Chicago Bears should sign this free agent center to replace Sam Mustipher

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Things have gone from bad to worse for the Chicago Bears and their offensive line. With Cody Whitehair being placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury, the Bears are now without their top offensive lineman for at least four weeks.

It has been a season that’s seen quarterback Justin Fields get pressured and sacked over and over again, which makes developing a second-year passer nearly impossible.

Much of the blame can certainly be placed on Fields, himself, for being indecisive and not being able to read the field as quickly as he should. But, some of that uncertainty can also be derived from a lack of trust in his offensive line and receiving core.

The latter of the blame falls squarely on the shoulders of general manager Ryan Poles. Was the 2022 season going to be fun to watch? Of course not. The plan, all along, was for Poles to truly go all-in next year. But, there are some serious doubts about Fields surviving this year without getting banged up. Last week, he was pressured on half of his drop backs.

One of the biggest reasons this offense has sputtered is due to the offensive line play, and specifically, one player has been about as bad as you can get: starting center Sam Mustipher.

Sam Mustipher has been the Chicago Bears’ weakest link up front, and other options must now be explored.

Even with Whitehair going to IR, the Bears have options if they want to replace Mustipher. First and foremost, let’s look at just how bad Mustipher has been.

Through four games, he has a Pro Football Focus pass-blocking grade of 22.7 (definitely in the red, for those wanting the color-coded version). Just last week against the New York Giants, Mustipher was given a grade of 1.5 in that area — yes, you read that correctly.

Mustipher has been abysmal in both pass blocking and the run game. Therefore, the Bears need to move forward with signing free agent center Matt Paradis and plugging him in as quickly as they can.

With Teven Jenkins and Lucas Patrick at guard, and Paradis at center, the Bears would have their best possible interior formation at this moment. Patrick still doesn’t appear ready to play center, so locking him into guard should be a priority if the Bears can upgrade their center position.

Paradis played last year for the Carolina Panthers and earned a pass-blocking grade of 53.6 (yellow, fine), a run-blocking grade of 69.9 (green, good) and an overall grade of 66.9 (green, good).

Paradis only allowed two sacks all of last year and registered just one penalty. To know that, first of all, Paradis would be a huge help in the run game is a positive. That’s a win. But, he’s a much better pass blocker than Mustipher — at this rate, just about anybody else would be, too.

Must Read. Bears must think about benching these 3 players. light

Getting Paradis in the fold would be a huge victory for Poles, and would assure Bears fans he is still looking out for his young quarterback.