Last year Ryan Poles decided to trade away the top overall pick to stick with Justin Fields and Matt Eberfus. And, although the season didn’t go all that well, the Panthers did even worse with Bryce Young so the Bears will have the first overall selection again. Matt Eberflus will be back again while Justin Fields is very likely on his way out the door. And hopefully the Bears hit on their franchise QB, so they don’t regret not taking C.J. Stroud with that pick. 

Whether it’s Caleb Williams, Drake Maye, Jayden Daniels, or someone else, let’s take a look at the Bears depth chart of weapons to see what they’ll be working with. Then we’ll try to predict what might happen in free agency so that Bears fans and fantasy football gamers alike will be prepared!

*The salary cap numbers referenced in this article come courtesy of our friends over at*

Fantasy Football Depth Chart: Chicago Bears


Justin Fields

Tyson Bagent

Nathan Peterman


Running Back

Khalil Herbert

Roschon Johnson

Travis Homer

D'Onta Foreman

Wide Receiver

DJ Moore

Velus Jones Jr

Collin Johnson


Wide Receiver

Darnell Mooney

Trent Taylor


Wide Receiver

Tyler Scott

Equanimeous St Brown


Tight End

Cole Kmet

Marcedes Lewis

Robert Tonyan



Khari Blasingame


White = unrestricted free agent

Green = role is safe

Yellow = role could be in jeopardy

Red = could be traded or released





Justin Fields: It seems like a foregone conclusion at this point that the Bears are going to draft a QB and move on from Justin Fields. And the logic is sound when you factor contract consideration into the mix. Fields should get another crack at things with another organization who believes they can work on his passing while harnessing his rushing ability. 

The Steelers were a heavily rumored trade destination though cold water has been poured on that idea as of late. Teams will do a lot of posturing to get the best possible deal in these situations so I wouldn’t rule them completely out just yet. DraftKings Sportsbook currently lists these odds for his next team - all the rest are longer shots.

  • Steelers - 120
  • Bears +175
  • Falcons +400
  • Patriots +700
  • Broncos, Raiders, Commanders +1400

Tyson BagentTyson Bagent had his moment in the sun for a bit there and he actually looked okay at times. I mean, he won two of four games which is a better winning percentage than Fields. The Bears are likely drafting a QB at 1 however so he’ll likely be hanging around as the backup for now unless they want to cut him and bring in a veteran for Caleb Williams to learn under. He can be released with $900K in savings with next to no dead cap. 

Nathan PetermanPeterman lost the QB2 battle to Bagent, but they brought him back on as QB3. He’s an unrestricted free agent and almost certainly gone.

BEARS QB FREE AGENCY TAKE: As I alluded to, it’s a pretty common move for teams to bring in a veteran backup to help show their rookie QB the ropes. The Panthers did that bringing in Andy Dalton with Bryce Young. Here are some options that the Bears could take a look at for that purpose, but they would have to know they aren’t actually competing for the job here. 

Some guys like Gardner Minshew, Sam Darnold, and Drew Lock are still likely keeping their QB1 hopes alive which could be distracting for the team and the fans. Minshew Mania is no job.

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT OPTIONS: Ryan Tannehill, Jacoby Brissett, Tyrod Taylor, Marcus Mariota, Carson Wentz, Joe Flacco


Running Back

Khalil HerbertHerbert is yellow on our chart there and this is about as yellow of a situation as you are going to get. Because the Bears don’t NEED to upgrade at running back. And Khalil Herbert has flashed enough explosiveness at times over the years that Bears fans probably wouldn’t be upset about him as the starter or part of a committee here. 

But this free agent class is loaded with talent, RB contracts are suppressed, and the Bears have the third most cap space of any team. He doesn’t have a ton of value in your dynasty leagues right now given the circumstances so I’d hold - he’ll be an unrestricted free agent next year where we might see a bounce back in his value. 

Roschon JohnsonRoschon Johnson is actually the one who would be hurt most by the Bears signing a big-time free agent RB for a couple of reasons. Unlike Khalil Herbert who can just find a new team next year, Roschon is under contract through 2026. So, he’d be stuck behind a big name for a bit which would really hurt his value. 

On the flip side though, the Bears NOT making an upgrade would be a huge vote of confidence for the second-year player. And he could overtake Khalil Herbert outright in 2024. So, this free agency really could represent a massive swing in value for Roschon Johnson one way or the other.

Travis HomerThe box score won’t show much for Homer but he did play every week on four different special teams units. He could be released for $1.8 million in savings with only $225K in dead cap so the Bears are going to have to decide if he’s worth it. Special teams is his path to making this roster but he doesn’t return punts or kicks so he’s more of the gritty special teams type.

D’Onta Foreman: The big bruiser had a good season in Carolina before coming over to Chicago but found himself a healthy scratch at times in favor of the other guys. He doesn’t offer much in the pass game, but he should land somewhere as a short-yardage specialist. Not likely with the Bears though. 

Khari BlasingameShane Waldron doesn’t traditionally use a fullback and Blasingame can be cut for $1.6 million in savings with zero dead cap so there’s a good chance they release blasingame this offseason.

BEARS RB FREE AGENCY TAKE: As we’ve said - the Bears could make a big move at RB, or they could simply fill out the back of the depth chart. Khalil Herbert and Roschon Johnson are certainly enough at the top. It might make sense to either draft an RB or to just wait until Herbert leaves next year to add someone, but they have the cap space to add any one of these high-end backs if they choose. 

POSSIBLE FREE AGENT OPTIONS: Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Tony Pollard, Austin Ekeler


Wide Receiver

DJ MooreMoore is locked in. That much was obvious when they acquired him via a trade for the top overall pick in the draft. It’s how they fill out the room around him now that matters because he’s virtually the only one of substance under contract.

Darnell MooneyYou have to feel for Mooney a bit here. In his second season, in 2021, he burst onto the scene with a 1,000 yard season. Then in 2022 he suffered a high ankle sprain so bad his leg actually broke. That’s a tough injury and he still didn’t look quite right in 2023. Not great timing for that to happen right before a contract year. 

It’s hard to say whether he looked so good in 2021 because he was the only show in town or whether the injury was the issue. If the Bears were to bring him back it wouldn’t likely be as their WR2 but more of a field stretcher. I think another team pays him to chase that 2021 season and his time in Chicago is over. 

Tyler ScottOne of the main reasons they wouldn’t bring Mooney back is that they have Tyler Scott. Sure he’s a Day 3 NFL draft picks but so was Mooney. Scott runs a 4.44 forty so he can stretch the field on the outside just fine. He’s not likely an every-down versatile WR with a full route tree though. 

Velus Jones Jr: This one hurts because Velus Jones was an older prospect that they took a shot on specifically because he was supposed to be polished and ready to compete right away. But he was clearly not ready and now he’ll be 27 years old at the start of this season. Not a great use of the 2022 third round pick they spent on him. 

Some might even say he should be released but he does return kicks for the Bears and he’s on a cheap rookie deal so he’s likely to hang around in that capacity. It’s just unlikely he all of a sudden figures it out and breaks out on offense - it’s fairly rare you have a Cordarrelle Patterson that is relegated to return duty only to break out years later.

Equanimeous St. BrownThe Bears gave former packer EQSB a second look hoping maybe he’d have some of the magic his brother Amon-Ra St. Brown had. But he finished an injury-prone season that saw only five catches; his Bears stint is likely over. 

Trent TaylorTrent Taylor played a surprising number of offensive snaps for a guy that didn’t catch a single pass. He also had one carry for negative two yards so he actually finished the season with a combined negative two yards from scrimmage. He’s an unrestricted free agent and I don’t see any way he returns. 

Collin JohnsonJohnson was a late promotion from the practice squad, so he’ll be a restricted free agent. They won’t tender him so he’s just a regular free agent. He had one catch in his limited duties, but this team is so thin at WR that maybe they give him another look.

BEARS WR FREE AGENCY TAKE: GM Ryan Poles gets a lot of applause for two moves - trading the 1.01 and trading for Montez Sweat. The first pick in the draft is the most coveted asset out there and the reality of the Montez Sweat trade is that multiple teams, like the Falcons, also offered a 2nd but the Bears got him because they had a worse record. 

Outside of those big moves he’s had some struggles and the WR position has been one. Some notable mistakes have been:

All that said, the Panthers completely faceplanting has put Poles in a position to make things right. They’ll get a fresh start with a QB at #1 overall. They have DJ Moore locked up. And they have the money to add one or more WRs. They have a flanker in Moore and Scott can be a field stretcher, so they need a split end and slot guy. 

Here are the free agent options for each if they opt for that rather than the draft. Obviously, there is a big range for quality here.

POSSIBLE SPLIT END OPTIONS: Mike Evans, Michael Pittman, Tee Higgins, DJ Chark, DeMarcus Robinson, Nick Westbrook-Ikhine

POSSIBLE SLOT OPTIONS: Curtis Samuel, Kendrick Bourne, Tyler Boyd, Noah Brown, KJ Osborn, Cedrick Wilson, Braxton Berrios


Tight End

Cole KmetCole Kmet has quietly finished TE7 back-to-back in full PPR fantasy football leagues. It hasn’t been super consistent, but he’s flashed at times and certainly has a nose for the redzone. In free agency the best pass catching options available are more lateral moves that upgrades. The draft prospect Brock Bowers is next level as a pass catcher, but it seems unnecessary and unlikely given the other holes they have. So Kmet’s role is fairly safe. 

Marcedes LewisLewis is one of the greatest blocking tight ends the league has seen. They could bring him back, but the blocking tight end role is something they might want to replace with a younger player as Lewis is 40 years old now. He’s an unrestricted free agent.

Robert TonyanTonyan scored 11 touchdowns one season with Aaron Rodgers but he was really just an understudy here to Cole Kmet. They could bring him back for cheap as the backup pass catching tight end or maybe he wants to try his hand elsewhere to see if he can start again. He was coming off a tough knee injury this season so maybe he’ll bounce back. He’s not really the type of tight end I target in fantasy football. 

BEARS TE FREE AGENCY TAKE: As I mentioned, the top options like Dalton Schultz or Hunter Henry feel like lateral moves at best. So, unless the Bears plan to run primary 12 personnel with two similar tight ends, it doesn’t seem likely they go big. 

They’ll need a blocking tight end for jumbo sets, and they’ll want another backup with some pass catching chops - that way if Kmet goes down they can piece the position together with the two backups. Bonus points if they play special teams.

POSSIBLE BLOCKING TE OPTIONS: Marcedes Lewis, Geoff Swaim, Drew Sample, Charlie Woerner, Mycole Pruitt, Johnny Mundt, Blake Bell

POSSIBLE PASS TE OPTIONS: Mike Gesicki, Jesper Horsted, Albert Okwuegbunam, Irv Smith Jr, Ross Dwelley, Tanner Hudson (RFA), Shane Zylstra (RFA)


NFL Free Agency Previews

Discover our other breakdowns for the rest of the league ahead of 2024 NFL free agency: