Ranking the Bears' free agents: No. 8

Free agency kicks off soon, so let's count down the top 10 Chicago Bears' players set on March 10 to hit the open market:

We'll go in reverse order.

Here's No. 8: Eben Britton

2014 pay: $730,000 ($730,000 base salary).

By the numbers: Played in 10 games as the club's sixth offensive lineman, and participated in 11.6 percent of the team's snaps last season. Britton missed five games after having his appendix removed in October.

The case for keeping him: Britton possesses the versatility to play either of the tackle spots, but he can also kick inside to guard and contribute. Britton was usually the player utilized when the Bears lined up with an extra offensive lineman at the tight end spot -- providing Chicago a proven swing tackle. Given Jordan Mills' struggles in 2014, Britton could potentially compete for a starting job in 2015 if he's brought back.

The case for letting him walk: Britton missed plenty of time at training camp in 2014 due to a hamstring injury, which led to the Bears terminating his contract at the end of camp during final cuts. Britton's experience and versatility makes him an attractive addition for other teams. But the Bears don't need to overpay because they could probably get by with 2014 seventh-round pick Charles Leno Jr. assuming the swing-tackle role.

Prediction: Despite all Phil Emery's mistakes with personnel on defense, he built a deep offensive line for the Bears with proven players such as Britton assuming backup roles. Surely the new brass will recognize Britton's worth and bring him back at a veteran minimum rate if another team doesn't overpay.

Previous installments

No: 10: Linebacker Darryl Sharpton.

No. 9: Safety Danny McCray.