Here are the moves the Chicago Bears should consider when free agency opens at 4 p.m. ET Wednesday, March 14:
Priority No. 1: Sign Kyle Fuller to a long-term deal. The Bears already placed the $12.971 million transition tag on Fuller, which allows Chicago to match any offer on the 26-year-old cornerback. The Bears' best course of action, however, is to sign Fuller to a multiyear contract, thereby lowering the former first-round pick's salary-cap number for 2018 and also assuring that he won't simply leave after next season. By using the transition tag, the Bears proved they're serious about keeping Fuller, who had a career-high 22 pass breakups in 2017. Since the Bears want Fuller to return -- and used the transition tag to theoretically keep him in place -- the next logical move is working toward a long-term deal that could average about $13 million per season.
Priority No. 2: Signing Allen Robinson. The Bears got to work early, agreeing to a deal with Robinson, 24, late Monday. He played in just one game last season after he suffered a torn ACL in the Jags' regular-season opener, but he had productive campaigns in 2015-16 (he caught a career-high 80 passes for 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns two seasons ago). Though Robinson's serious knee injury last year is a potential red flag, the Bears haven't exactly shied away from signing free agents with medical concerns (Markus Wheaton missed 13 games for the Steelers in 2016 before he joined the Bears last offseason). Plus, the Bears have serious needs at wide receiver, where only one player (Kendall Wright) cracked the 50-catch barrier in 2017.
Priority No. 3: Sign Albert Wilson. Again, wide receiver is clearly a need position for the Bears, and Wilson (5-foot-9, 200 pounds) set career highs with 42 catches for 554 yards and three touchdowns in 2017. Wilson played under Bears coach Matt Nagy in Kansas City. "When teams will watch Albert, they'll understand how valuable he is," Kansas City general manager Brett Veach said. "He's a dirty, tough player. He does everything, from the slot to the outside. He can block. He can return if you need him to. He's a very valuable commodity for us, and certainly has done a lot for us over the last few years." Undrafted out of Georgia State, Wilson has 124 receptions for 1,544 yards and seven touchdowns in four seasons with the Chiefs. However, the Bears are expected to have serious competition for Wilson when the new league year begins.
Priority No. 4: Sign Trey Burton. Burton (6-foot-3) isn't a tall target like 6-foot-7 tight end Jimmy Graham, but he put up decent numbers (23 catches, 248 yards, five scores) behind Zach Ertz and Brent Celek for the world champion Eagles. Originally undrafted out of Florida, Burton threw a memorable 1-yard touchdown pass to Nick Foles in the Super Bowl. The 26-year-old appears poised for a bigger role in 2018. The Bears have to find at least one pass-catching tight end with Zach Miller's contract expiring. Chicago's tight ends combined to catch just 60 passes for 672 yards in 2017.