The Chicago Bears have plenty of questions to answer after their season ended in heartbreaking fashion against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.
The Bears, who went 12-4 during the regular season and won their first division title since 2010, have most of their star players locked up to long-term deals, but there are plenty of players on the roster that could find new homes after the season concluded.
With the loss still fresh in our minds, here are five questions that the Bears will face as the offseason begins.
Will Vic Fangio Remain as Defensive Coordinator?
The most immediate question comes over the status of Fangio, who will interview for at least two NFL head coaching vacancies in the coming days.
If Fangio lands a job with the Miami Dolphins or Denver Broncos, the Bears would have to hire a new coordinator for one of the league’s best defenses. Former New York Jets head coach Todd Bowles would seem to be a strong candidate to succeed Fangio if he leaves, and other candidates like Kris Richard, an assistant with the Cowboys, could emerge as well.
What Will Happen to Cody Parkey?
After Parkey’s field goal attempt banged off the upright and crossbar on Sunday night, the speculation about his future immediately began.
The Bears would have a significant penalty to pay if they cut Parkey, who signed a four year contract before the 2018 season. The team would carry a $5.2 million cap penalty if they cut Parkey loose, and that could hamper them if they wanted to sign a top free agent like Stephen Gostkowski or Robbie Gould.
Is Adrian Amos in the Team’s Future Plans?
The Bears are set at one of their safety positions thanks to Eddie Jackson, but what about Amos? He is a free agent at the end of the season, and the Bears do not have a ready-made replacement in their pipeline at the moment.
Amos only made $2.5 million last season, and he’s likely going to get a significant pay raise for next season. There are plenty of draft-eligible safeties this season, but the free agent market could quickly price out the Bears, with players like LaMarcus Joyner, Earl Thomas, and HaHa Clinton-Dix all potentially available.
What About Bryce Callahan?
The Bears used Sherrick McManis at slot corner after Callahan was injured during the regular season, but will they be able to afford to lose one of the league’s best players at the position?
Callahan could command a raise as he hits free agency, but he’s one player the Bears could definitely explore keeping, as he’s developed into a valuable weapon in the secondary.
What Will the Offensive Line Look Like Next Year?
The Bears are basically locked into Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle and Kyle Long at right guard, but there are a few other questions that will need to be answered.
Will James Daniels remain at left guard, or will he swap positions with center Cody Whitehair? Is there a place on the team in the future for Eric Kush or Bradley Sowell? Will the team try to re-sign free agent-to-be Bobby Massie?
Those questions will demand answers from Ryan Pace and company, and should be interesting to watch play out in the spring.