3 Bears Chicago Can't Afford to Let Hit Free Agency in 2024

With the NFL free agency period opening in March, the Chicago Bears must do their best to prevent these three players from hitting the open market.

CB Jaylon Johnson is one of three Bears that Chicago can't afford to let hit the open market.
CB Jaylon Johnson is one of three Bears that Chicago can't afford to let hit the open market. / Daniel Bartel-USA TODAY Sports
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Bears Can't Let TE Marcedes Lewis Hit Free Agency

After five seasons with the rival Green Bay Packers, veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis joined the Bears on a one-year deal last offseason. While nobody expected much from him, the 39-year-old wound up exceeding expectations.

Lewis' stat line was modest (4 receptions, 29 yards, 1 touchdown in 17 games), but where he made a real impact was as a blocker. Lewis' 73.6 pass-block grade ranks fifth-best among TEs on PFF after recording four blocks with only one pressure allowed all season. Was his workload the biggest? No, but he still proved that he's more than effective when given an opportunity.

Lewis isn't the Bears' most pressing free agent to re-sign, however, there's no denying his impact on the team. Whether it's Justin Fields, Caleb Williams, or someone else under center next season, having the ex-UCLA TE on the roster will make their life easier.

Considering how Lewis recently told Sports Illustrated's Gene Chamberlain that he's open to returning for a 19th season, re-signing him is a total no-brainer.