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NFC North Preview | 2016

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Chicago Bears

Last Seasons Record: 6-10

Additions: LB Danny Trevathan, LS Aaron Brewer, S Omar Bolden, OT Bobby Massie, G Ted Larsen, LB Jerrell Freeman, C/G Manuel Ramirez, DT Akiem Hicks, QB Brian Hoyer, OLB Leonard Floyd (Georgia), G Cody Whitehair (Kansas State)

Re-Signings: WR Alshon Jeffery, TE Zach Miller, WR Marc Mariani, RB Jacquizz Rodgers, WR Deonte Thompson, DT Mitch Unrein, S Chris Prosinski, TE Rob Housler, OT Nick Becton, OLB Sam Acho, CB Tracy Porter, CB Sherrick McManis

Losses: C Matt Slauson, S Antrel Rolle, DT D’Anthony Smith, OT Jermon Bushrod, LB LaRoy Reynolds, RB Matt Forte, DT Jarvis Jenkins, TE Martellus Bennett, LB Shea McClellin, G Vladimir Ducasse, G Patrick Omameh, S Sherrod Martin, CB Alan Ball, S Ryan Mundy, C Will Montgomery

Off-season

When general manager Ryan Pace took over last year the cupboards were bare (no pun intended). The roster was devoid of talent and Chicago did not have the best cap situation. Pace had his work cut out for him, but has done a wonderful job turning things around.

Pace had a good draft in 2015 and it looks like he had another good one this year. The Bears will benefit from the return of their #1 overall pick, wide receiver Kevin White. White missed his entire rookie season with an injury, but should be fully healthy to start the year.

In this year’s draft the Bears drafted three players with first-round talent. They moved up to get the versatile pass-rusher Leonard Floyd. Cody Whitehead was highly heralded offensive tackle in college, who will more than likely start at guard right away. Defensive lineman Jonathan Bullard should see plenty of time, do to his run stopping abilities. The three new additions should help Chicago right away.

The Bears bolstered their middle linebacker position by adding Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman in free agency. Trevathan is one of the best all-around linebackers in the league and should be a great addition to Chicago’s defense.

Chicago did lose some key pieces on offense this offseason. Long time running back Matt Forte moved on to the New York Jets. Forte has been one of the best all-around running backs in the league for years and will be surely missed. The Bears also lost interior lineman Matt Slauson to San Diego in free agency. Slauson was the Bears best offensive lineman on an already suspect front five. Talented tight end Martellus Bennett was shipped off to the New England Patriots.

The Bears lost a lot of firepower on the offensive side of the ball. They might be able to make up for it if receivers Kevin White and Alshon Jeffries can stay healthy. Their defense should be improved, but not spectacular.

Predictions

The Bears are reloading their roster and fixing their cap situation. They seem to be headed in the right direction, but they aren’t there yet. This season should be a transition year for the Chicago franchise.

Cutler has lost too many weapons on the offensive side of the ball and the offensive line is still a work in progress. The Bears will have a hard time moving the ball on the ground and Cutler will have to throw the ball all over the field. Jeffries and White have to stay healthy for them to have any shot of a winning season.

Chicago’s defense should be better, but is still missing some key pieces. The Bears should win between 6-8 games and finish third or last in the division. Pace has their team moving in the right direction, but that won’t translate this season.

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About Vince Corcoran

Vincent played four varsity sports in high school instilling in him a respect for all sports and the athletes who play them. Vince was born and lived in his youth, overseas giving him a well rounded knowledge of many world wide sports. If you made him choose he would say that his biggest love would be college basketball but he is knowledgeable and maintains an interest in a variety sports.

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