What Franchise Tags Mean for Bears, Ryan Poles – NBC Chicago

How franchise tags across the NFL affect the Bears originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

The franchise tag deadline has come and gone, and while the Bears opted not to tag Allen Robinson for the second straight season, decisions made across the league may have had an even greater impact on this. that Ryan Poles decides to do when opening free agency. week.

Let’s start with the wide receiver group. Davante Adams and Chris Godwin were both tagged on Tuesday, with Mike Williams and the Chargers meeting for a contract extension. Besides Amari Cooper, who is expected to be released by the Cowboys before the start of the new league year, these are the top names expected to hit the market. From now on, none of them will attain free will. There are still big-name playmakers available for sure, like Odell Beckham Jr. But with fewer players available on the market, it’s likely to cost more to bring in Cooper or OBJ than if Godwin and Williams were also available. .

It should be noted that there is still a chance 一 although a slim chance 一 Robinson returns to the Bears. The Poles said earlier this month he was ready to mend the broken relationship between the Bears and Robinson. It’s unclear what kinds of offers Robinson will receive on the open market since he’s always played as a No.1, but he’s just had a down year in 2021. If Robinson doesn’t get the deal that he’s looking for as a free agent, a one-year ‘prove it’ deal may be in his best interest. Again, it all comes together and comes together in Chicago, though.

Then there are the tackles. Cam Robinson was tagged by the Jaguars, while the Chiefs tagged Orlando Brown. Poles hinted that there will be changes to the Bears line, but we don’t know the extent of those changes. It really depends on how the Poles rate both Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom as they prepare for their second season. If Poles thinks either player is better suited as a guard, that could be an area where he decides to pay a premium in free agency, given his focus on improving offense from the trenches. Now, if the Poles want to bring in a marquee left tackle to improve Justin Fields’ protection, Terron Armstead looks like the best bet. And just like wide receivers, fewer players coming onto the market likely means the Bears will have to pay a higher price if they decide to sign Armstead.

Other players tagged today include three tight ends (Mike Gesicki, David Njoku and Dalton Schultz) and a safety (Jessie Bates). The Bears can basically ignore tight moves, as they’re settled with Cole Kmet, and probably wouldn’t be looking to sign Gesicki, Njoku or Schultz. They will have to fill the group of positions, as Kmet is the only tight end under contract for 2022. But expect the team to bring in a blocking / special teams specialist like JP Holtz, or a secondary target like Jesper Horsted.

The Bears need to find safety to play alongside Eddie Jackson, but the Bates tag doesn’t have as much impact as the WR or LT tags. It seems unlikely the Bears will make a splash here, as they have bigger needs elsewhere, like a wide receiver, cornerback or defensive tackle. If Matt Eberflus convinces the Poles that safety should be a priority in free agency, they will also have more options to consider. With Tyrann Mathieu, Quandre Diggs, Marcus Williams and more available, the Bears will have more opportunities to make big jumps if they miss a specific player.

It bears repeating that we don’t really know what to expect from Poles and his staff as they go through free agency for the first time. Poles said he would like to maximize the value that can be found by signing players in the second and third waves of free agency. But if Poles thinks one of those top free agents could be key as he and Eberflus build the new Bears foundation, he seems convinced enough to act. Now that these eight players are officially out of the roster, the Poles can focus their search for free agency even more.

Teams can begin trading with free agents March 14 at 11 a.m. Then, free agency officially opens and teams can begin signing players, March 16 at 3 p.m.

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Christy J. Olson