Bears to Add OL Help for Justin Fields: ‘That’s a Big Signing’

Michael Schofield

Getty OL Michael Schofield is heading to Chicago.

The Chicago Bears are signing offensive lineman Michael Schofield after he worked out with the team a day prior, as first reported by NFL insider Aaron Wilson.

Schofield, 31, is a seven-year NFL veteran with more starts than anyone else currently on the Bears’ O-line other than Cody Whitehair. He has 81 starts (Whitehair has 95) and 102 total appearances and will immediately make the team’s line more stable.

He played the entire 2021 season with the Los Angeles Chargers, where he earned a 66.8 overall grade from Pro Football Focus. He played the entire season at right guard, and while that has been his primary position, he has also played over 1,300 snaps at right tackle and lent a hand at left guard and left tackle when needed.

In his 5,532 career snaps, Schofield has allowed 26.0 sacks, 36 QB hits, 136 hurries and 198 pressures, per PFF. He has also cut his penalties down significantly in recent years. After getting flagged 12 times over his first two seasons, Schofield has had nine penalties called against him over the last five years. Considering his experience, he’s the definite favorite to take over the starting RG spot from Sam Mustipher.

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Bears GM Ryan Poles Ready to ‘Press’ His Young O-Line

The addition of Schofield is a solid move by Chicago’s first-year general manager, Ryan Poles. Schofield is by no means an All-Pro, but he has been reliable, healthy and durable in recent years, and that goes a long way.

Poles, who played offensive line at Boston College, has emphasized the importance of that particular position group since his arrival to the Windy City in January, and he has also discussed his intention to push the team’s young linemen.

“I think there’s some young talent that just needs to be pressed,” Poles said, per NBC Sports. “That’s part of our job, to create competition and bring the best out of them. We’ll do that and we’ll see if the cream rises to the top.”

The addition of a player like Schofield, who won a Super Bowl in his second season while playing with the Denver Broncos, will not only push the young players, but he will be a great mentor to an offensive line group full of young talent.

Analyst Johnathan Wood called it a “big signing” for the Bears.

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An Updated Look at the Bears’ O-Line With Addition of Schofield

With veterans reporting to training camp on July 26 (rookies and QBs reported on July 23), Chicago’s offensive line should finally start taking shape. The Bears toyed with several combinations during organized team activities, but the way players line up at camp will be most telling.

In addition to Schofield, Mustipher and Whitehair, the Bears currently have the following offensive linemen on the roster heading into training camp:

Larry Borom, Lucas Patrick, Teven Jenkins, Braxton Jones (rookie), Zachary Thomas (rookie), Doug Kramer (rookie), Ja’Tyre Carter, Julien Davenport, Lachavious Simmons, Shon Coleman, Jean Delance, Willie Wright and Dieter Eiselen.

Patrick will be the starting center, Whitehair will hold down the LG spot and Schofield should start at RG. Jenkins and Jones will likely compete for the starting LT spot, while Borom feels like the favorite to nail down the right tackle slot.

There will be some bumps along the way, but the addition of Schofield looks to be a good one for Chicago.

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