1 perfect Bears move to fill out roster before 2024 training camp (2024)

The Chicago Bears are going into the 2024 season with as much confidence as they have had in recent memory. The Bears have playoff aspirations after drafting Caleb Williams with the No. 1 overall pick and they have wasted no time in installing the rookie as their starting quarterback.

Williams has reflected the demeanor that all teams want to see from their QB1, and that has been a positive development at OTAs and rookie camps since he was selected in late April.

He also had a brilliant college career at USC, particularly in the 2022 season when he won the Heisman Trophy. Williams would have been the No. 1 pick in 2023 had he opted to go professional, but he decided to stay with the Trojans. While his numbers were not quite as impressive last season, he clearly did nothing to hurt his draft status.

Williams completed 333 of 500 passes for 4,537 yards with a 42-5 TD-interception ratio in his Heisman season. He followed that up by completing 266 of 388 passes for 3,633 yards with 30 TDs and 5 interceptions.

In addition to drafting Williams, the Bears have built up their receiving crew. They had one of the best wideouts in the NFC North in D.J. Moore and he remains with the team. They also brought in veteran Keenan Allen and drafted Rome Odunze.

Add solid tight end Cole Kmet to the mix, and there's every reason to believe the Bears are going to have an offense that is capable of delivering a significant amount of big plays as well as the ability to sustain drives.

Bears also have a running game that should be able to contribute

In order to take some of the pressure off of a rookie quarterback who will bear much of the responsibility for the offense, the Bears brought in D'Andre Swift to handle the running back responsibilities.

The Bears have had a productive running game in recent years, but that was largely due to the presence of quarterback Justin Fields. What Fields lacked in passing acumen he attempted to make up for in his skill at running with the football.

Fields certainly brought excitement with that talent, but the Bears learned that he was not the team's quarterback of the future. They are expecting Swift to give them consistency and big-play ability from the running back slot.

Swift spent the first three years of his career with the division rival Detroit Lions before moving on to the Philadelphia Eagles. He was solid with the Lions, but he had his best year with the Eagles. He carried the ball 229 times for 1,049 yards and 5 touchdowns last year and he also caught 39 passes for 214 yards and a touchdown.

The Bears are expecting Swift to serve as an alternate target to the wideouts and give Williams one more option.

Bears need a veteran backup quarterback

1 perfect Bears move to fill out roster before 2024 training camp (1)

As rosy as things look for the bears in the upcoming season, they appear to be taking a big risk by installing Williams as the starting quarterback and having Tyson Bagent as the backup.

Bagent did an adequate job while he filled in for an injured Fields last year, but the Bears were not a playoff-caliber team in 2023. If they won or lost with Bagent at quarterback, it really didn't matter.

If Williams suffers an injury or does not live up to expectations as a rookie β€” there are no guarantees he will make a dynamic transition to the NFL β€” they would have to insert Bagent into the lineup.

Bagent was a Division II quarterback at Shepherd University, and while the Bears think he has overcome that status, it remains to be seen how he will perform under more pressure-filled circ*mstances.

The Bears don't have a real opportunity to find a better quarterback in the existing free agent market. However, they could come up with a solid veteran if they are willing to make a trade.

The candidates include Tyler Huntley in Cleveland, Case Keenum in Houston, Josh Johnson in Baltimore, Bailey Zappe in New England and either Mac Jones or C.J. Beathard in Jacksonville. In the latter case, one of those two will be the backup to Trevor Lawrence while the other should be available in a trade.

The belief here is that acquiring Keenum would result in the best case scenario. He may be 36 years old, but he has played 11 years in the league and is familiar with nearly all scenarios.

Keenum has completed 1,392 of 2,233 yards for 15,175 yards with 79 touchdowns and 51 interceptions. He has completed 62.3 percent of his passes.

If the Bears want to ensure that they have a chance at a winning/playoff season if they have to turn to their backup, adding a solid veteran quarterback like Keenum is a necessity.

1 perfect Bears move to fill out roster before 2024 training camp (2024)
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