The Chicago Bears have a lot of holes that they need to fill on their roster as free agency and the NFL Draft loom, and another interesting name came onto the market on Thursday that they could take a look at grabbing.
That player is left tackle Russell Okung, who will reportedly become a free agent as the Denver Broncos will not be picking up a four-year option on his contract following the 2016 season, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reports.
Okung, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Seattle Seahawks, will likely be a sought after commodity on the open market, as this year’s draft class is thin at tackle and the free agent class isn’t much better.
For the Bears, the center of their line is likely set in stone, as Josh Sitton and Kyle Long line up at guard spots and either Cody Whitehair or Hroniss Grasu line up at center. The Bears have repeatedly said in the past that they are satisfied with the performance of Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle, but with the 29-year old Okung available, Ryan Pace could take a long hard look at making a move to bolster the team’s line.
That line will be even more critical in 2017 as the Bears will likely have a new quarterback under center. Jay Cutler is all but out of the picture, and that means that a returning veteran like Brian Hoyer, a newly acquired youngster like Jimmy Garoppolo or AJ McCarron, or a draft pick like Mitch Trubisky or Deshaun Watson, could be looking to find success in Chicago, and a line able to protect them will be key.