Super Bowl 56 has come and gone, but for Chicago Bears fans, they are looking toward the next season and how to get back into the playoffs.
Last season the Bears were awful in protecting the quarterback, giving up 58 sacks in 2021, making them the worst in the league at protecting the quarterback.
With Justin Fields now entering his second season in the NFL, he will need some time in the pocket if the Bears want him to develop into a top-tier quarterback.
So who are the three free-agent linemen that the Bears can seek out to help give Fields the time needed behind the line?
3. Kyle Long
Kyle Long is an old face that Chicago could use back in the Windy City.
While Long has been plagued with injuries, he has been a solid starter when he was playing for the Bears.
Long originally retired from the NFL on January 6, 2020, but decided to come out of retirement and make a deal with the Kansas City Chiefs on March 18, 2021.
Rare to find someone you can relate to. Jarrett and I always had great interactions. I always loved looking at your dads picture on the wall at the Walter Payton center during practice https://t.co/ucULnSZc22
— KyleLong.ETH (@Ky1eLong) January 6, 2020
However, Long didn’t play any snaps with the team in 2021 due to a knee injury he suffered in June during OTAs.
After being activated at the end of November, Long would be later put on the Reserve/COVID-19 list in December.
With the short window of time that the Chiefs could have used Long, they elected not to play him, indicating the Chiefs are willing to allow Long to test the free agency market.
In the 77 games he played for the Bears, he only committed 26 penalties, with false starts being his biggest weakness in his time with Chicago.
Long would be an old face Bears fans will welcome back with open arms as a needed disciplined offensive tackle.
2. Laken Tomlinson
Laken Tomlinson is a solid guard that has been slowly improving his play on the offensive line.
In the 1,094 snaps he played for the San Francisco 49ers last season, he only committed five penalties and only allowed two sacks.
With stats like these, Bears fans would most likely be asking for five linemen of Tomlinson’s caliber.
Laken Tomlinson is on an impressive run at guard for the #49ers, albeit in a loss last night.
Overall Grade: 90.1
His grade for the past two weeks of 91.9 is the highest of any guard in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/2sNAzM86ov
— PFF SF 49ers (@PFF_49ers) December 8, 2020
While those numbers are great news for Bears fans, he is also seen as a value lineman, meaning the Bears won’t have to break the bank to sign him.
His combination of improved play, reliability, and value price make him a no-brainer for the Bears to sign this offseason.
1. Brandon Scherff
Brandon Scherff would be the best guard that money can buy for the Bears if they want to shell out the money for him.
Scherff is a dual-threat on the offensive line, as he can both protect Fields and give the Bears running game the added boost that they could use to help keep even more pressure off Fields.
Top guards through 13 weeks in the NFL pic.twitter.com/DgUmxhKbbl
— PFF (@PFF) December 7, 2017
In the 697 snaps he played for the Washington Commanders last season, he only committed six penalties and allowed zero sacks.
While Scherff would be a quarterback’s dream, he has unfortunately had a nightmare with injuries, which might help the Bears snag him away from the Commanders in the free agency market.