Chicago Bears: Day-1 Free Agency Grade

Chicago Bears: Day-1 Free Agency Grade

The first day of NFL Free Agency came and went, and the Bears appear to be one of the winners so far. Chicago managed to land two free agents who will improve this team offensively and help out Jay Cutler tremendously.

Around the league it came down to a few teams and a few key moves that set the market. The first major trade was Percy Harvin to Seattle, in which Harvin will make $60 million and the Vikings will get a first- and third-round pick.

The next signing was Mike Wallace in Miami, followed by Paul Kurger and Dannell Elllerbe leaving the nest, one heading to Miami, the other to the Browns. Topped off by Erik Walden receiving $4 million per season for whatever reason.

Bears day one

Jermon Bushrod, a two-time Pro Bowler, is thought of as a player who benefitted from the system in New Orleans. But the Bears may have locked up the future left tackle for the remainder of Cutler's career in Chicago. Obviously Kromar played a huge role, as he coached Bushrod on a Super Bowl winning team in 2009.

Did the Bears overpaid for Bushrod? Absolutely. But he will benefit this team by being able to upgrade the play on the left side and move a better fitted player to the right (J'Marcus Webb). Jermon Bushod is set to make $35.97 million on a five-year deal, $7.19 million per season and $17.72 guaranteed. His play will show if that contract was worth it in the end.

Next is Martellus Bennett, who I wrote about here earlier. Bennett will be used in so many different ways by this west coast offense. Trestman will embrace his physical style of football. Bennett is in the prime of his career, coming off the best season of his career.

Bennett, who had five touchdowns last season for the New York Giants, could be a huge target for Cutler in the red zone. He compliments the strength and power of Brandon Marshall, and he'll be the difference maker in a lot of games. Maybe most important is he can contribute key blocks at the line of scrimmage.

Bennett is set to make $20 million on his four-year contract and will count close to $2.5 million against the 2013 cap. He was a cheaper option than Jared Cook, who signed for five years at $35.1 million with $19 million guaranteed.

On the other hand, the Bears have yet to determine whether or not Brian Urlacher, Nick Roach, Lance Louis and Israel Idonje will be returning for this season. Urlacher's status is very much in question, but people feel as if there is no market for the 35 year-old, and he'll likely find his way back to the Bears. The way the Bears handle their LB situation will be a great tell as to what their approach to the upcoming draft will be.

The Bears need to lock up Lance Louis to keep the right tackle position steady on the offense. Nick Roach might be a priority in case the Bears need a player to step in and play MLB next season. Idonje can play DT and DE, and he can be helpful in a lot of different situations and still has good push up front.

Day One Grade: B

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