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Chalk Talk


Will free agency alter draft strategy?


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

I was very happy to see the Bears land Danny Trevathan and Bobby Massie on the first day of free agency. How do you think their additions will impact the way the Bears approach the draft?

Will L.
Lombard, Illinois

Inside linebacker Danny Trevathan maybe more so than right tackle Bobby Massie fills a pressing need. But I don't think either move will greatly alter how the Bears approach the draft. With upgrades still needed at several different positions, I truly believe that general manager Ryan Pace will pick the best player available. Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the Bears trade down a few spots from No. 11 and maybe acquire an extra third-round pick and an additional pick in next year's draft.

How many players went to the Pro Bowl after signing with the Bears in free agency?

Dennis K.
Evanston, Illinois

Since the advent of the free agency system in 1993, six players the Bears signed on the open market have been voted to the Pro Bowl: Ted Washington, Larry Whigham, Ruben Brown, Julius Peppers, Tim Jennings and Martellus Bennett. Over that same span, 19 players the Bears drafted have been selected to the Pro Bowl. To me, that's evidence that supports the philosophy that general manager Ryan Pace and many others believe that you must build your team through the draft. Those 19 drafted players, by the way, are Mark Carrier, Richard Dent, Donnell Woolford, Marty Booker, Jerry Azumah, Mike Brown, Nathan Vasher, Olin Kreutz, Tommie Harris, Johnny Knox, Devin Hester, Lance Briggs, Corey Graham, Brian Urlacher, Henry Melton, Charles Tillman, Matt Forte, Alshon Jeffery and Kyle Long.

Why haven't the Bears shown any interest in defensive end Chris Long, Kyle's older brother? I know his production has declined the past couple seasons, but that has more to do with injuries than anything else. Maybe Chris would give the Bears a discount to get a chance to be teammates with his brother.

Daniel P.
Midlothian, Illinois

It certainly would be entertaining to have both Long brothers on the same team, but the simple reason it's not going to happen is that Chris isn't a good fit for the Bears defense. He's been a 4-3 defensive end since entering the NFL and is looking to continue his career (after being cut by the Rams) with a team that plays that scheme. As I'm sure you know, the Bears installed a 3-4 defense for the first time ever last year.

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