Bears trade with Dolphins for Dan Feeney
Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports

Bears trade with Dolphins for Dan Feeney

by - Senior Writer -

With the preseason officially in the rearview and the Bears now focussing on the regular season, things have been a busy 48 hours at Halas Hall. Not only are they prepping for the regular season, but they are also trimming their roster down to 53 players, with those 53 guys suiting up for week one.

During what is called the cut-down process, several surprising moves take place with the release of PJ Walker and Alex Leatherwood, two of the bigger surprise cuts of them all. The rest of the moves seemed set in stone, even if the team didn't formally make them official until yesterday.

However, during the cut-down process, the Bears felt they needed more offensive line help and thus got together with the Miami Dolphins to bring in OL Dan Feeney, mainly because they just needed offensive line help. This has been an issue for the Bears for the better part of four seasons, but it looked like better times were coming until Teven Jenkins got hurt and will now miss some time.

Granted, Feeney is not nearly as highly regarded as Jenkins was coming out of school, but he is another depth piece that can help a struggling offensive line get to where they want to become week one. Chicago isn't giving up much to get him either, as they are sending a sixth-round pick Miami's way for his services.

You never want to give up draft capital, but to get a player like Feeney for a sixth-round pick is something you can certainly live with. While adding OL depth is always a good thing, this is something that Ryan Poles could have done more of during the offseason instead of having to go out on the trade route this early to get this done.

For those unfamiliar with Feeney, this is a 29-year-old who was pretty touted coming out of college and was taken in the third round (71st overall) by the Los Angeles Chargers. The former Indiana University product has ties to the area as he grew up in Orland Park, but that isn't why the Bears brought him here. His experience at both the guard and center positions is why he is here, as those are the most significant areas of need on the offensive line in terms of depth.

Feeney’s career began with the Chargers, where he played 63 games (57 starts) in four seasons. Feeney didn’t miss a start for the Chargers from 2018-20 while playing left guard (2018-19) and center (2020). That shows you that he is not only a durable player but one you can count on should he have to start for you long-term. Feeney signed with the Jets after his tenure with the Chargers, where he spent the past two seasons.

His time as a starter ended with the Jets, but he developed into one of the better Swiss army knife offensive line players as he became one of the more versatile players in the league. Since the start of the 2021 season, Feeney has seen time at center (114 snaps), right guard (103), left guard (55), and even tight end (18) in jumbo sets. He fits a similar mold to Lucas Patrick, who is expected to start in place of Cody Whitehair at C or Jenkins at guard.

Feeney would then take over the other spot, giving the Bears two experienced and versatile options they can move around. While Feeney may not be a household name to the casual fan, he is a familiar name in Chicago, as the Bears spent a ton of time scouting him during the 2017 pre-draft process.

During that time, the 6-4 305-pound Feeney was graded as the third-center in his class and 68th-best prospect, putting him in that late-second, early-third-round range. The Bears could've taken him earlier but chose to address other needs at the time, which allowed the Chargers to snatch him up.

Don't look for Feeney to be a long-term answer across the Bears offensive line, but he is a welcomed sight with the injuries they have right now. Hopefully, this is the last of the trades for now, as Chicago is in a good place right now to prepare for their 2023 NFL season.

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