As the NFL postseason has come to an end with the Philidelphia Eagles defeating the New England Patriots in a stunner in Super Bowl LII, Chicago Bears fans have to be wondering what’s next for their franchise. The team hired coach Matt Nagy in the offseason and have put together quite the offensive staff (on paper). While also retaining defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Keeping Fangio was key for the Bears defense, as it offers continuity of the schemes they have been running the last three years and will continue to run in the future. But coaching can only take a team so far. Here are a few things the Bears need to do to overhaul the roster to make sure they can compete for a playoff spot in 2018.

Win Free Agency:

Last offseason the Bears had a ton of cap space and completely whiffed on all of the top free agents. Why? They were an undesirable location. They didn’t have a quarterback and the team finished last in the NFC North for the third straight season. The Bears also suffered from a ton of injury problems. Rumors emerged that GM Ryan Pace was low balling top free agents, but was ultimately proved false as it turns out he offered the most money to FA CB A.J. Bouye. Bouye eventually chose to sign for less money with Jacksonville.

So what’s different this offseason? The Bears have a franchise quarterback in Mitchell Trubisky, a top backfield in Tarik Cohen and Jordan Howard, a solid offensive line and a very good defense with a lot of young talent. The Bears have become a desirable offseason landing spot with their success in the draft and their new coaching staff. Following a few obvious cuts such as WR Markus Wheaton, QB Mike Glennon, and CB Marcus Cooper the Bears are in a prime spot to make a run in free agency. Here are two players they should target.

Sign FA WR Jarvis Landry or Multiple Lower End FA WRs:

The Bears lacked talent at the WR position in 2017. Losing Cameron Meredith in the preseason was a major blow as it left WR Kendall Wright as the number 1 receiver. Don’t get me wrong, Kendall Wright is a solid WR in the NFL but he is not a number 1 option. With Meredith being a RFA, Bear fans can expect him back barring any surprising decisions.

Pairing Meredith with Landry would be great for the Bears offense. Reports are coming out that it is likely Landry is on a new roster for the 2018 season. Landry is a 3x Pro Bowler with exceptional hands. A problem with Bears receivers last season was not only getting open, but holding on to the catch after the ball was delivered to them.

Landry is the perfect complement for Meredith and Trubisky. He’s had 400 receptions for 4,038 yards and 22 touchdowns in the last 4 seasons. He won’t come cheap, as you can expect him to get a deal within the range of $13 – $15 million a year. But that’s the price you have to pay when you want to bring in a top tier talent. If Landry is too expensive, expect the Bears to look at WRs Albert Wilson, Paul Richardson, John Brown and other players in the draft.

Sign FA CB Malcolm Butler:

Yes Malcolm Butler was benched in Super Bowl LII. Yes he may have had somewhat of a down season this year. If that means anything, it means that he is on his way out of New England and set to become a free agent. Malcolm Butler is a solid DB best known for his game winning interception in Super Bowl XLIX. Butler has good coverage ability, being able to excel in both man and zone coverage. Not only are his coverage skills good, he’s good at pressing on the line, he has good ball skills and is a solid open field tacker. Not many DB’s are trusted on the outside in 1 on 1 situations, but if Butler was out there I trust him to make a play.

Re-sign CB Kyle Fuller:

Kyle Fuller is coming off an outstanding season for the Bears. He had 22 pass deflections, two interceptions and 69 tackles. He was also named the #10 corner in the NFL this season by Bleacher Report. Fuller has great quickness which helps him in coverage and led him to the third most pass breakups in the NFL. Fuller had a great rookie season in 2014 lining up opposite of former Bears CB Charles Tillman. He had a down season in 2015 and missed all of 2016 due to injury. Expectations were low for Fuller in 2017, and he came out in a contract year and blew coaches away.

A long-term extension is hard to decide on for Fuller, as this pattern doesn’t show a consistent play style on a year to year basis. Expect the Bears to franchise tag Fuller this offseason and if he lives up to his expectations in 2018 they can extend him mid-season like they did with DE Akiem Hicks.

This article first appeared on isportsweb.com and was syndicated with permission.

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