The Chicago Bears 2021 season is essentially all said and done. In fact, it was really over last year in week 15 of the NFL season after we lost to the Vikings on Monday Night Football and were eliminated from a postseason berth. But, despite the unfortunate reality we live in as Bears fans, there is one thing to look forward to: the Chicago Bears offseason!
The Bears offseason will officially begin after this week’s final regular season game against the Minnesota Vikings. We’ll enter the offseason with plenty of question marks surrounding our management, coaching, and both the offense and defense. Will the Bears make some moves in the draft and choose to develop some young guys, or will they hit free agency hard and fill gaps immediately? Plus, will they finally get rid of Nagy-Pace? Let’s explore some answers to those questions in our latest preview of the Chicago Bears offseason!
Should They Stay or Should They Go?
Ah yes, the question that’s lingered with the Bears for practically the entire season. What to do with head coach, Matt Nagy, and general manager, Ryan Pace? If there’s one thing we can certainly predict will happen this offseason, it’s that they will be fired. Nagy is a given, and we’ll have to wait and see on Pace. But, we think many Bears fans young and old will agree it’s the best for our future.
So where should the Chicago Bears turn next once they get rid of their front office big names à la Gar-Pax style? This is a very important question, and the answer is as big, if not bigger, than the Bears’ decision to select Justin Fields in last year’s draft. First, they’ll need someone who’s willing to build an offense to fit Fields’ talent. Then, that same person will also need to understand the city they’re coaching in and the team they’re coaching for. Chicago Bears fans expect, want, need, and deserve to have a good team. Sure, we’ll give the right person their time to figure it out, but wait too long and we’ll be quick to offer our criticism. It’s just the Chicago sports fan way.
And who’s our guess at a guy we’d love to see take the reins? Well, you may have seen some rumors already, but we’re going with University of Michigan coach, Jim Harbaugh! Harbaugh isn’t too far from home over in Michigan, and he’s seen plenty of success during his tenure with the 49ers. Plus, if this were to happen and the right dominos fall into place then the doors would open for a repeat of the Harbaugh Brother Super Bowl.
Chicago Bears Offseason: Free Agency
Now let’s take a look at what the Chicago Bears offseason looks like in terms of NFL free agency. We can’t quite speculate on the names of players who could join us as franchise tags and resignings haven’t really occurred yet. But, we can give an idea of what positions the Bears should go after and who could be an option.
Up first, is the wide receiver position. The Chicago Bears seem to have a pretty solid receiver core, but, despite his big name, Allen Robinson isn’t quite clicking with our offense. That’s not to say he’s never done anything on our team or that he still isn’t a beast of an NFL player, seriously. We love A-Rob and think he deserved an extension in 2020 when he asked for it. But lately, Robinson seems checked out of the Chicago Bears. Maybe it’s the current season they’re having. Or the media noise surrounding management and the young QB. Or maybe, he’s just done. He’s set to be a free agent heading into this year’s offseason. There’s plenty of 2022 free agent wide receivers out there that could replace him too. Guys like Davante Adams and Chris Godwin might be out of reach, but the Bears could explore Will Fuller, Mike Williams, or even Juju Smith-Schuster if they feel up for it.
Justin Fields Sophomore Year Predictions
And finally, let’s take a look at Justin Fields.
Year after year we hear the phrase, “sophomore slump”, when we hear analysts discuss second-year players. Especially quarterbacks. But, as the hopeful fans we are, we aren’t predicting any sort of regression for Mr. Fields.
With the entire Chicago Bears offseason to train, learn, and develop, we believe it’s entirely possible we see a mini-breakout season for Justin Fields in 2022. Our hearts are hopeful for a Lamar Jackson or Patrick Mahomes style emergence. But, our brains tell us that might not happen yet under a new coach in 2022. Regardless of how big the breakout is, we certainly think it’s coming next season. As far as a stat prediction goes, we think that with 17 games as the starter in a potentially new system, Justin Fields can go for 3,640 yards through the air, another 522 on the ground, 28 total TDs and a 63% completion rate. If we’re right and the Bears show us any glimpse of hope next year, you can bet we’ll be the first to start the “SUPER BOWL 2023” chants.