NFL Analyst: Bears Could Have Best Free Agency Signing of Offseason

Chicago Bears free agency

Getty Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy.

Did the Chicago Bears just sneak in under the radar and make one of the best moves in free agency? According to Over The Cap’s Brad Spielberger, if one of their low-key signings this offseason pans out, the answer is yes.

As more details about the signing of Bears’ recent free agent acquisition Germain Ifedi continue to roll in, the deal looks like it has the potential to be an excellent move by Chicago.

NFL analyst Field Yates thinks the Bears got a potential bargain in Ifedi. Calling the acquisition of Ifedi “a wise value move,” Yates noted the Bears were taking a cap hit of $887,500 for his one-year deal. Yates also noted that Ifedi is young (he’s 25-years old) and experienced (he has 60 starts in his first four seasons).

Ifedi struggled at times when he was with the Seattle Seahawks, getting called for 52 penalties in his 60 games. But if Bears’ new offensive line coach Juan Castillo can bring out the best in him, the signing of Ifedi could work out very well for Chicago.

Germain Ifedi Contract is Very Bears-Friendly

Germain Ifedi Chicago Bears free agency

GettyGermain Ifedi could be one of the more underrated signings of free agency if he works out in Chicago.

Yates reported Ifedi’s contract includes a $137,500 signing bonus, and a $910,000 base salary. This is a bargain for a number of reasons, chief of which is his experience. The Bears are essentially paying a veteran offensive lineman who turns 26 in June $1 million. There’s very little commitment involved for the Bears, but the upside far surpasses the downside.

Considering the market for offensive linemen, paying a veteran without any red flag injuries just over a million dollars seems like a bargain in this league, particularly considering Ifedi was predicted by some to “cash in with a tackle-needy team who gets desperate and pays him top dollar.” NFL analyst Geoff Schwartz thought Ifedi would command somewhere around $6-7 million this offseason, but the Bears were smart not to pay that much.

Could Germain Ifedi Signing Be Best of Offseason?

Chicago Bears offensive line

GettyGermain Ifedi will likely shake up the Chicago Bears offensive line situation. The team plans on playing him at guard.

Spielberger thinks that if Castillo can work some magic, the Bears may have made the best signing of free agency — at least so far. “If Juan Castillo can help turn Ifedi’s career around, this has serious potential to be the best signing of the offseason,” Spielberger tweeted.

Ifedi played tackle for the majority of his time with the Seahawks, but he also spent some time at guard — and that’s what the Bears plan on doing with him. Head coach Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace had a conference call with the media Friday and noted they were planning on having Ifedi compete for a starting spot at right guard.

“Right now, we do envision Germain Ifedi kicking inside to guard. No different than quarterback — adding competition at right guard,” Pace said.

Can Juan Castillo Help Turn Ifedi Around?

Could Castillo turn Ifedi around? If what his former players say about him is any indication, he absolutely can. Former Eagles center Jamaal Jackson, who worked with Castillo in Philadelphia, thinks Castillo’s emphasis on technique makes him a standout in this league.

“His whole style is technique,” Jackson said of Castillo. “Juan, he’s not one of those coaches where talent will outweigh technique, he teaches technique first and foremost because once your talent fades in the NFL, you have to rely on your technique. He tries to polish that early and often with the younger guys. With the established veterans who have maybe made it in the league for 4-5 years, he may give them some leeway, but as far as a new guy coming in, you learn his way early and often.”

Castillo also emphasizes good, old fashioned hard work. “When it comes to working, there was no substitute for him. He believes in hard work and doing everything the right way and the way that’s gonna help you be successful. He was a good dude from the jump,” Jackson said of his former o-line coach.

We’ll know whether the move pans out for the Bears after the season is over, but right now, the team paid minimal money for maximum experience to a player with a clean injury history, so it’s looking like a win-win for Chicago.

READ NEXT: Bears’ Robert Quinn Details ‘Coin Flip’ That Determined His Fate