What Lucas Patrick, Nicholas Morrow mean for future of the Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Bryan Bennett/Getty Images) /

All of Tuesday, Chicago Bears fans were sitting fairly anxiously as they awaited any news whatsoever.

Although general manager Ryan Poles clearly stated he was going to be patient during free agency, it was still difficult for many fans to make it through nearly two days with seeing the Bears sign just one player in Larry Ogunjobi.

Later Tuesday evening, the Bears finally struck — and did so twice. Poles and the Bears agreed to terms with former Las Vegas Raiders linebacker Nicholas Morrow, and almost immediately after that news, the team also agreed with former Green Bay Packers interior lineman Lucas Patrick.

Both of these players will prove to be excellent signings in the short-term, but how do they project down the line for the Bears?

Both Lucas Patrick and Nicholas Morrow can provide plenty of help in both the short and long-term future of the Chicago Bears.

Let’s start with Morrow, who was the Bears’ second free agent signing this week. It was definitely not expected for Poles to start out with two defensive signings when everyone was focused on the other side of the ball.

But, Poles has continued to stick to his plan and stay patient, looking for the smart signings and not necessarily the splashy ones. Morrow, 26, comes in and will start at one of the linebacker positions next to Roquan Smith, complimenting him well.

He’s a fast player who can drop into coverage, which is something Matt Eberflus has been looking for in future Bears players. At his age, Morrow could stick around for a while. He’s young, which is also another characteristic Eberflus and Poles are looking for.

Poles strikes as a guy who will want to take care of his own in future years, and build as fluid a roster as he can. Morrow could be next to Roquan Smith for quite some time, and that longevity is important when analyzing a rebuilding team.

Now Patrick may be a couple years older than Morrow, at 28, but he is certainly a player to get excited about. His contract will prove to be an immense value looking back on it two years from now.

In 2021, Patrick finished third amongst centers in ESPN’s pass-block win rate. Essentially, the Bears just signed the third-best pass blocking center in all of football at just $4 million per season. That’s an absolute steal by Poles and his team.

Patrick has also been pretty dependable in terms of being healthy and staying on the field. So, what does Patrick’s future projection look like? Obviously, Poles wants to build for the future. If Patrick proves to stay consistent just as he’s been for the past couple of years, he very well could stick around beyond his original deal.

In the short-term, Patrick’s knowledge of Getsy’s offense is going to come in handy. He’ll be a good mind to bounce ideas off of and help the rest of the Bears’ line, and offense as a whole, when learning a new offense. When it comes to learning a new offense, it helps the group overall, to have a player or two come in already knowing what to look for.

Not only does Patrick help in that regard, but he’ll provide immediate protection for the Bears’ franchise quarterback in Justin Fields. Being so prolific in pass blocking, Patrick’s coming to Chicago means that Fields will have at least one lineman he can trust to keep him upright. That’s what many Bears fans have been concerned about, of course, and Patrick will keep our quarterback clean, that’s for sure.

Patrick’s ability to play both guard and center also give this offense some versatility up front — an invaluable trait to have.

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Both of these players were highly underrated going into free agency and come to Chicago as a couple of calculated, patient decisions by Poles.