What's next for the Bears? 10 offseason predictions

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With the season ending debacle, we'll need to look forward to the offseason and wait and see what the Bears will do to solidify their roster for another run next season. Phil Emery has plenty of work ahead of him. He'll have to use the same magic he used to rebuild the offense but this time on defense and has 29 free agents on the current roster. Here are 10 predictions that will make the most noise this offseason.

Re-sign Jay Cutler -- they've already signed kicker Robbie Gould and full back Tony Fiammetta. What makes you think they don't already have an agreed upon offer on the table for Cutler? The way  Marc Trestman and Phil Emery have talked about Cutler and his role on this team, this isn't out of the question. Depending on how the deal is structured and how soon this gets done will determine Josh McCown's future with the Bears.

(Attempt to) Re-sign Josh McCown -- after Cutler gets his deal, look for the Bears to give McCown a competitive contract to be Cutler's back up. Not sure if this will happen because McCown will likely get good money to be a starter somewhere else... but it will come down to whether he wants to be on a contending team or play on a struggling team that will only look to replace him.

Ask Julius Peppers to restructure -- Peppers underperformed this season and if he still wants to be on this team, the front office will ask him to take less money. He's at the end of his career and if he doesn't restructure, he may get less somewhere else.

Convert Shea McClellin into a linebacker -- we all know that McClellin is out of position. He doesn't have the size or strength to be an edge rusher and looks to be more of a linebacker. With Lance Briggs also being at the tail end of his career, McClellin may be his eventual replacement.

Offer Charles Tillman a contract (at a lower rate) -- Peanut is another defender at the end of his career and in recent years has been injury prone. I think Peanut will test the market and if offered the right situation he will probably walk.

Devin Hester is done -- it's been a great run with Hester. Every Bears fan would gasp every time he touched the ball, both for good and bad reasons. The Bears will not be willing to to pay a specialist the money he'll want.

Major Wright is out, Chris Conte stays -- Wright is an unrestricted free agent. Conte is still under contract. This just comes down to simple economics. By signing Cutler and (maybe) McCown, the Bears will have to be thrifty with other positions. If the Bears can upgrade the defensive line, this will help mask  poor safety play.

2014 draft will be dominated by picks on defense -- no duh... the Bears ranked 30th points allowed and 29th in yards allowed. The Bears need to get younger and need playmakers on every level of the defense.

Defensive line will be rebuilt via draft and through FA -- again no duh. Not only do the Bears need to rebuild the defensive line through the draft, they will also have look to see what's available in free agency.

Mel Tucker will not be fired -- Tucker was who everyone pointed the blame for the Bears' failures on defense. Justified or not, he was working in a scheme that was not his own plus the defense was hit with the injury bug. With an offseason to rebuild the defense, Tucker should have a chance to make this an average defense.

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    I logged in to write that this is a horrible article. Conte must be released after his poor performance all year, if not then the last play of yesterdays game. Mel Tucker must go for not giving others an opportunity to come in and perform for horrible performances all year. Hester is not done, he is slower but but still gives the Bears great field position when he gets the right blocking. It was evident the Special Teams coach was different. Everything else you pointed out is a no brainer but the fact that you even mentioned Chris Conte staying invalidates this blog completely.

  • In reply to Jamie Crane:

    Couldn't agree with you more!! Without a doubt, Conte and Tucker must go!

  • In reply to Jamie Crane:

    whoever wrote this article must of been drinking and on drugs
    bring back conte?????????? are you serious??? your credibility
    writing this article went bye bye after that comment...and keep mel
    tucker????? after the worst defensive performance for the year
    in franchise history?? keep tucker?? are you kidding me??
    I don't care whose defensive scheme he was running , no way
    tucker is allowed back except to clean out his locker...whoever wrote this column (bearsSTH) , look for a new line of work...

  • In reply to steve9351:

    thanks! we'll see.

  • 1) Tucker needs to go. Too many guys out of position to make plays; too little fire on D; too many heads not into the game (fumble Sunday); Waste another year if the Bears keep Tucker.
    2) Hester should go, unless he signs cheap; and I do mean cheap!
    3) Not so sure about Conte -- sure, release him if Bears draft a top safety.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I know everyone wants to blame Tucker and they should but I think Trestman hires the coaches and he'll probably stick with him... shrugging shoulders. Given the cap situation, I don't cutting Conte won't be expensive but that leaves the Bears with no one except Steltz. It's just a matter of how expiring contracts and Wright won't have one.

  • I totally agree with Jamie. Hester almost broke 2 runbacks. Gave the Bears great field position. Made the Packers kick away from him. Sure he may have lost a step, but still possesses game changing ability, on a team with very few game changers. Ask what opposing coaches think of him...I'm not saying sign him for a big contract, but it boggles my mind how Chicago fans just want to get rid of "certain" players, at any cost. Marshall will be next……...

  • fb_avatar

    Thanks, Kevy. Also, to add about Hester, teams were still kicking away from him this year. If you watched every game there were plenty of kickoffs that were kicked short so Hester would not receive the ball. That right there is a weapon within itself. Rusty, I am sorry, but anyone is better than Conte. He broke coverages all year. If anything, you can't get worse than Conte.

  • If the Bears had tackled this season, and I mean actually tackled, they would have been an average defense regardless of the injuries and won the division long ago. Who should be held accountable for the defense not doing something as basic as tackling? Perhaps they didn't know how. That's on Mel Tucker.
    Hester never said how much money he'll want. What he did say is that he wanted to retire a Bear.

  • In reply to PetefromDePere:

    True about Hester but I don't think they even want him back. If he does come back, it'll be at the Bears price and right now they're paying for 2 specialists, Hester and Weems. They probably value Weems because he returns and he's a gunner.

  • Both Conte and Wright were bad. Conte was at least in the vicinity of the play (but couldn't make it) while Wright was often nowhere to be found. It'd be nice to clean house but I think it'll come down who has a contract and who doesn't.

  • I do understand that keeping conte is just cause off the contract, and thinking that over I might just take the monetary lost over keeping that level of talent with no focus??? To many blown coverage! With mel????? Anyone could the what he did, I mean it. Grab anyone and make then the dc for chicago with the talent mel had at the end of the season and I'm convinced that they'll do a better job! This guy has no intuition, blitzed at the worst of times when and if at all he did and the line had no movement or pressure??? Peewee football teaches you if the d line has no movement stunt them so to confuse the o line??? But the d always seemed to be in a base d??? Y??? All the great d have stunts and movement! And the bears still had talent on d, just missed used. Keep mel only if you want to be number 32nd on d. This guy sucks and should be fired. Remember skins game when the bears took the lead time and time again just for the dto play prevent after every time we took the lead. Over 40 points and still lost? In detroit also twice and then when he does blitz is 4th and 8 for the game and plays man coverage almost on purpose. Maybe the nfl is dictating to the teams to just let teams score to get more viewers and to but teams that are more popular in the plat offs for better ratings????? Or does this d c moe moe mel really sucks and hasn't a clue?!!!! Fire him! Or is the nfl becoming the next wwe??? The good guy always wins, cause you can't even hit high or can't hit low and we are going into a two hand touch league!!! Just to have women be brought over!!! Goodell is a piece of work to but I'm rambelling cause the league is going way soft and the bears the is fitting right in! FIRE MEL, he SUCKS!!!!!

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