New Bears general manager Ryan Poles has started his offseason with a bang. Fans aren’t sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.
Why it matters: The Bears are under new management after a terrible 2021/2022 season, which means the Poles are tasked with building a winner after the firing of their predecessor Ryan Pace. The rookie GM’s first big move was trading superstar defensive end Khalil Mack for two draft picks and cap space.
Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic outlook with Axios Markets. sign up for free
Pro: Get rid of an aging player with a big contract and free up money for free agency.
Con: Losing one of the best defensive players in all of football to two second-day picks in the next two years.
By the numbers: Since arriving in 2018, Mack had 36 sacks, 52 quarterback hits and 14 forced fumbles.
The last: The Poles went on to release two stars from the 2018 playoff run: former Pro-Bowlers Eddie Goldman and Tarik Cohen.
the intrigue: NFL free agency begins today at 12:00 pm By releasing and trading these veterans, the Bears have the money to go after offensive players to help second-year quarterback Justin Fields. Players rumored to be on the Bears’ radar include:
T Eric Fisher: The offensive lineman played for new Bears coach Matt Eberflus in Indianapolis.
WR Juju Smith-Schuster: The still young receiver appears to be the odd man out in Pittsburgh.
WR Emmanuel Sanders: The veteran could bring leadership to the locker room.
Whats Next: If the Bears don’t pursue some top players early in free agency, it may be a sign they’re sacrificing next season to rebuild.
💭 Justin Thought Bubble: I think fans will miss Khalil Mack when opposing offenses start doubling down on Roquan Smith.
Yes, Mack was very hurt, but he was also a superstar. I get the credit for a rebuild, but no fan should support that. Always.
Do you like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.