July 2, 2022

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One Creative Way Ryan Poles Can Fix Bears O-Line Problem

When it comes to the Chicago Bears offensive line this offseason, new GM Ryan Poles opted for quantity over quality. He added no fewer than five new veterans via free agency and five rookies between the draft and undrafted free agency. His hope seems to be that offensive coordinator Luke Getsy and offensive line coach Chris Morgan will be able to sift through that group of newcomers and find some hidden gems to help piece together a cohesive blocking front for Justin Fields.

People aren’t convinced it will work. Poles is relying too much on chance. It feels like much of his plan hinged on being able to land solid guard Ryan Bates from Buffalo but the Bills matched his contract offer. Now the Bears enter training camp with a glaring hole at right guard. The options to fill it aren’t ideal. Sam Mustipher? Dakota Dozier? Zachary Thomas or Ja’Tyre Carter? Guys that are either bad or unproven.

Maybe that will change. Still, there is a solution if they’re willing to be flexible.

J.C. Tretter would help if Ryan Poles altered his plan.

It was a considerable surprise when the Cleveland Browns released the veteran center this off-season. He allowed only ten pressures and one sack in 2021 and was part of one of the best run-blocking offensive lines in football. Either way, the fact he remains available is a rare opportunity this far into the summer. He’s a good player who isn’t too old (31) and even has ties to Getsy. They worked together for two years in Green Bay.

The tricky part for Ryan Poles is obvious. If the Bears signed Tretter, it would alter the plans for Lucas Patrick. Right now, the former Packer is penciled in as their new center. They’d have to find a new role for him. Thankfully that wouldn’t be too difficult. He has started games at all three interior positions in his career, including 12 at right guard during the 2020 season. He could easily shift to that spot, thus plugging the team’s most glaring hole.

Money shouldn’t be an issue. The Bears have over $22 million in cap space. Tretter made $10.85 million per year over his final three seasons in Cleveland. Even if Chicago gave him that on a one-year deal, they could afford it. Odds are we’ll have answers on what the Bears plan to do once training camp begins in July.

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