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Chalk Talk: Which Bears will become free agents?

Wondering about a player, a past game or another issue involving the Bears? Senior writer Larry Mayer answers a variety of questions from fans on

Which Bears players are due to become free agents?
Ross D.
Waukegan, Illinois

The following is a complete list of Bears players who are set to become free agents when the new league year starts March 17. Unrestricted free agents are players who have completed at least four accrued seasons. They can sign with any club with no draft-choice compensation owed to his original club. Restricted free agents are players who have completed three accrued seasons. They can negotiate with any club, but their original team can offer them a tender that comes with the right of first refusal and/or draft-pick compensation. Exclusive rights free agents are players who have completed fewer than three accrued seasons and can only negotiate with their current team.


  • Artie Burns, cornerback
  • Deon Bush, safety
  • Mario Edwards Jr., defensive end
  • Tashaun Gipson Sr., safety
  • Demetrius Harris, tight end
  • Dwayne Harris, receiver/return specialist
  • DeAndre Houston-Carson, safety
  • Germain Ifedi, guard/tackle
  • John Jenkins, defensive tackle
  • Daniel McCullers, defensive tackle
  • Sherrick McManis, safety
  • Barkevious Mingo, outside linebacker
  • Pat O'Donnell, punter
  • Cordarrelle Patterson, receiver/return specialist
  • Roy Robertson-Harris, defensive end
  • Allen Robinson II, receiver
  • Cairo Santos, kicker
  • Patrick Scales, long-snapper
  • Jason Spriggs, tackle
  • Mitchell Trubisky, quarterback
  • Brent Urban, defensive end


  • DeAndre Carter, receiver/return specialist
  • Rashaad Coward, guard/tackle
  • Eddy Piñeiro, kicker

Exclusive rights

  • Alex Bars, offensive line
  • J.P. Holtz, tight end
  • Michael Joseph, cornerback
  • Ryan Nall, running back
  • James Vaughters, outside linebacker
  • Josh Woods, inside linebacker

Any word on Tarik Cohen's progress from knee surgery? Will he be ready by training camp?
Johnny N.
Harshaw, Wisconsin

During his end-of-season press conference Wednesday, general manager Ryan Pace said that the Bears are "hopeful to have [Tarik Cohen] ready for training camp." Cohen tore his ACL in a Week 3 win in Atlanta after fair-catching a punt when a Falcons player rolled into his leg. Pace described Cohen as "obviously a player we missed, huge part of our offense, a huge part of our special teams" and also said "we'll be excited to get him back. He's been working really hard. Just to have him in the building rehabbing, just to have his energy around our team I think is important and infectious."

Are the Bears considering putting a franchise tag on receiver Allen Robinson to ensure he remains with the team for at least one more season?
Dan B.
Monmouth, Illinois

The Bears never publicly divulge details about contract negotiations. But during Wednesday's end-of-season press conference, here's what general manager Ryan Pace did say when asked about the possibility of placing a franchise tag on Allen Robinson II: "In regard to the franchise tag, I would just say everything is on the table. The league gives us tools for a reason, but right now we're just going to keep all those talks internal out of respect to Allen, out of respect to his agent. I just think those are best handled in a private manner." So we'll just have to wait and see. By the way, the period to apply franchise tags this year is Feb. 23-March 9.

Chalk Talk features fan questions multiple times each week. Email your question to Larry.

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