By Clyde A. Speller @ClydeASpeller on March 17, 2014
So far this offseason, the Chicago Bears have made some quality signings of unrestricted free agents. Currently, the number is up to eight free-agent signings. The most notable deals are the five-year contract given to former Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston, and the one-year deal with cornerback Charles Tillman. Here are five players who I feel Chicago should retain for the 2014 campaign.
The offensive line played great last season, and was fortunate to not have any major injures throughout the year. Even though Chicago’s O-line has improved significantly, depth is always needed. Guard Eben Britton can add that depth along with his familiarity with the offensive playbook.
In a season that Chicago’s defense would love to forget, linebacker James Anderson quietly had a solid season. Anderson led the team in tackles (102) and was second in sacks (four). Chicago is still in need of some experience in their linebackers corps, something that Anderson definitely has.
The Bears have solidified their starters at cornerback by re-signing Tillman and Tim Jennings, but depth and experience are still lacking. Zack Bowman can bring both to the table if Chicago brings him back.
Long snapper is arguably the most underrated position in football. Since entering the league in 1998, Patrick Mannelly has been the best in the business. Mannelly is the longest tenured Bear in franchise history (16 seasons), and his consistent long snapping is a vital part to the success of kicker Robbie Gould, one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history.
Corey Wootton is a player who has improved every year since entering the NFL in 2010. Wootton earned a spot in the starting lineup, and showed great versatility with his ability to play both defensive end and defensive tackle. Last year’s hip injury could be the reason why he’s still floating around in the free agent pool, which could give the Bears an opportunity to keep him in the Windy City.
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