NFL free agency is off and running, and we're keeping track of every major signing, trade and release of the 2020 offseason, with analysis from our NFL Nation reporters and grades from Bill Barnwell. The new league year begins March 18 at 4 p.m. ET, which means free-agent signings can be made official after that. The first round of the 2020 NFL draft begins April 23.
Robert Quinn, DE
The Bears expect to sign Quinn to a five-year, $70 million deal.
What it means: Quinn's arrival from Dallas signaled the end for former ninth overall pick Leonard Floyd. Floyd, whose $13.222 million fifth-year option would have become guaranteed on the first day of the league year, will be released. Floyd joins an ever-growing list of disappointing former Bears first round draft choices. Quinn is coming off a productive year with 11.5 sacks. Pairing Quinn with Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks gives the Bears a formidable group of pass-rushers. As long as Quinn stays healthy, the Bears should benefit from the signing.
What's the risk: In a perfect world, Floyd would've developed into a consistent pass-rusher. He did not. So, yet again, the Bears are forced to spend big money to fix draft mistakes. Quinn, who turns 30-years old in May, missed large portions of the 2015-16 seasons. There is risk attached to every free agent signing. Quinn went four seasons without double-digit sacks from 2015-18.
Artie Burns, CB
The Bears agreed to a one-year deal with the former first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
What it means: The Bears are in the market for another starting cornerback after releasing veteran Prince Amukamara in February. Burns, 24, is a former first-round pick of the Steelers, but he started just seven games over the past two seasons. Still, Burns should be given an opportunity to compete for the job against Kevin Toliver II, Tre Roberson and whichever cornerback Chicago selects in the upcoming NFL draft. This represents a fresh start for Burns, who had his fifth-year option declined by the Steelers.
What's the risk: Not much. One-year deals aare typically prove-it contracts. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. Chicago probably isn't on the hook for much financially. At 6-0, 197 pounds, Burns has the size the Bears are looking for. But keep expectations low.
Jimmy Graham, TE
The Bears signed Graham to a two-year, $16 million contract, with $9 million guaranteed.
What it means: The Bears are beyond desperate at tight end. Many theorized that Graham's career was over after he posted just 38 catches for 447 yards and three touchdowns for the Green Bay Packers last year. Bears general manager Ryan Pace, who overlapped with Graham in New Orleans, felt otherwise. The Bears were already carrying a terrible free agent contract for injured tight end Trey Burton and former second-round pick TE Adam Shaheen looks like a complete bust. Not much to like at the position.
What's the risk: All of it. Graham, 33, appears to be on the downside of his career. Why guarantee him $9 million? The Bears already know they can't count on Burton (coming off another surgery) and Shaheen looks to be totally out of the picture. Chicago needs a reliable weapon at tight end. Graham doesn't seem reliable. The veteran is coming off his worst statistical campaign since his rookie year in 2010. This would've been a great move in 2013. In 2020 ... not so much.
Danny Trevathan, linebacker
The Bears have signed Trevathan to a three-year extension.
What it means: The Bears opted to re-sign Trevathan, who turns 30-years old on March 24, over 26-year old Nick Kwiatkoski -- another Chicago unrestricted free agent. “He's such a great leader,” Bears general manager Ryan Pace said about Trevathan at last month's NFL combine. “He's such a good player. Obviously when he was hurt last year that hurt our defense for a multitude of reasons. But he's an important part of what we're doing.”
Trevathan is an experienced and savvy leader, who recorded 102 tackles and two interceptions in 2018.
What's the risk: Health. Trevathan frequently struggled with injuries and missed 16 games for the Bears over a four-year stint, including seven last season due to a gruesome elbow injury suffered Week 10 against the Detroit Lions. Plus, Trevathan is older than Kwiatkoski, who's likely to score a nice deal of his own in free agency. Can the Bears count on Trevathan to stay healthy? That's the main risk associated with this signing.
Deon Bush, S
The Bears re-signed Bush to a one-year deal.
What it means: The Bears re-signed Bush one day after veteran safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix reached an agreement with the Dallas Cowboys. Bush is hardly guaranteed a starting job, but has appeared in 54 games (primarily as a special teamer) since the Bears drafted him in 2016. Look for Chicago to further address the safety position in the upcoming draft where the team will look to find a long-term starter alongside Pro Bowler Eddie Jackson, who agreed to a lucrative extension earlier in the offseason.
What's the risk: Low. Not much money is involved here. Best-case scenario is that Bush becomes a full-time starter. He's still just 26-years-old, so that can't totally be ruled out. Worst-case scenario is that Bush remains only a backup/special-teamer, which would be fine, as long as Chicago finds a better starting option, presumably in the draft. That's the key.
Barkevious Mingo, LB
The Bears reached a one-year agreement with the former Texans' linebacker.
What it means: The expectation is for Mingo to be part of the outside linebacker rotation and play on special teams. While Mingo certainly won't receive as many defensive snaps as Khalil Mack or Robert Quinn, the former first-round pick will have an opportunity to contribute. Mingo had one of his best professional seasons in 2017 when he played under current Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. The 29-year-old also overlapped with Chicago special teams coordinator Chris Tabor in Cleveland. Pagano and Tabor likely endorsed the decision to sign Mingo before the Bears made the move.
What's the risk: Mingo is an NFL nomad. The Bears will be his sixth team in eight professional seasons. The Browns took Mingo sixth overall in 2013 and he lasted three years in Cleveland. Also, Mingo recorded only six tackles and zero sacks last season for the Texans. That's not very encouraging.
Germain Ifedi, OT
The Bears agreed to a one-year deal for the former Seahawks lineman, who was a first-round draft pick in 2016.
What it means: Ifedi primarily lined up at tackle for Seattle but did start 14 games at right guard. Chicago is searching for a new right guard in the wake of Kyle Long's retirement. The Bears also need a swing tackle after veteran Cornelius Lucas left in free agency for Washington. Ifedi is another former first-round pick. The Bears appear to be collecting those in free agency. Ifedi joins Artie Burns and Barkevious Mingo as ex-first-rounders looking to reboot their careers in Chicago on one-year deals.
What's the risk: The Seahawks declined Ifedi's fifth-year option and allowed him to leave. On one hand, you can argue the Bears are collecting all this great talent with these former first-round draft picks. On the other hand, you can just as successfully argue that Chicago is merely signing castoffs from other teams. Ifedi is experienced and fills clear area of need -- especially if he can win the starting right guard job. The risk seems relatively low.