The Falcons announced the hiring of former Bears GM Ryan Pace Thursday afternoon, who will join the personnel department as a senior personnel executive. Atlanta will undoubtedly give a thorough evaluation of this free-agent class, and Pace will be able to provide an inside perspective of Chicago’s crop of free agents.
The Bears will have roughly $30 million in available cap space, but they also have a bevy of holes to fill on the roster. Bears’ new GM Ryan Poles will have decisions to make on 30 in-house free agents, so some of these players could end up back in Chicago, but here are a few free agents that Pace could vouch for to Terry Fontenot.
WR Allen Robinson
Robinson went through another tumultuous year in Chicago as he was once again the only formidable receiving threat on a pedestrian offense. The lion’s share of the blame should be placed on Matt Nagy and the Bears offense, not Robinson. Matt Ryan would easily be the best quarterback to throw Robinson passes, so this is an enticing venture. The only issue is Robinson will likely garner a contract the Falcons aren’t comfortable with — somewhere in the $15-17 million per year range.
DT Bilal Nichols
Nichols is someone I could see the Bears re-signing, but if they don’t, Pace will certainly be pounding the table for him. He’s one of the better late-round picks from Pace’s tenure, and Nichols is a versatile defensive lineman that can play nose tackle, three- and five-technique. Nichols doesn’t have the pass rush versatility that Jarrett has, but he’d be a formidable interior defender.
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