The Bears will emerge from the opening of free agency having added Mike Glennon, Dion Sims, Markus Wheaton and Will Demps, but Thursday didn’t go according to plan for the franchise, writes Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune.
Chicago attempted to use its boatload of cap space to sign more established players, including top cornerback Stephon Gilmore and A.J. Bouye and wide receiver Alshon Jeffery, but the team swung and missed on all counts. While the Bears looked like the favorites to ink Gilmore as recently as Tuesday, he instead joined the Patriots on a mega-deal. Meanwhile, prior to landing his own enormous payday with the Jaguars, Bouye didn’t even give the Bears serious consideration, a source told Biggs.
Like Bouye, Jeffery had no interest in signing with the Bears, multiple sources informed Biggs. He ultimately took a one-year, $14MM offer from the Eagles to leave Chicago, where he spent the first five seasons of his career and emerged as one of the NFL’s top pass catchers.
Should the Bears could continue scouring the open market for potential solutions at either position, some appealing options remain in a dwindling class of free agents. Logan Ryan, Prince Amukamara and Morris Claiborne are among the league’s still-unsigned corners, while Terrelle Pryor is the best wideout without a contract. It’s unclear, though, whether the Bears are interested in any of those players.
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