A lot of Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus’ first offseason on the helm of the Bears has been met with hand ringing concerning the lackluster arsenal put collectively to assist quarterback Justin Fields in a crucial season for his growth.
Why not commerce for DK Metcalf, AJ Brown, or Deebo Samuel? Signal Julio Jones, Odell Beckham Jr., or Jarvis Landry?
Followers have clamored for such strikes.
As an alternative, they bought one-year contracts for Byron Pringle and Equanimeous St. Brown, fringe roster additions of Dante Pettis and Tajae Sharpe, and Tuesday’s commerce of a 2024 seventh-round draft choose for N’Keal Harry.
Harry is a former first-round choose who by no means discovered his means with the New England Patriots. Now, he heads to Chicago, hoping a change of surroundings might help him resurrect his profession.
It was a no-risk transfer for the Bears. A no-lose wager on expertise blossoming as soon as it leaves the shadows of 1 Patriot Place.
The commerce for Harry and lack of massive swings this offseason illustrate Poles and Eberflus’s mindset as they embark on this prolonged rebuild.
Endurance will likely be wanted. However persistence is the surest means for the roots of a rebuild to take maintain.
Poles and Eberflus have come and torn the roster all the way down to the studs. That wanted to occur. They’ve given everybody left over from the Matt Nagy-Ryan Tempo regime a clear slate to show they are often a part of the long-term future.
Nearly each participant this offseason has talked about the necessity to show himself to the brand new bosses. That features Fields. Whereas Fields is exceptionally proficient and has star potential, it’s price noting that Poles and Eberflus didn’t draft him. Sure, the brand new coach and common supervisor have praised the younger signal-caller’s work ethic and development. They’ve employed Luke Getsy as offensive coordinator to implement a quarterback-friendly system tailor-made to Fields’ strengths.
That is so far as their long-term funding in Fields has gone this offseason. That makes excellent sense. You would not take a job operating a company and instantly pour belongings into one space with out having a whole concept of its long-term viability.
The identical is true of rebuilding a crew from the bottom up.
Eberflus and Poles wish to see what they’ve in Fields and several other different potential franchise cornerstones earlier than they construct round them.
There isn’t any doubt that buying and selling for a star receiver or utilizing the remaining cap cash to signal a veteran offensive lineman would profit Fields this season. However that $ 10-15 million might be put to raised use subsequent season as soon as Poles and Eberflus have a clearer image of what they should construct round.
Buying and selling a number of first-round picks for a Metcalf, Samuel, or Brown would possibly sound like a no brainer. Nonetheless, that transfer comes with a giant monetary dedication. For that dedication to make sense, Poles and Eberflus must ensure the Bears can contend through the lifetime of the contract.
That is depending on Fields being a franchise quarterback, one thing he should show to them this fall.
The commerce for Harry will get Fields a probably high-upside receiver with out sacrificing any essential belongings for the long-term rebuild. Harry is an effective run blocker, a ability that is important in Getsy’s scheme, and can provide Fields a big-body receiver to make contested catches in the midst of the sphere and on the boundary.
That is all theoretical, in fact.
There is a good probability the Harry the Bears get is similar one which floundered in New England. If that is the case, the Bears can rapidly transfer on with their rebuilding plan intact.
Poles and Eberflus imagine that by inserting Fields in Getsy’s wide-zone offense, they’re going to be capable of get a correct gauge of his potential and whether or not they need to pour belongings into constructing round him because the face of their franchise.
The Bears could have round $ 100 million in salary-cap house subsequent offseason. They’re going to even have their first-round choose, one thing the brand new regime did not have this offseason.
That is the plan Poles does not wish to compromise. Rightfully so.
Eberflus and Poles have not hung Fields out to dry. They’ve simply crafted a long-term plan that requires persistence and concrete proof earlier than utilizing finite capital to construct up the infrastructure round Fields.
Fields might very properly be the focus of the subsequent nice period of Bears soccer. However Poles and Eberflus are proper to not soar headfirst with out having a transparent image of the scenario.
One incorrect transfer can derail a rebuild. Endurance is a advantage. The Bears have been proper to train it this offseason by making solely minor bets on gamers with upside.
Gamers like Harry.
If he turns into the N’Keal Harry many anticipated, the Bears might need discovered one other long-term constructing block at vast receiver. However, if not, the imaginative and prescient stays uncompromised and the rebuild stays on observe to get absolutely underway subsequent offseason.
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