Breaking: Bears Agree Deal To Sign $9 Million 2-Time Super Bowl Champion In Free Agency

Breaking: Bears Agree Deal To Sign $9 Million 2-Time Super Bowl Champion In Free Agency

The Chicago Bears have made great progress at a number of key need spots, but left tackle isn’t one of them.

In the 2019 NFL draft, Chicago may choose to address that worry with the ninth overall pick; but, the Bears may also choose to select an edge rusher at that position. Should the organization choose the latter course, free agency may provide the necessary depth to complement former fifth-round selection Braxton Jones, who has been the Bears’ starting left tackle since 2022.

Taking all of that into consideration, ESPN’s Bill Barnwell stated on Wednesday, March 20, that Chicago was the best option for left tackle Donovan Smith of the Kansas City Chiefs. Smith, who joined the team in 2023 and won his second Super Bowl, is a nine-year veteran.

Smith was a competent left tackle for a Super Bowl-winning squad. One of Patrick Mahomes’ superpowers, as I noted before the big game, is his ability to avoid sacks when under pressure. However, in his one and only season with Kansas City, Smith recorded a pass block win percentage of just under 91%, indicating that he did a good job of protecting Mahomes throughout the first 2.5 seconds of plays. Out of all tackles, that mark was the eighteenth.

The one position Ryan Poles and company are obviously lacking as they get ready for the era of Blake Williams is an upgrade at left tackle, where Braxton Jones has struggled to settle into a demanding role during his first two seasons in the NFL. By adding Smith, the Bears would move Jones into a swing role and put a veteran on Williams’ blind side.

Bears Have Added 2 Offensive Linemen to Roster This Offseason

In the 2023 offseason, Chicago strengthened the right side of their offensive line by selecting right tackle Darnell Wright with the No. 10 overall choice and signing right guard Nate Davis, who was previously a member of the Tennessee Titans, to a $30 million, three-year contract.

Even Jenkins, meanwhile, will start at left guard following a stellar 2023 season that qualifies as a breakout year. Pro Football Focus (PFF) ranks Jenkins as the 14th-best player at the position out of 79 contenders who saw enough snaps to meet the criteria.

Along with Ryan Bates, Coleman Shelton, a former member of the Los Angeles Rams, was also added by the Bears. Shelton is expected to start at center for the team in 2019. In exchange for Bates, who gives depth to the center of the O-line, Chicago sent a fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills. Although Bates is now listed as the backup center on the Bears depth chart, he spent the first five years of his career playing guard.

Moving Braxton Jones Into Swing Role Would Be Promising Development for Bears’ Offensive Line

If the Bears sign Smith, Jones, who concluded the previous season as the 35th-ranked tackle in the NFL out of 81 qualifying players according to PFF’s advanced analytics measure, would likely go into a depth position and be among the best players in the league in that capacity.

Of course, if Smith signs with the Bears, he may possibly wind up as a rotating option on Chicago’s offensive line; however, it would be a departure from the way his career has gone thus far.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers selected Smith No. 34 overall in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft. He has started all 136 games in which he has played since then and won his first Super Bowl ring with the Bucs following the 2020 campaign.

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