Former GM Thinks Ryan Poles Has Nailed Bears Off-Season
Ryan Poles promised one thing when the off-season began. He would not deviate from his plan for the Chicago Bears roster. He’d use free agency to find value, be selective, and set himself up for the NFL draft next month. Thus far, he has kept that promise. Despite inquiring about several big names to start free agency, the Bears have not gone crazy with their spending. Outside of a massive deal for linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, they’ve kept their spending on a tight budget. As a result, they’ve secured multiple impact starters while still maintaining more cap space than any team in the league.
This doesn’t even include snagging wide receiver D.J. Moore, a future 1st round pick, and two 2nd round picks in the blockbuster trade with Carolina. Chicago now has ten picks in the 2023 draft, with four in the first three rounds. That gives Poles a golden opportunity to infuse his roster with loads of young talent. One person who loves the approach is former GM Randy Mueller. He talked about the Bears’ off-season on The Athletic Football Show with Mike Sando.
Everything Poles has done makes sense to him.
“I love it. I’ll be honest with you. I don’t know Ryan Poles. I’ve met him a couple of times. I love the conviction that he is showing to his evaluations and to the plan. I have a hard time when guys get up to the plate and they look for a walk. Ryan Poles is not stepping up to the plate without taking his full cut…
…And we look at the average per deal of all the guys you mentioned? There’s only three or four of them that are giant money. There’s a bunch of these $2 million, $2.5 million, $3 million. Those are, again, draft picks he doesn’t have to draft now. And I’m sure those contracts have some upside as well. So I like that…
…I don’t think they’re done yet. They’re going to look for some more bargains. He’s going to set himself up, just like he did with this draft trade now, going from #1 to #9. He got him some more tools to use to fill up this roster with some impact players, still picking inside the top ten. So I like, really, on all fronts what he’s done.”
Ryan Poles still has plenty of time for more moves.
The draft is more than a month away. With the main waves of free agency done, prices should start dropping for several of the prominent names left available. The Bears could use another cornerback and definitely a pass rusher. Offensive tackle might be their biggest need. Sadly that market was picked clean in the opening days. There are no starters left available unless somebody gets cut. On the other hand, they could double-dip at guard with solid veteran Dalton Risner still out there. Much of that depends on what they want to do with Teven Jenkins.
There is even a possibility Ryan Poles might dabble one more time in the trade market. He has plenty of ammunition to make something happen. It depends on who may or may not be available. The point is he has the flexibility needed to pounce on such opportunities. Mueller’s primary point doesn’t change. Poles knows what he is doing. The Bears are pointed in the right direction. It’s about trusting the process and letting him continue to work through the plan.