Another wild NFL offseason is winding down as the draft is complete and most big name free agents (at least the ones who are still productive) have found a home. We have now reached a point where we can examine the winners and losers of the offseason, and the Chicago Bears appear to be a team quickly righting the ship. In spite of big moves in Los Angeles and a number of teams finding franchise QBs, the Bears are the team that have done the most to improve their outlook for 2018 and beyond.
It started with a coaching change. Firing John Fox was a much needed change if this offense ever hopes to become innovative and modern. Matt Nagy was the perfect hire to bring that remedial offense into the 21st century and help Mitchell Trubisky continue to grow. Bears fans will hope Nagy can help Trubisky in the same way he guided Alex Smith to career years in Kansas City.
But in fairness to Fox (and Trubisky) the offense struggled largely due to a lack of weapons. That excuse will not be valid anymore. Allen Robinson was brought in to provide size and speed at the wide receiver position after a torn ACL derailed his final season in Jacksonville, and Trey Burton, backup to Zach Ertz, but widely respected around the league, was brought in to bolster the tight end position after Zach Miller suffered a scary career ending injury. If he pans out, Burton wouldn't be the first Matt Nagy tight end to have a breakout season (you may have heard of Travis Kelce). Explosive gadget player Taylor Gabriel was also added to add even more speed out of the slot. Adding these three along with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen out of the backfield, gives this offense playmakers it simply has not had since Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery.
But Chicago was not done yet. At the draft, in the first round they added Roquan Smith, one of the most polished inside linebackers in recent memory to anchor the defense, and a pair of second rounders were used to select James Daniels, one of the more athletic centers in the draft, who will allow Cody Whitehair to move back to guard, his more natural position, and wide receiver Anthony Miller, another weapon for Nagy to have fun with.
If Trubisky continues to progress (which he should with Nagy and these new targets) the Bears could make a run at a wild card spot. They are solid, if unspectacular in the trenches, and bringing back Kyle Fuller while adding Prince Amukamara should aid the secondary. A loaded conference, and an especially tough division will mean the Bears need to earn every win, but after languishing in the cellar for half a decade, they finally look ready to compete.