Bears reportedly pursuing Mike McGlinchey
Kyle Terada - USA Today Sports

Bears reportedly pursuing Mike McGlinchey

by - Senior Writer -

Now that the Bears have officially traded away the first pick for a bevy of picks and a No. 1 WR, the Chicago Bears can now focus on the next stages of their offseason. That will be the free agent market which is set to get underway on Wednesday. With the most money to spend of anyone this offseason, the Bears are expected to be very aggressive as they know the needs they have to fill.

When it comes to building a winning franchise, three things need to go right. You need a franchise QB which Justin Fields appears to be. You need a good front office and coaching staff which is starting to show up. Most importantly, you need a good offensive line, which the Bears have been working on for years.

Despite having the best rushing attack in the NFL a season ago, the Bears offensive line has not been good for years, as Fields was sacked more than any QB in the NFL. That is a problem when you have such a young QB, as his career could be cut short due to the hits he has taken. If the Bears want to keep him upright, they need to protect him, and many expect the Bears to address that in the draft.

However, there are plenty of OT on the free agent market worth nothing, and one player the Bears are expected to target is Mike McGlinchey of the San Francisco 49ers. This is a name that shouldn't come as a surprise to Bears fans, as he has been linked to them for several months.

In fact, many expect the Bears to not only make a run at him, but they could make him one of the first of what could be plenty of free-agent signings. Looking at the season he had last season, it makes sense, and he could be the first significant piece to help the offense gain more consistency.

Given what the Bears excelled at last season, McGlinchy makes a ton of sense and was a great fit in that Kyle Shanahan zone rushing attack that works so well in San Francisco. His 85.4 run-blocking grade since he entered the league is a top-10 number among offensive tackles, and that alone will help the Bears improve on the ground.

He still has room to grow as a pass protector but notably dropped his pressure percentage allowed from 6.1% over his first three seasons to 5.1% over the past two. Considering how many times Fields was hit and sacked last season, McGlinchy will instantly improve the pass protection for this team, which could help unleash Fields' full potential.

Grading out well as a run blocker is a great start, especially when you look at the Bears strengths, while his improvement as a pass blocker is excellent to see. The more he sees the field, the better his pass protection continues to get, which is something the Bears have lacked since 2018. This is exactly the type of offensive lineman that the Bears want to invest in, but with a projected salary cap figure of 20 million, there could be a minor hangup.

Don't get me wrong, the Bears will show interest in him, but they will not be alone. Should it come to a bidding war, the Bears have to be considered the favorite given their salary cap figures, but they may not want to overspend compared to other teams.

The 28-year-old right tackle has been a primary starter for the 49ers in each of his five seasons as a pro. His game experience and familiarity with an offensive system similar to what Luke Getsy runs in Chicago make McGlinchey an intriguing fit. Whenever you look at the free agent market, you always try to find players who are familiar with your system and have done a great job with it.

Not only do the Bears need to upgrade their offensive line in the short-term, but they need to stabilize it for the long term to keep Fields protected. McGlinchey is just one of the many OT targets that the Bears will look at this season, but he comes with some of the biggest upsides when you look at the offensive scheme he has played in.

Comment on this story
Send Feedback to Dustin Riese: Email | Comment
Post your comments!