Nearly a week into free agency, NFL.com's Chris Wesseling has selected the Bears as one of five NFL teams that are on the rise.
"In just two offseasons, general manager Ryan Pace has done a commendable job of overhauling the defense to suit Vic Fangio's 3-4 scheme after years in a 4-3 alignment," Wesseling wrote. "After importing edge rusher Pernell McPhee last year, Pace signed inside linebackers Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman last week—giving Chicago one of the league's strongest linebacking corps."
In addition to Trevathan and Freeman, the Bears have signed two other free agents from other teams, right tackle Bobby Massie (Cardinals) and defensive end Akiem Hicks (Patriots).
They've also re-signed eight of their own free agents in cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Sherrick McManis, tight ends Zach Miller and Rob Housler, receiver Marc Mariani, running back Jacquizz Rodgers, defensive lineman Mitch Unrein and tackle Nick Becton.
The other four clubs that Wesseling identifies as teams on the rise are all in the AFC: the Raiders, Jaguars, Titans and Texans.