Bears enter free agency with big needs, lots of $

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Football generic 3
As NFL free agency kicks off, expect the Chicago Bears to be active in search of difference makers to help erase the memories of a 3-13 season.

Here are five names to remember that the Bears may target:

1. Mike Glennon, QB, Tampa Bay. Glennon is a tall (6-6), lanky drop-back passer with an above average arm and quick release. Hidden in the shadows with Tampa Bay as the backup to Jameis Winston, Glennon actually started for parts of his first two seasons in the league, playing adequately behind a woeful Tampa supporting cast. He lacks mobility, but can step up in the pocket and sidestep pressure. High percentage passer best in play-action scheme that maximizes a strong running game. Glennon will probably be overpaid and a short-term bridge for whatever team gets his signature on a contract.

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2. Stephon Gilmore, CB, Buffalo. Gilmore is a former first-rounder who has been steady, not spectacular during his tenure with the Bills. He picked a good time to hit free agency based on a 2016 season where he intercepted five passes and displayed some characteristics of a lockdown corner. Gilmore is a smooth athlete with good size and quick feet. He isn’t afraid to offer run support. Gilmore will upgrade the deep patrol immediately, but he figures to carry a steep price tag.

3. Tony Jefferson, S, Arizona. Jefferson burst onto the scene in a starting role in 2016, demonstrating instincts, toughness, and a nose for the football. He made his presence found by displayi

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ng sideline-to-sideline range. Physical, in-the-box defender. Jefferson doesn’t have a long resume, but he outplayed more heralded teammates last season and should be entering his prime. Safety-challenged teams, like the Bears, will fight for his services.

4. Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis. Doyle is an under the radar free agent who the Colts would like to maintain. Solid pass-catching option skilled in finding open seams in the secondary. Emerged as a legitimate red-zone option in Indianapolis last season. Has added some weight-bulk to his frame after starring as basically an extra receiver during college career at Western Kentucky.

5. A.J. Bouye, CB, Houston. Self-made player who entered the league as an undrafted free agent from Central Florida. Bouye turned in a strong 2016 season, beginning training camp as a nickel back before claiming the starting job before the opener. Bouye lacks elite physical skills, but makes up for it with a high football IQ and toughness. He plays with a chip on his shoulder and is an active defender who gets his hands on receivers. Disrupts routes with regularity. Bouye enjoys the physical part of the game. Quiet leader.

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