Heading into the 2021 NFL offseason, the Chicago Bears needed to address the offensive line. After years of mediocrity featuring Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie, the Bears opted to move on from both veterans this offseason, drafting Teven Jenkins and Larry Borom in the 2021 NFL Draft.
With Chicago having started phase one of OTA’s, the Bears will also be bringing in veteran OT Morgan Moses for a visit, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter. A third-round pick of the Washington Football Team in the 2014 NFL Draft, Moses has started 97 starts over the last seven seasons. Entering year eight, he hasn’t missed a game since his rookie year in 2014.
Chicago did retain OT Germain Ifedi this offseason, signing the former first-round pick to a one-year deal worth $5M. Should the Bears sign Moses, he’d be the immediate starter at right tackle, bumping Ifedi to a backup role.
Chicago’s heavy investments in the offensive line tell us a different story: GM Ryan Pace is finally upgrading the positional group he spent years neglecting. Prior to 2021, Pace selected just six offensive line, with only Cody Whitehair and James Daniels becoming starters.
The addition of Jenkins provides the Bears with a franchise-caliber left tackle, a position Chicago has struggled to find throughout the Pace era. Borom can play either right guard or right tackle, while third-year man Sam Mustipher will have an opportunity to compete for the starting Center job.
Struggles on offense for Chicago the last two seasons (2019 and 2020) are traced back to the quarterback. It’s hard to ignore issues on the offensive line that impacted Chicago’s running game, which averaged just 4.2 yards per carry last season with running back David Montgomery leading the way.
A key piece of OTA’s will be looking at how Chicago decides to experiment with offensive line combinations, which could include playing Whitehair at right guard, when traditionally, the sixth-year pro has split time at both center and left guard.
The Bears have versatility on the offensive line for the first time since the Pace era. Every storyline in Chicago this summer will revolve around Justin Fields and the quarterback position but what happens on the offensive line will be equally as important.