Why didn’t the Chicago Bears act sooner on a plan B?
Recognizing that the answer to this question largely depends on the answers to the previous question, but it’s fair to wonder why Pace wasn’t more aggressive to bring in a short term option to play left tackle this year? In fairness, they did recently sign Jason Peters, but who knows what he still has left in the tank.
A lot of people will criticize his decision to release Charles Leno and Bobby Massie, which is entirely fair. Look, I get both Leno and Massie had substantial flaws, but the criticism is not about whether he should have brought them back specifically.
The criticism is more about his process. Cutting them both put a tremendous amount of pressure on him to hit on the Jenkins pick. If he knew Jenkins had back issues, and he was not sold on Leno or Massie, why not try to bring in another veteran as insurance. This is too important of a season — especially in the development of Justin Fields — to roll the dice in that way.
Some might point to Larry Borom or Alex Bars as those plan Bs, but that argument has flaws. First, even Jenkins was going to take significant time to adjust to playing eft tackle in the NFL and Borom, also a rookie, is not the prospect Jenkins is, so relying on another rookie selected later in the draft seems risky. As for Bars, it took a plethora of injuries for the Bears to even put him on the field as a guard last year so how confident could they have been in his ability to play left tackle this year?