Many want to focus on who the Chicago Bears have acquired this offseason, and for good reason. The team has done a great job of adding new faces to the mix in both free agency and the NFL Draft with the hope they can turn around a franchise that has won just 14 games over the course of the last three seasons and has not made the playoffs since 2010.
Before fully embracing who will be wearing the navy and orange this season, it is always imperative to look back and see where the team is heading. Below we take a look at some of the biggest names who left the organization this offseason and where they currently stand.
LB Pernell McPhee (released) - signed by Washington
The first big signing of Ryan Pace's tenure as the team's general manager, McPhee had heavy expectations placed on his shoulders. Unfortunately for him, his knees could not live up to all that pressure.
He put together a strong first season in 2015, recording 53 tackles, six sacks, three pass deflections, one interception and one forced fumble in 14 games with 12 starts. The following year is when his knee issues really started to take a hold of him, forcing him to miss all but nine games. During that stretch he recorded 16 tackles, four sacks and one forced fumble. He missed all of training camp last year with another knee ailment but appeared in 13 games with five starts. He capped off the season with 21 tackles and four sacks. He was released by the team this offseason and signed a one-year deal with the Redkins this offseason.
SS Quintin Demps (released) - currently a free agent
The Bears were hoping to catch lightning in a bottle with Demps after he put up a career-high six interceptions in 2016. Unfortunately for him, he appeared in just three games before fracturing his forearm. He ended the year with 12 tackles. In his absence, Adrian Amos reclaimed the starting job and appears set to be the team's starter at the strong safety position once again this season.
LB Willie Young (released) - currently a free agent
Signed to play defensive end in Chicago's 4-3 scheme in 2014, Young then found himself moved to outside linebacker in 2015. He put up 10 sacks, 6.5 sacks and 7.5 sacks in three seasons before only appearing in four games in 2017. In those four games he recorded seven tackles and two sacks before he was placed on injured reserve with a torn triceps. His release by the organization came as a bit of surprise considering his productivity prior to the injury this past season.
WR Markus Wheaton (released) - currently a free agent
Signed to give the Bears a deep threat in the passing game, Wheaton was far from that in his one and only season in Chicago. After signing a two-year deal with the Bears he only appeared in 11 games with the team due to injuries. He finished the year with three catches for 51 yards. Chicago released him earlier this offseason.
QB Mike Glennon (released) - signed by Arizona
A year ago the Bears were trying to sell hope with Mike Glennon. There was some hope that the former third-round pick could emerge as a bonafide starter in the NFL, but in four starts for the Bears he struggled. He completed 93 of his 140 passes for 833 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions. He also fumbled five times, losing three of them in the process. After his struggles in Week 4 against the Green Bay Packers, Glennon found himself on the bench for the remainder of the season behind Trubisky. He signed a two-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.
DE Mitch Unrein (free agent) - signed by Tampa Bay
An unsung player throughout his time in Chicago, Unrein became a free agent this offseason and was quickly snatched up by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on a three-year deal worth $10.5 million. He came to Chicago in 2015 and appeared in 14 games with four starts that season, recording 18 tackles and one sack. After notching 26 tackles and one sack in 2016, Unrein capped off last season with 32 tackles and 2.5 tackles. He will help provide interior defensive line help in Tampa Bay.
WR Kendall Wright (free agent) - signed by Minnesota
Wright signed a one-year deal last season as a sort of "prove it" contract. In 16 games with four starts, Wright caught 59 passes for 614 yards and scored one touchdown. The numbers do not look great, but he was hands-down Chicago's most consistent contributor in the passing game last season. In Minnesota he helps give the team depth at the position and will serve as another weapon for new quarterback Kirk Cousins. His one-year deal is worth $1 million.
QB Mark Sanchez (free agent) - currently a free agent
Sanchez signed a one-year deal with the Bears last offseason. He saw limited time during the preseason and spent the entire 2017 season on the bench, never even dressing for a game last year. By most accounts, he is someone who worked as a de facto coach for Trubisky in the quarterback room. In early April he was suspended four games by the NFL for violating the league's performance-enhancing drug policy.
WR Cameron Meredith (restricted free agent) - signed by New Orleans
In one of the biggest offseason stories of the year for Chicago, the Bears opted not to match the offer the Saints put on the table for Meredith. Coming off a 2017 season in which he missed the entire year due to ACL and MCL injuries, Meredith only received an original-round tender from the Bears. New Orleans took a chance on him and signed him to a two-year deal worth $9.6 million with $5.3 million guaranteed, far more than the $1.907 million tender the Bears extended him.
AuthorMatt Eurich @MattEurich