Under three hours into the 2013 NFL free agency, the Bears filled two need major, major needs.
First, the Bears agreed to terms with tight end Martellus Bennett on a four-year deal right as free agency began. And now, they've reportedly agreed to terms on a five-year deal with left tackle Jermon Bushrod (who we wrote that the Bears were showing interest in):
#Bears agree to terms on a 5-year deal with Jermon Bushrod, according to league sources. More to come… bit.ly/X4rKQoAlbert Breer reports that the contract is for $35.965 million over five years, with $17.715 million guaranteed:
— Sean Jensen (@seankjensen) March 12, 2013
Jermon Bushrod deal's in Chicago: $35.965M over five years, $17.715M guaranteed.Bushrod, who turns 29 in August, made the Pro Bowl the last two seasons as Drew Brees' blindside protector with the New Orleans Saints.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 12, 2013
The Bears and Bushrod were immediately linked as a natural connection after Aaron Kromer became the Bears' new offensive line coach on Marc Trestman's staff. Kromer was Bushrod's offensive line coach in New Orleans for the last four seasons, with Bushrod starting at left tackle and only missing one game over those four years.
Getting Bushrod at left tackle now gives the Bears more options with the rest of their offensive line, such as moving J'Marcus Webb to right tackle. At worst, Webb becomes the swing tackle, and while he's taken much deserved criticism over the years, would be a pretty damn fine swing tackle.
And getting the left tackle and tight end positions addressed means that the Bears will be able to enter the draft with much more flexibility. The Bears can take the best player available now without feeling as much guilt about filling specific positional needs.
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