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NFL Chicago Bears

5 Free Agents the Chicago Bears Should Re-Sign This Offseason

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5 Key Free Agents the Chicago Bears Must Re-Sign

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The Chicago Bears have made it clear that they mean business this offseason. General manager Phil Emery got to witness the first year of new head coach Marc Trestman and observe the coaching style, developments and leadership he brought to the table. While 2013 was not the ideal outcome as Chicago missed the playoffs, they saw some fantastic things they can feel good about going forward.

This offseason, though, will be a big one. The Bears have a lot of guys that ended the season in the last year of their contracts. Already, Emery has made it a point that he knows who should stick around for a while longer. The Bears re-signed quarterback Jay Cutler to an enormous 7-year contract almost immediately following their week 17 loss, making it apparent that he liked what he saw of Cutler under Trestman’s watch.

Chicago also brought back cornerback Tim Jennings and guard Matt Slauson, two of the better players on the team last year at their respective positions. Both guys contributed a hefty amount to the team and their returns are much needed for this club to stay competitive.

Looking ahead, the Bears still have quite a lot of decisions to make in regards to their unrestricted free agents and whether or not to bring them back. As you may guess, there are a few in particular that the fans probably don’t want to see in a Bears uniform ever again. But, then there’s the other end of the spectrum.

Out of all of Chicago’s impending free agents, who should they make every effort to retain going into the 2014 season? There are many deserving to be brought back, but here are the top five that must be inked to a new deal, allowing them to stay in the windy city.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior Writer for Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Roberto Garza

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

There may not have been a more important piece of the Bears’ offensive line last year. Was Roberto Garza the best lineman in the group? That’s up for debate. But, Garza brings a sense of toughness and leadership to the line up front. After Chicago finally went an entire season with the same offensive line – and ended the year with a top-5 group – Garza needs to be brought back for another year or two to continue to help develop the young guys on the right side, as well as keep the chemistry going.

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4. Josh McCown

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Recently, Josh McCown said that he was contemplating retirement so that he could spend more time with his loved ones. That is quite possibly the best reason anybody could give to leave the game they love, but the Bears need to attempt to bring this guy back. Cutler has had his share of being banged up and McCown had his best season as a pro last year under Trestman.

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3. Corey Wootton

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The defense was not good last year, but part of the problem came by way of several injuries. Corey Wootton, though, is a guy that needs to be brought back. He’s a versatile lineman that can play either end or tackle, and does a good job at both. He may have been lost in the gross outcome that was last year’s defensive debacle, but Wootton is a valuable 26-year old that must be re-signed.

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2. Charles Tillman

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Now, I’m not saying the Bears should go long-term here. But, there is something to be said about a guy that consistently takes the ball away and gives the entire defense a sense of urgency when it comes to takeaways. Charles Tillman has been a leader and a very good cornerback on this team for a while. A couple more years would make sense.

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1. Henry Melton

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Remember that run defense that was suddenly allowing everyone and their mother to run for 100 yards last season? That downward spiral began after a season-ending injury to defensive tackle Henry Melton. The 27-year old is an integral part of the Bears defense, and without him back in 2014 the unit will look much different – and not in a good way, I’m afraid.