Phil Emery acquired his starting left tackle and his starting tight end on the first day of free agency. The two most significant vulnerabilities of the 2012 Chicago Bears have been, at least in the eyes of the GM, have been addressed. Now that the spending spree is over and the organization is tight to the salary cap, where else might Emery turn?
- Stay home. Signing Nick Roach, Lance Louis and Brian Urlacher would give Emery complete freedom as he approaches the end of April. Roach and Urlacher would be penciled in as the starting linebackers, leaving the Bears only to seek depth (a Geno Hayes type) for the position. Louis would be the starting right guard, leaving the Bears to perhaps draft his counterpart on the left side. Without these three players the Bears will INEVITABLY be seeking 2013 starters on Thursday night, April 25th. This is a position good teams usually avoid.
- Karlos Dansby. Dansby can still be a viable middle linebacker in the right system, even at the age of 31. Would he provide the sideline-to-sideline ability of a prime Urlacher? No. But he could be an affordable tackling machine in the middle of the defense at the right price.
- Rey Maualuga. Is Maualuga a great player? No. He’s not. But is he a serviceable third starter next to Briggs and either Urlacher/Roach? Sure. The Giants are rumored to be interested so if the Bears are going to pursue, they’d need to pursue quickly.
- Kevin Boothe & Brandon Moore – the guards of New York. While Emery told Mike Wright of ESPN Chicago that the Bears can’t afford a starting guard in free agency, he does not know what the market will be for these two significant potential upgrades to the Bears offensive line. Boothe is a more exciting option since he could start at center for the Bears and allow Roberto Garza to slide back to his natural guard position.
There are options out there but they require money. If Phil Emery and Cliff Stein can find some the Bears may not be done upgrading this roster for 2013.