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The Bears are leading the NFL in a surprising category according to media


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Chris Lewis
June 21, 2024  (10:54)
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Bears, Caleb Williams
Photo credit: ESPN

Chicago Bears eye free agent Connor Williams for offensive line boost.

The Chicago Bears have built a promising support system for rookie quarterback Caleb Williams in 2024, but adding free agent Connor Williams could elevate their offensive line even further. ESPN's Adam Schefter recently reported that Williams is "in discussions with multiple teams" for the upcoming season. The 27-year-old center brings valuable starting experience from his time with Dallas and Miami, though he is currently recovering from a season-ending ACL tear in 2023.
Williams is "in discussions with multiple teams" about potentially signing with them for the 2024 season.

Schefter didn't specify which teams are interested, but CBS Sports' Bryan DeArdo has speculated on potential landing spots. DeArdo noted,
"It's largely assumed that the Bears' top goal for 2024 is getting No. 1 overall pick Caleb Williams to the finish line healthy. Adding a player of Williams' caliber would do that while also giving some much-needed depth and versatility to Chicago's front."

Does Connor Williams Fit the Bears' Plans?
Connor Williams was highly sought after in the early stages of 2024 free agency, especially by the Bears, who had released veteran Cody Whitehair and chose not to re-sign Lucas Patrick, now with New Orleans. This left a significant gap in their offensive line as they prepared to draft a new franchise quarterback.
However, the Bears didn't remain passive. Before the new league year began, they traded a 2024 fifth-round pick to the Buffalo Bills for veteran center/guard Ryan Bates and signed former Los Angeles Rams starter Coleman Shelton to a one-year, $3 million deal. While Bates is expected to compete for the starting center role, the exact plans for the position are not fully clear. If the Bears are confident in their current lineup, including 2022 sixth-rounder Doug Kramer Jr., pursuing Williams might not be necessary.
Williams is known for his elite run-blocking skills, ranking as Pro Football Focus' fourth-highest-graded center during his last healthy season with the Dolphins in 2022. At 27, he still holds long-term starter potential, which could be beneficial for a team with a rookie quarterback. The Bears would need to ensure Williams can recover fully from his ACL injury and agree on a reasonable contract. If these conditions are met, Williams could be a valuable addition before training camp.
Other Positions the Bears Might Strengthen
Surprisingly, the Bears might still consider adding another veteran center despite their recent moves. Their trade for Keenan Allen and big spend on running back D'Andre Swift, along with trading Justin Fields for a conditional sixth-rounder and drafting wide receiver Rome Odunze at No. 9, demonstrate their willingness to make bold decisions.
Besides the center position, the Bears could look to bolster their pass rush. They have added veteran Jake Martin and rookie Austin Booker to their lineup, but more depth is needed. Bringing back veteran Yannick Ngakoue, who knows the defense, could be a smart move. Other available options include Emmanuel Ogbah, Carl Lawson, and Romeo Okwara.
Additionally, the Bears might seek another veteran cornerback. While Jaylon Johnson, Tyrique Stevenson, and Kyler Gordon are strong starters, the team's rotational depth is thin. Steven Nelson or Eli Apple could provide low-cost security and depth.
By strategically assessing these positions, the Bears can ensure they have a robust roster to support their rookie quarterback and make a strong push in the 2024 season.
Source: Heavy
Bears Named ‘Landing Spot' for Top Free Agent as Talks Heat Up
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JUNE 21   |   45 ANSWERS
The Bears are leading the NFL in a surprising category according to media

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