buy available players in their 20s with the idea that some or most of them had their best football ahead of them. It doesn’t seem like a match for either side. This is just my opinion.

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