Free Agency Tracker: Follow Bears' Moves On The Open Market

The Bears started the offseason with major additions and subtractions.

Chris Emma
March 12, 2018 - 1:47 pm
Bears GM Ryan Pace

Kamil Krzaczynski/USA Today Sports

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By Chris Emma--

(670 The Score) Bears general manager Ryan Pace has warned that it's not prudent to build a team through the means of free agency, but acknowledge it's a way to upgrade a roster.

The Bears stand to do just that with the arrival of the league new year, with ample cap space available to land acquisitions that can complement their young players well and change their fortunes ahead. 

Monday brings the opening of the legal tampering period, in which teams can begin negotiations with free agents, while Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT marks the league new year and the opening of the signing period. With that, the Bears can begin work in free agency.

Follow along all of the Bears' moves in free agency with this tracker of moves, news and notes. You can track it all live on Twitter @670TheScore and @CEmma670.

MONDAY

9:37 a.m. -- Veteran offensive lineman Bradley Sowell, 28, re-signed with the Bears on a two-year extension. He played in all 16 games last season and started in two. The Bears secured depth and a potential fit as swing tackle in Sowell.

12:25 p.m. --  Restricted free-agent cornerback Bryce Callahan will receive a rights-to-first-refusal tender from the Bears, according to the Chicago Tribune. 

12:37 p.m. -- The Bears have used the beginning of the negotiation window to address some restricted free agents. The team used an original-round tender of $1.907 million on receiver Cam Meredith, a source confirmed. In doing so, Meredith holds the right to explore options on the open market, but the Bears have the right to match any offer Meredith receives. The Bears will receive no compensation in return should he move on. The team also placed an original-round tender on receiver Josh Bellamy, a key special-teams contributor, with the same parameters as Meredith received.

1:52 p.m. -- Worth noting is a team that reportedly could pursue top receiver target Allen Robinson: the Green Bay Packers, who could act more aggressively on the open market under new general manager Brian Gutekunst. His predecessor, Ted Thompson, came under fire for a lack of urgency with free agency. Perhaps now there could be a change in philosophy for the Packers. It will be interesting to see what kind of offer they would make for a player like Robinson.

2:00 p.m. -- Free-agent tight end Trey Burton is expected to draw a large market, according to NFL Media's Mike Garofolo, who says the Lions are expected to be heavily involved. The Bears could also explore the market on Burton, as Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune reported, while other reports have linked the team to free agent Jimmy Graham.

2:12 p.m. -- The Vikings have reached out to quarterback Drew Brees' camp, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. While the Saints are still considered the favorites to re-sign Brees, it's a situation that's created intrigue across the league.

3:47 p.m. -- The Bills and Bengals have made a trade, with Buffalo sending tackle Cordy Glenn, its 21st overall pick and a fifth-round pick to Cincinnati for the 12th overall pick and a sixth-rounder, according to multiple reports. With that, the Bills have moved into striking distance to draft a quarterback after trading Tyrod Taylor last Friday. 

4:51 p.m. -- This from NFL Media's Ian Rapoport is worth noting from a Bears perspective: "Based on what the Bills received in the Cordy Glenn trade, I’d be surprised if they don’t end up in the top 10, top five by draft night. They are on the move for a QB, and everyone will be calling." The Bears hold the eighth pick and have a quarterback in place. They would be a leading candidate to drop back in the draft order for a quarterback-needy team like the Bills.

8:33 p.m. -- The Dolphins have emerged as the early favorite for free-agent receiver Albert Wilson, according to an NFL Media report. It's worth noting a lot of negotiating takes place between now and the start of the signing period on Wednesday at 3 p.m. CT, so plenty can change in that span.

TUESDAY

12:46 a.m. -- The Broncos will sign free-agent quarterback Case Keenum, according to multiple reports. Denver gets its quarterback on the open market and the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes move on to three -- the Vikings, Cardinals and Jets.

1:24 a.m. -- The Bears are expected to get their biggest target, as they're set to sign receiver Allen Robinson on Wednesday to a three-year deal worth up to $42 million and $25 million guaranteed. No receiver in Bears history has ever recorded a 14-touchdown season as Robinson did for the Jaguars in 2015. The 24-year-old Robinson, who's coming off a torn ACL, could be just what the Bears needed for 23-year-old quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.

8:48 a.m. -- The Saints will retain quarterback Drew Brees to a two-year deal worth up to $50 million and with $27 million guaranteed, according to ESPN. The face of that franchise isn't leaving New Orleans after all.

10:11 a.m. -- Free-agent quarterback Kirk Cousins will visit first with the Minnesota Vikings, according to NFL Media. He could land a fully guaranteed contract, with that deal reportedly worth $28 million a year over three seasons.

10:19 a.m. -- The Bears are expected to sign free-agent tight end Trey Burton, according to NFL Media, adding another target for Mitchell Trubisky.

10:57 a.m. -- Finally, the Bears will again have a kicker. The team has agreed to sign Cody Parkey, according to multiple reports. Parkey converted 21 of 23 field goals for the Dolphins last season.

11:09 a.m. -- Linebacker Christian Jones has agreed to a two-year deal with the Lions, leaving the Bears after spending the past four seasons with them. He proved to be a key special-teams contributor and reserve inside linebacker.

11:12 a.m. -- New Bears receiver Allen Robinson said hello to Chicago on Twitter, this after agreeing to terms with the team this morning.

11:17 a.m. -- Soon-to-be former Bears quarterback Mike Glennon is on the Cardinals' radar, according to NFL Media. He will be released from Chicago on Wednesday.

3:18 p.m. -- The Bears agreed to term with receiver Taylor Gabriel on a four-year deal, as he confirmed to former teammate Andrew Hawkins. In Gabriel, the Bears have added a prototypical slot receiver that can also make an impact on the outside.

3:25 p.m. -- The Packers made a major signing and release, as they're set to add tight end Jimmy Graham and release receiver Jordy Nelson. Of Nelson's 69 touchdowns in Green Bay, eight of those came against Chicago. It feels like more.

4:45 p.m. -- Wow. The Titans will pay up big for free-agent cornerback Malcolm Butler, a former Patriot who they're ready to sign for up to $61 million and $30 million guaranteed, according to reports. With that, the market is set for cornerbacks.

6:30 p.m. -- My column from a busy Tuesday of offseason action, which brought the Bears a prime fit in Allen Robinson.

7:42 p.m. -- The Bears have agreed to terms with cornerback Prince Amukamara on a three-year deal. Amukamara had said he hoped to return with the Bears but also sought a multi-year deal. He got both his wishes.

WEDNESDAY

5:59 a.m. -- Chase Daniel will be the Bears' backup quarterback, as he will sign in Chicago on a two-year deal, as first reported by NFL Media's Peter Schrager. This is something that has been discussed for a while by the Bears, bringing in a link between Ryan Pace's time in New Orleans and Matt Nagy's run in Kansas City. Daniel spent 2010-'12 in New Orleans and 2013-'15 in Kansas City. He's considered to be an excellent fit around young quarterbacks and can work as an extension of Nagy in the quarterbacks room.

8:14 a.m. -- The Bears and linebacker Sam Acho have agreed to a new two-year deal, retaining a player who has provided valuable depth at outside linebacker and a presence on special teams. The two-year deal is worth $7.5 million with $3 million guaranteed, according to his brother, Emmanuel Acho.

8:19 a.m. -- In new around the league, the Super Bowl champion Eagles have agreed to a five-year deal worth $40 million for linebacker Nigel Bradham, according to multiple reports.

12:18 p.m. -- A couple of big names have been released, with the Ravens cutting loose receiver Jeremy Maclin and the Cardinals doing the same with cornerback Tyrann Mathieu.

2:20 p.m. -- Another major release came with the Lions dumping 2014 first-round pick Eric Ebron. Detroit selected him ahead of players like Odell Beckham Jr., Aaron Donald and Kyle Fuller, among others.

3:00 p.m. -- Happy new year! All signings and league moves can become official now. And away we go!

3:03 p.m. -- New Bears kicker Cody Parkey's contract is a four-year deal worth $15 million and with $9 million guaranteed, per NFL Media's Mike Garofolo.

3:20 p.m. -- The Bears have now officially re-signed cornerback Prince Amukamara and linebacker Sam Acho.

3:40 p.m. -- The Bears didn't offer tenders to tight end Daniel Brown, linebacker John Timu and long snapper Patrick Scales.

4:00 p.m. -- Among the notables an hour into free agency: former Bears guard Josh Sitton will visit with the Dolphins, according to NFL Media's Tom Pelissero. 

4:38 p.m. -- Northwestern product Trevor Siemian will be dealt from the Broncos to the Vikings, according to multiple reports. He will serve as the backup quarterback to Kirk Cousins once he's signed in Minnesota.

4:40 p.m. -- Here's a list of 2017 Bears who are currently unrestricted free agents: OL Tom Compton, RB Benny Cunningham, LS Andrew DePaola, LB Lamarr Houston, WR Dontrelle Inman, DL John Jenkins, DB Sherrick McManis, TE Zach Miller, K Mike Nugent, P Pat O'Donnell, QB Mark Sanchez, K Cairo Santos, OL Josh Sitton, DE Mitch Unrein and WR Kendall Wright.

5:16 p.m. -- Sam Acho said he had drawn interest from the Seahawks, Rams and Texans but was thrilled to sign with the Bears on a multi-year deal after several seasons of one-year deals at a minimum rate. He's eager to continue working with Vic Fangio's defense, which he sees still rising.

5:21 p.m. -- The Bears are losing defensive end Mitch Unrein to the Buccaneers, according to the Tampa Bay Times. He was a key cog to the defensive line the last three seasons.

5:32 p.m. -- It's official: Mike Glennon, Markus Wheaton and Marcus Cooper have all been released by the Bears, who save $21 million in cap space with these moves.

5:29 p.m. -- And just like that, Glennon has a new team. He will sign a two-year deal worth $8 million with the Cardinals, according to an NFL Media report.

6:21 p.m. -- More than three hours into the league new year, the Bears have yet to make any of their new additions official, with physicals and other logistics still pending.

6:23 p.m. -- The Bills have signed quarterback A.J. McCarron to a two-year deal, adding a veteran to their mix. It's worth wondering whether they will follow the Bears' footsteps from a year ago and trade up in the first round -- perhaps even to the eighth slot.

7:35 p.m. -- The Bears have made official their five newest signings, a group higlighted by receiver Allen Robinson.

THURSDAY

9:20 a.m. -- Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara spoke with reporters on conference call, saying that he wasn't interested in other offers and sought a return to Chicago. Like linebacker Sam Acho, he was thrilled to land a multi-year deal that allowed him to stay in Chicago. It's a three-year deal worth $27 million.

10:33 a.m. -- The Raiders are finalizing a deal with former Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, according to multiple reports. A player who has tortured the Bears for years will soon be out of the NFC North.

10:40 a.m. -- Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh will visit with the Saints, according to NFL Media. He has also gotten interest from the Seahawks.

11:49 a.m. -- Former Bears guard Josh Sitton has agreed to a two-year deal with the Dolphins, according to multiple reports. The Bears declined his team option in February, which made him an unrestricted free agent.

5:58 p.m. -- The Bears have signed edge rusher Aaron Lynch to a one-year deal. Lynch had 12.5 sacks his first two seasons but just 2.5 the last two years. Consider this a prove-it offer from the Bears, who hope he can thrive again in Vic Fangio's defense as he did as a rookie in San Francisco.

8:00 p.m. -- From a busy day at Halas Hall, why Allen Robinson joins the Bears inspired and how the tandem of Mitchell Trubisky and Matt Nagy attracted the team's newest free agents.

FRIDAY

8:14 a.m. -- The Bears have added another quarterback, set to sign Tyler Bray to a two-year deal. Another addition to the quarterbacks room familiar with Matt Nagy.

12:27 p.m. -- Andrew DePaola, who signed with the Bears midway through last season, will become the highest-paid long snapper in the league, agreeing with the Raiders on a four-year deal worth $4.27 million.

12:37 p.m. -- The Bears have officially announced the re-signings of tight end Daniel Brown and punter Pat O'Donnell, while also making official the new signing of reserve quarterback Tyler Bray. 

Chris Emma covers the Bears, Chicago’s sports scene and more for 670TheScore.com. Follow him on Twitter @CEmma670.