By making the most waiver claims of any team in 2022, the Chicago Bears appear as if they are willing to modernize and do things differently than in the past.
Chicago Bears General Manager Ryan Poles has said from day one that his team would be built through the NFL Draft and undrafted players. Additionally, he said that he would be scouring the waiver wire to see if any talent were to slip through.
With the Bears picking 7th in waiver order, Poles had a good chance to land some quality castoffs if he wanted to, and did he ever. Six players were claimed on waivers, the most by any team in the league, with a notable one being former Raiders first-round pick Alex Leatherwood.
When you step back and use reason, you can see that the Bears did something they don’t normally do. They opened more doors as opposed to their past of stubbornly sticking with what they had or being too overaggressive and mortgaging the future. They did neither here. They stayed patient and used their resources efficiently.
Adding a player like Armon Watts helps with scheme adjustment, as the Bears will use a 4-3 variation for their defense. LB Sterling Weatherford has high athletic ability and speed, which can help on special teams.
Kinglsey Jonathan will likely be used as a rotation piece, Josh Blackwell will be used on special teams, and Trevon Wesco will help as a blocking tight end. But of course, eyes will be on Leatherwood to see if the Bears can unlock his ability, which was impressive coming out of Alabama.
The Chicago Bears seem to have a vision for how they want their team to look in all phases, and the waiver wire acquisitions reinforced it.
Did the Chicago Bears become contenders after this period? Absolutely not. But will they be the worst team in the league as Dianna Russini, Louis Riddick, Dan Orlovsky, and others claim them to be? Not even close. They won’t be a good team as they are still in a rebuild, but it could be so much worse.
Sure, there is a high chance they will be picking high next April, but that would give them another opportunity to grab more impact players. Moreover, they still have a ton of cash to use in next year’s free agency, but we will probably see most of that cap space set aside to ensure that their homegrown players are taken care of.
Lastly, there is a good chance the Bears will trade down in the draft again next year to grab more players to ensure that this roster is as far removed from the Ryan Pace and Matt Nagy era as possible. A few holdovers will be kept because they fit the mold, but it’s fair to assume that close to 75% or more will be gone by next year.
It’s a new look for the Bears, who seem to know what they want, at least for now. Again, it’s best to temper expectations for this organization, but it is nice to see them have a plan of what exactly Poles and head Coach Matt Eberflus want to see on their roster, which was not as clear with previous regimes.