The Bears may no longer have the worst roster in the NFL, but they still have a long way to go in rebuilding even after some quality additions in the past week.
Former Bills quarterback Tremaine Edmunds is the most high-profile and expensive player they signed, signing a four-year, $72 million contract, and injecting him and fellow new quarterback TJ Edwards from the Eagles would make an immediate difference for one of the league's weakest. defense.
The Bears couldn't stop anyone last season. Now they have key players from the top two defenses.
And their wide receiver crew is looking better than they have in years after landing the Panthers' DJ Moore in the catch they earned for the No. 1 overall pick. They're not over the top, but the trio of Moore, Darnell Mooney and Chase Claypool is good and has high potential. All have a strong season on their resumes, and at 25 or younger, neither has yet maximized their potential.
The three are unpredictable, but it's a worthwhile bet from general manager Ryan Poles.
It was a good move that shored up critical weakness. But the Bears went 3-14 last season. They have many weaknesses. And as the first wave of free agents wears off, Poles still see a long list of unresolved issues.
The offensive line is a big deal for the Bears, and so far all they have done is take four-year starting guard Nate Davis from the Titans. At $30 million over three years, Davis is making more money than the Bears paid any free agent last season.
Davis played right guard for the Titans, but could move left if the Bears choose to shift guard Cody Whitehair to center. It was his original position when the team drafted him in the second round in 2016.
But Bears coach Matt Eberflus said last month all five starting jobs were open, which is logical considering his team allowed the fourth most sacks and fifth most pressure in the NFL last season.
And the Bears' pass rush can't be fixed by simply signing defenseman DeMarcus Walker. This is of course a start. Walker had a career-high seven sacks last season; no Bears defensive lineman has more than three.
The Bears are also still looking for the game-changing defensive tackle Eberflus coveted – they thought they had it when they agreed a deal with Larry Ogunjobi last year, but that fell through – and assists in the secondary.
And that roster is based on the premise that quarterback Justin Fields and tight end Cole Kmet are poised to make a big move.
Poland will continue to add players it thinks other teams have underestimated in the second and third waves of free agency, but their next big swing will likely be in the draft.
The bears lost some of their leverage by trading down from No. 1 to No. 9, but they are still picking high enough to get an immediate starter who could develop into a star. Clemson defensive tackle Bryan Bresee and defensive end Myles Murphy made sense, as did Northwestern left tackle Peter Skoronski.
Future stars can be found in every round of the draft, of course, but they get harder and harder as they go along. However, with the 53rd, 61st, and 64th picks, Poland should be able to find early caliber talent to fill the other holes. In the last 25 drafts, 79 future Pro Bowl players were selected between the No. 50 and 65.
Even with this year's many resources, it will still take at least another season for the Bears to enter the fray. And thanks to trades with the Panthers and Poland's restraint in free agency, he'll go into the next offseason located similarly to the payroll and draft cap space. But it only matters if the moves he makes at the end of this season pay off.