Lake Forest, Ill.– As Tuesday evening approached the twilight hours, the Chicago Bears made two under-the-radar additions, adding to both the offense and defense. First, multiple reports indicated that the Bears were signing former Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Nicholas Morrow, and then just under an hour later, the Bears went ahead and signed former Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Lucas Patrick.
After signing defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi just hours after the legal tampering period opened on Monday, the Bears were silent for much of the day on Tuesday. Morrow, who is just 26 years old, was slated to start with the Raiders all throughout 2021 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury in training camp. While the former undrafted free agent hasn’t seen any legitimate action since 2020, the expectation is that he has a chance to start at MIKE LB, alongside fifth-year LB Roquan Smith. When Morrow last saw any sort of action, he racked up 78 tackles, eight tackles for loss, and six quarterback hits in 11 total starts.
Signing Patrick is more about adding some veteran presence and familiarity to the offensive line. Patrick joined the Packers in 2016 as an undrafted free agent and has 34 career starts, including 25 over the last two seasons. His familiarity with Bears OC Luke Getsy is a major reason he was on the Bears’ radar, signing a two-year, $8M deal, with $4M guaranteed in year one.
Throughout free agency, the Bears have remained patient, letting the market settle, with first-year general manager Ryan Poles insisting that the Bears will continue to build through the NFL Draft. Assessing the signings of Patrick and Morrow, the immediate conclusion is that the Bears are opting to sign low-risk, high-reward players in an effort to shore up holes throughout the roster.
The Bears may not necessarily be big spenders in free agency, however, from the Bears point of view, the team is adding players that can contribute in the present but also give the team some flexibility well into the future