Chicago Bears Free Agent Rumors: Michael Bennett, Jared Allen, Justin Tuck, Aqib Talib, Brian Orakpo, Jairus Byrd 2014 Options?

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Jan 30, 2014 01:23 PM EST
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) returns a recovered fumble against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter of the 2013 NFC Championship football game at CenturyLink Field. "

The Chicago Bears had a very solid season under first year head coach Marc Trestman and now that the team is into the offseason after missing the playoffs, free agency is not far off and some players the team could look at includes names like Michael Bennett, Jared Allen, Justin Tuck, Aqib Talib, Brian Orakpo, Jairus Byrd and Greg Hardy.

The Bears offense was not an issue in 2013, but the defense took a big step back with Trestman coming in and after dealing with a number of injuries and other issues, it might be time for a big make over. The team has Julius Peppers and a number of other skilled players like Lance Briggs, Jon Bostic and Major Wright, but there are issues in the secondary and on the defensive line and that could spark the team to make some signings at those positions. The team already signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a lucrative extension and now have players like Tim Jennings, Henry Melton and Charles Tillman to either re-sign or let go and those are some major decisions.

The defensive line may get a makeover and the team comes in after ranking 15th in the league in passing yards allowed per game and dead last in rushing yards allowed per game and that could mean some new faces at linebacker and on the d-line with Peppers. Melton is the team's own player, but he was injured and missed the entire season and they will have to decide whether to bring him back or not as he is 27 years old and was one of their best players on the line and that was one reason for the rushing yards totals this season.

Greg Hardy, Justin Tuck and Jared Allen all will get some attention on the market and those three players are interesting options to pair with Peppers. Allen has been very durable and consistent during his career and he likely will be leaving the Vikings, while Hardy looks like he will be in line for a nice pay day after the season that he had with the Panthers. Hardy finished with double digit sacks and was a force all year and at 25 years old he is looking at a nice contract. Tuck is older, but he definitely has some left in the tank after making over 60 tackles and notching 11 sacks for the Giants and while he would like to remain in NY, there is a chance he could sign elsewhere.

Michael Bennett has been huge for the Seahawks and he is likely to cash in, while Randy Starks is another name that's out there. Orakpo is going to cash in and he could help transform the LB unit after the team lost Brian Urlacher and Nick Roach last season and he had double digit sacks this season as well. The secondary had injury issues and the team could look at names like Aqib Talib and Jairus Byrd, as Talib has played excellent for the Patriots since being traded from the Bucs, while Byrd and the Bills are likely to split with the two sides unable to come to a contract agreement.

The Bears offense is set with Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Matt Forte and now they need to get the defense back in order to set things right and make the playoffs again.

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