The NFL offseason is about to intensify with free agency set to begin March 17 and the window to negotiate contracts with impending free agents opening two days earlier.
The Chicago Bears will remain active this month and into April as they work to refurbish their roster and position themselves for improvement via signings, trades and cuts.
As developments materialize, the Tribune’s NFL coverage team will keep you up to speed with all the latest Bears transactions and insight into what it all means. Check back often for updates.
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The Bears announced they re-signed five of their exclusive-rights free agents, agreeing to new deals with offensive lineman Alex Bars, running back Ryan Nall, inside linebacker Josh Woods, edge rusher James Vaughters and tight end J.P. Holtz.
What it means: Consider these depth moves by general manager Ryan Pace, who has the task of solidifying his roster under a tightening 2021 salary cap. Bars worked his way into a starting role last season on the offensive line, making nine starts, including the playoff loss to the New Orleans Saints. Bars’ versatility allowed him to make emergency starts at center and right tackle. But he ultimately carved out his niche at right guard and should be in the mix to hold onto that role into 2021. Nall, Woods, Vaughters and Holtz have seen the bulk of their playing time with the Bears on special teams.