Chicago Bears are preaching patience with their big picture approach

Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

With the way Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles is approaching free agency, we see that they have a long-term approach to the rebuild.

Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Poles came to town raising expectations for the team’s revival. He especially got everyone riled up when he said “We’re going to take the North and never give it back.”

Those were some bold words considering how dominant the Green Bay Packers have been in the NFC North. The Packers have won eight of the last 11 division titles.

That means there is a lot of work to be done. The Bears had over 30 roster spots to fill after players left either via free agency or getting cut.

So far, however, Poles’ plan is starting off with a couple of hiccups. His biggest free agent acquisition was defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi. After he failed his physical due to his surgically repaired foot, the deal had to be rescinded.

Additionally, Poles attempted to sign offensive lineman Ryan Bates to compete for a starting job. He was a restricted free agent, which meant his employers, the Buffalo Bills, could match the offer. That’s exactly what they did and he stayed put.

The free agents Poles did sign left a lot to be desired. It gives off a strong indication that we shouldn’t expect much in the 2022 season. This is a multi-year rebuild and this season is just the start.

On that front, Poles and the Chicago Bears brass preach a patient approach. They aren’t trying to swing for the fences like previous general manager Ryan Pace did. they’ll start off slow to start. Then, next offseason, they’ll have about $130 million in cap space. Additionally, they have six draft picks this year and seven more next season before Poles does what most draft experts expect — trading to acquire more picks.

Poles is on the record saying that he prefers to build through the draft and then supplement that with free agents. Two of his six draft picks are in the second round so he’ll likely trade one or both of them for more precious picks.

The problem some Bears fans have is that their patience is already thin. They’ve seen too many years with too many losses. Those losses dropped this once-proud franchise into irrelevance. They wonder how much longer they need to wait before they see another winning Chicago Bears team. Most people are growing tired of listening to how great the 1985 team was.

Well, it’ll be a couple more seasons at the very least.

Keep in mind, however, that the rebuild was sped up with the trade of Khalil Mack. Mack was a fan-favorite and many fans became upset at losing him, but that was a deal that needed to be made. Yes, Poles could have tried to pry away another pick or two from the Los Angeles Chargers, but they did get two picks.

More importantly for Poles, though, was the enormous amount of cap space gained because of the trade. Over the next two years, the Bears save $54.75 million in cap space. That gives them a lot of flexibility to make moves. With one trade, Poles can do what he needs to do to build a consistent contender.

We just have to get through the 2022 season.

Poles has his plans and he’ll stick to them no matter what. He won’t panic as many others have. He knows in the long run he has the money and the assets to complete his task.

"It’s funny, because there’s a lot of panic, like, ‘You need receivers.’ I think Davante [Adams] was taken in the second, right? So there’s talent there. It’s not always going to be like that, I get it. And we’re going to be patient. If it’s not there, we’re not going to do it and force it, either."

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Poles hears what people are saying about his moves. He understands their impatience. He has Chairman of the Board George McCaskey’s support. McCaskey