After the initial week of free agency filled with signings and a big trade, the Chicago Bears continue to add to the roster. They beefed up the offensive line, signing offensive lineman Germain Ifedi.
Ifedi was the Seattle Seahawks’ first-round pick (31st overall) of the 2016 draft. He played in 60 of a possible 64 games with Seattle, starting 59 if them. He gives the Bears some flexibility as he’s played both guard and tackle during his career.
Ifedi struggled in his first two seasons under offensive line coach Tom Cable. After Cable left and the Seahawks hired Mike Solari and Ifedi made steady progress.
The problem that Ifedi’s had during his career is making mental mistakes. Last season, he committed an incredible 14 penalties in 16 games. Perhaps that is the reason he didn’t find the market he thought he’d have when he hit free agency. Now he signs a one-year, “prove it” kind of deal.
New Bears offensive line coach Juan Castillo could help Ifedi with that. He’s done a good job throughout his career and if he can get to Ifedi and help him improve then the team can have themselves a good, young player.
This shouldn’t be the only move general manager Ryan Pace should make. Ifedi is a question mark. He could battle for the starting guard position against Alex Bars. That battle should also include one of the Chicago Bears’ two second-round picks, however. Have the three of them battle for the starter’s job and the two who don’t win the job give the Bears better depth than they had last year. With Kyle Long‘s retirement and then Bobby Massie‘s injury, the Bears suffered greatly on the right side of the offensive line. They rarely ran to that side and when they did they gained very few yards.
This move can be diamond in the rough. Ifedi will be a motivated player. He’ll be in a battle for a starting job, and even if he doesn’t win, he could battle for the starting job at right tackle a year from now. At any rate, this move, along with a draft pick, should give the Chicago Bears good depth at an important unit for the offense.