2023 Bears mock offseason: Free agency and 7-round mock draft

It will have to no longer come as a surprise to mention the Bears don’t seem like a playoff contender this 12 months.

That’s to not say enthusiasts will have to have anticipated them to be. This used to be obviously a retooling 12 months, surroundings issues up for a rebuilt roster for a brand new regime in 2023 and past. While there’s nonetheless a lot of an NFL season left to play, as Windy City Gridiron’s Lead Draft Analyst who supplies little of worth throughout the season, my eyes are all the time taking a look in opposition to the longer term.

I’ve carried out mock offseasons earlier than, however I’m unbelievably excited for the Bears’ 2023 offseason, so I’m doing a method too early. Is it as a result of soccer is my get away from the tough lure this is being trapped with my very own ideas? Maybe. I imply, no. Definitely no longer. You’re no longer my psychiatrist. Unless my psychiatrist is studying this, through which case, I believe that is evidence that I would like an uptick in medicine.

You know the drill. I’ll run a couple of projected trades, make some unfastened agent signings and cuts, and then I’ll wrap issues up with a 7-round mock draft to get to my 53-man roster. I’m penning this creation remaining, and it’s overdue at evening, so my mind is fried. Here is my way-too-early 2023 Bears mock offseason.

Starting cap house: 115,036,523

Trades

Bears get: 2024 fourth-round pick out

Rams get: DE Robert Quinn

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell has the Bears buying and selling Quinn to the Rams for 2 third-round choices, however I’d be surprised in the event that they get that a lot in a possible deal.

Quinn’s contract, in conjunction with his decline in play up to now and his turning 33 years previous this summer season, hurts his business worth slightly. That stated, the Rams desperately want assist off the brink, and if there’s any workforce that may paintings some cap magic to tackle Quinn’s contract, it’s the wizards in Los Angeles.

This frees up $9,762,500 of cap house for the Bears in 2023, in addition to $17,237,500 in 2024. Los Angeles doesn’t have a fourth-round pick out in 2023, however I’m a company believer in obtaining long term draft capital a 12 months or two at a reduced worth.

Bears get: WR Tee Higgins ($1.79 million cap hit in 2023), 2023 fourth-round pick out (No. 120)

Bengals get: 2023 second-round pick out (No. 33)

Of the entire strikes I’ll have on this mock offseason, let me explain that this will be essentially the most “pie-in-the-sky” of all of them. This no longer most effective hinges at the concept of the Bengals being keen to business Higgins, however that the Bears could be keen to pay him the large extension that Cincinnati would possibly combat to offer him. If given the chance, my resolution to Chicago obtaining Higgins is a convincing “yes”. Losing the second-round pick out stinks, however there are a couple of tactics to recoup a second-round pick out. Among them…

Bears get: 2023 second-round pick out (No. 32)

Texans get: LB Roquan Smith on a tag and business

It took me ages to come to a decision what to do with Smith’s expiring contract. There’s without a doubt that he’s a skilled soccer participant, however is he well worth the huge deal it’s transparent he needs? While this could be a blow to Chicago’s protection, I determined to tag and business him. The Texans have cap house to tackle Smith’s inevitable extension and his 2023 franchise tag, giving them the danger to make some large strikes this offseason. They’ll even have two first-round choices that are meant to be in no less than the highest 15, so in the event that they in reality sought after to, they might recoup a second-round pick out via buying and selling again.

Cuts

DE Al-Quadin Muhammad ($4 million)

OG/C Lucas Patrick ($3.9 million)

These are the one substantial cuts I see the Bears making to liberate cap house this 12 months. Few different contracts that they have got would save a notable sum of money, and each Muhammad and Patrick have fallen wanting expectancies during the first few weeks.

Updated 2023 cap house: $132,699,023

Extensions

WR Tee Higgins: 4 years, $87.7 million ($21.9 million AAV), $58.5 million assured

This gained’t cross into impact till the 2024 offseason. However, when you’re buying and selling for Higgins, you’re protecting him for the lengthy haul. It is smart to fasten him up temporarily after obtaining him.

DT Armon Watts: 1 12 months, $2.09 million, $1.4 million assured

Watts is a forged rotational defensive take on who can prevent the run quite smartly. He’s completely serviceable as a backup.

WR Equanimeous St. Brown: 1 12 months, $1.9 million, $1.4 million assured

St. Brown shouldn’t tackle as large of a job for the Bears in 2023 as he’s these days. That stated, he’s a powerful blocker alongside the fringe and is usually a lovely treasured backup.

S DeAndre Houston-Carson: 1 12 months, $1.4 million, $1.2 million assured

Houston-Carson has the Bears’ maximum particular groups snaps this season and has been a competent rotational defender for years. You will pay just a little over the veteran minimal to stay him round.

WR N’Keal Harry: 1 12 months, $1.25 million, $650,00 assured

I do not know what Harry will probably be for the Bears’ offense. It’s a low-risk signing, so you could as smartly give him the danger to compete for a roster spot once more.

  • LS Patrick Scales: 1 12 months, $1.03 million
  • LB Joe Thomas: 1 12 months, $1.03 million
  • LB Matt Adams: 1 12 months, $1.03 million
  • FB Khari Blasingame: 1 12 months, $965,000
  • CB Josh Blackwell (ERFA); 1 12 months, $895,000
  • CB Lamar Jackson (ERFA): 1 12 months, $895,000

I’ve determined to not re-sign David Montgomery. This pains me as keen on his working taste, however realistically, Khalil Herbert has been the extra environment friendly working again within the Bears’ backfield this 12 months. Considering that Chicago has larger wishes in different places, they might let Montgomery stroll as an alternative of paying him the massive contract that every other NFL workforce undoubtedly will.

Extensions 2023 cap hit: $7.77 million

Updated cap house: $123.13 million

Free agent signings

Note: I’m mindful a few of these avid gamers would possibly no longer hit unfastened agency, however they’re slated to take action as of this writing, so I’m placing them anyway. Shut up. Also, I’m the usage of their AAV over the process every participant’s contract because the cap hit. I’m no longer sensible sufficient to resolve construction a freelance, so those numbers will be off from what they’ll finally end up being in actual existence.

DE Yannick Ngakoue: 2 years, $28 million ($14 million AAV), $23.4 million assured

He’s bounced across the league slightly, however Ngakoue continues to be an out of this world pass-rusher. He has had no less than 8 sacks in each and every season he’s performed within the NFL, he’s coming off of a 10-sack season with the Raiders in 2021, and he’s at 2.5 sacks for the Colts in 5 video games. The Bears would possibly not wish to dedicate big-time cash to him in the long run, however he’s an improve at edge rusher over Quinn’s efficiency based totally off of this 12 months and season-to-season consistency. Plus, he overlapped in Las Vegas with Bears line of defense trainer Travis Smith.

DT Javon Hargrave: 3 years, $36.8 million ($12.2 million AAV), $22.2 million assured

The Eagles even have Fletcher Cox slated to hit unfastened agency, and they have got younger studs Jordan Davis and Milton Williams ready within the wings at defensive take on. That stated, it’s an excellent assumption Hargrave hits the open marketplace. The 2021 Pro Bowler could be a much-needed spice up to their Bears’ defensive take on room.

OT Jack Conklin: 2 years, $18 million ($9 million AAV), $11 million assured

Conklin would possibly come at a relative bargain on account of a major harm he suffered overdue within the 2021 season. The Bears will have to profit from that and safe him as their beginning proper take on. He has graded as above-average via PFF in two of the remaining 3 years, with 2020 coming with a fair higher “high quality” grade. Shoutout to Brad Spielberger from PFF for helping me in arising with this contract.

TE Foster Moreau: 4 years, $17.3 million ($4.3 million AAV), $8.9 million assured

Cole Kmet will probably be getting into the remaining 12 months of his rookie deal in 2023, so Moreau serves as no longer just a supplement as an athletic pass-catcher, but in addition a low-risk possibility at tight finish who may outdo his eventual contract. He is a 9.47 Relative Athletic Score athlete who hasn’t taken on an enormous function within the NFL but, however leaving Darren Waller’s shadows might be a possibility for him to polish.

C Garrett Bradbury: 1 12 months, $3.5 million, $2.1 million assured

Admittedly, Bradbury hasn’t lived as much as his first-round billing from 2019. He’s at a tight 66.0 grade via 5 video games this 12 months, on the other hand, and he’s an improve at heart. As we’ve observed with acquisitions like Alex Leatherwood and N’Keal Harry, Ryan Poles isn’t afraid to take photographs on athletic, disappointing first-rounders. It’s value noting that Bradbury had an insane 9.96 Relative Athletic Score out of 10 popping out of N.C. State.

LB Anthony Walker Jr.: 1 12 months, $3.1 million, $2.6 million assured

Walker will pass over the remainder of the 2022 season with a torn quad tendon, however the linebacker has been slightly productive in his years with the Browns and Colts. He may are available in because the MIKE linebacker and supply some steadiness, having labored in Matt Eberflus’ protection earlier than.

CB Trayvon Mullen: 1 12 months, $1.5 million, $740,000 assured

Mullen suits that very same mildew of intensity choices who’re younger, former early-round choices with athletic possible they haven’t slightly reached but. At 6-foot-2 and 200 kilos with lengthy hands and reliable velocity, he’s a participant value taking a shot on for inexpensive.

WR Jake Kumerow: 1 12 months, $1.1 million, $300,000 assured

Luke Getsy and Kumerow had temporary overlap in Green Bay in 2017. This is extra of Kumerow’s revel in in a identical scheme to what the Bears run. He performs on over 60% at the Bills’ particular groups snaps, so he’s value bringing in as possible intensity.

DE Ben Banogu: 1 12 months, $1.1 million, $670,000 assured

Banogu didn’t are living as much as the billing of being a second-round choose from again in 2019. However, he’s an elite athlete off the brink who has revel in operating with Eberflus in Indianapolis and performs a large function on particular groups for the Colts now. He tasks as respectable intensity and a forged particular teamer.

Updated cap house: $72.83 million

7-round mock draft

Note: I used Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator for this mock. It makes use of Super Bowl odds to resolve the draft order at this degree of the season. While no longer a great means, it’s most probably a greater indicator of the general standings than the present 5-week pattern measurement in an 18-week season.

I adjusted one of the vital trades to account for regularly permitted pick out worth. Also, remember that choices in Rounds 4-7 could be moved again relatively after the implementation of compensatory choices.

TRADE

Bears get: No. 4 pick out, No. 14 pick out

Seahawks get: No. 2 pick out

I admittedly were given presented greater than this however adjusted it for the sake of realism. Will Anderson used to be the primary pick out to the Texans, and with the Panthers sitting forward of them at No. 3, Seattle sought after to safe their man at quarterback. In this simulation, that man used to be Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud.

Do the Seahawks do that in actual existence with how smartly Geno Smith has performed? Maybe, perhaps no longer. He’s a unfastened agent after this season, and whilst his play has been commendable, he’s 32 years previous and simply now having the most efficient season of his occupation. It wouldn’t be unexpected if Seattle determined to head this direction.

Round 1 (No. 4, by the use of Seahawks): Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Ohio State

I used to be caught right here between Jalen Carter, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Jordan Addison. While JSN has overlooked time because of harm this season, he used to be the most efficient broad receiver within the country in 2021 and is an out of this world athlete and direction runner. Try telling me with a directly face that Tee Higgins, Jaxon Smith-Njigba and Darnell Mooney isn’t a super trio for the Bears at broad receiver in 2023.

Round 1 (No. 14, by the use of Seahawks): Peter Skoronski, OT, Northwestern

Ohio State’s Paris Johnson Jr. went off the board earlier than No. 14, however thankfully for me, Peter Skoronski is my best offensive lineman, anyway. He’s a elegant, cellular, clever and robust blocker who will have to have the ability to step in at any offensive line place and excel, despite the fact that he performs left take on on the collegiate point.

Round 2 (No. 32, by the use of Texans): Henry To’o To’o, LB, Alabama

Trading Roquan Smith is the toughest tablet to swallow on this mock offseason, however changing him with a flexible, younger linebacker for inexpensive within the draft may ease the ache just a little bit. To’o To’o is a brilliant athlete for his place and has excellent last velocity, optimum agility transferring round in house and a red-hot motor. He could be a Day 1 starter who performs MIKE in school however tasks really well as a WILL within the NFL.

Round 3 (No. 65): Sedrick Van Pran, C, Georgia

I like the Eagles’ means of constantly spending early draft capital on offensive linemen. This has given them a super beginning lineup with excellent intensity; second-rounder Cam Jurgens is a backup this 12 months however has a lot of possible, and 2021 second-rounder Landon Dickerson used to be a backup remaining 12 months earlier than getting into the lineup because of accidents round him.

Van Pran is a coordinated inner offensive lineman with excellent weight distribution and pad point. He has an excessively robust core and blocks with a willingness to power defenders into the bottom. In the run recreation, he excels at blocking off at the transfer and rolling his hips via touch. He tasks as an excellent machine are compatible for the Bears and a long term starter.

Round 4 (No. 101): Chase Brown, RB, Illinois

As of this writing, Chase Brown has 879 speeding yards and a 5.8 yards-per-carry common via 6 video games. He is an explosive athlete with a low heart of gravity who gives above-average ball-carrier imaginative and prescient out of the backfield. He, Khalil Herbert and Trestan Ebner might be a large number of a laugh in combination.

Round 4 (No. 120): Jalen Catalon, S, Arkansas

Injuries are a subject with Jalen Catalon, and the Bears don’t want a new beginning protection with Eddie Jackson and Jaquan Brisker manning the roost. That stated, Catalon is an out of this world skill when wholesome who’s value taking a long-term flier on in Round 4. He’s clever, athletic and performs with a persistently prime motor. Use him on large dime/nickel applications, use him up prime, use him out of the slot or speeding off the brink. Just get him at the box.

Round 5 (No. 133): Zack Kuntz, TE, Old Dominion

Don’t make jokes about his identify. He’s a 6-foot-8, 245-pound monster who’s very uncooked however has nice ball talents and has excellent fluidity around the center of the sphere. Players together with his equipment are value taking over Day 3, and he would venture as forged developmental intensity for the Bears in the back of Cole Kmet.

Round 7 (No. 197): Willie Lampkin, OG/C, Coastal Carolina

Willie Lampkin is undersized for an NFL offensive line prospect at 6-foot-1 and 285 kilos. However, he has beginning revel in at each guard and heart, he’s an competitive blocker with a prime motor, and he enhances a technically-sound ability set with excellent athletic talent. The worst case this is he competes for a roster spot, the most efficient case is he turns into a treasured “6th man” lineman.

2023 cap hit of rookie elegance: $15.34 million*

*Cap hits for the 2023 draft elegance used with the costs for every draft slot within the 2023 draft for hypothetical causes.

2023 Bears hypothetical 53-man roster

Note: Positional battles are indicated via slashes. The intensity chart does no longer come with futures offers, which might consist closely of undrafted unfastened brokers and present apply squad contributors (Chase Allen, Zachary Thomas, Kellen Diesch, Isaiah Coulter, and so on.). This doesn’t account for the theory of undrafted unfastened brokers making the workforce or present apply squad contributors making the 2023 energetic roster, however remember that they’ll be within the combine.

QB (2): Justin Fields, Trevor Siemian

RB (4): Khalil Herbert, Chase Brown, Trestan Ebner, Khari Blasingame (FB)

WR (6): Tee Higgins, Darnell Mooney, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Velus Jones Jr., Equanimeous St. Brown, N’Keal Harry/Ihmir Smith-Marsette/Jake Kumerow

TE (4): Cole Kmet, Foster Moreau, Zack Kuntz, Jake Tonges

LT (2): Peter Skoronski, Braxton Jones

LG (2): Cody Whitehair, Alex Leatherwood

C (2): Garrett Bradbury, Sedrick Van Pran (Doug Kramer?)

RG (2): Teven Jenkins, Ja’Tyre Carter/Willie Lampkin

RT (2): Jack Conklin, Larry Borom

DE (4): Yannick Ngakoue, Trevis Gipson, Dominique Robinson, Ben Banogu

DT (4): Javon Hargrave, Justin Jones, Angelo Blackson, Armon Watts

LB (5): Anthony Walker Jr., Henry To’o To’o, Matt Adams, Joe Thomas, Jack Sanborn/Sterling Weatherford

CB (6): Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Kindle Vildor, Trayvon Mullen, Lamar Jackson, Josh Blackwell

S (5): Eddie Jackson, Jaquan Brisker, Jalen Catalon, DeAndre Houston-Carson, Elijah Hicks

ST (3): Cairo Santos, Trenton Gill, Patrick Scales

Cap house left for UDFAs and 90-man roster signings: $57.49 million

Summary

Is this a great apply? Absolutely no longer. Some of those contract estimations had been carried out via me and me on my own, and I’m hardly ever as certified as the professionals to tie a selected price ticket to a participant.

There’s additionally a possibility that one of the vital avid gamers I signed in unfastened agency signal extensions with their present groups, and that the Bears would possibly no longer finally end up having the No. 2 total pick out to paintings with. Hell, the Bears may simply come up with the money for Roquan Smith on this state of affairs if they are able to come to phrases on an inexpensive settlement. I wouldn’t be mad in any respect in the event that they did that.

In this procedure, I love to suppose I made Chicago’s roster a lot better via each unfastened agency and the draft, all whilst preventing wanting a Jacksonville-level spending spree that can most probably hurt them financially down the road.

That stated, this used to be only a a laugh apply for me to seem to the longer term, and optimistically it used to be a laugh for you all to try one of the vital large names to regulate this coming offseason. What would you do otherwise? Feel unfastened to let me know within the feedback beneath.

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