NFL: The Chicago Bears may have improved a great deal of their roster this offseason, but the offensive line remains a large concern. What was considered a weak unit going into offseason activities and the preseason has been decimated with injuries, making the team’s weakest position group even weaker. Lucas Patrick, Cody Whitehair, and Nate Davis have all missed considerable time with various injuries.
Perhaps the most devastating blow to the offensive line, though, came when 2021 second round pick Teven Jenkins suffered a leg injury a little over a week ago. It is severe enough to keep him out for at least the first few weeks of the season. Courtney Cronin, who covers the Bears for ESPN, wrote at the time:
“At the beginning of training camp, the left guard left practice with an undisclosed injury that forced him to miss one day of practice. Staying on the field for most of the preseason was something Jenkins said he takes pride in.”
Unfortunately, Jenkins will miss the start of the season and Chicago needs to put a good offensive line in front of quarterback Justin Fields. In an attempt to bridge the gap between the start of the season and Jenkins’ return, the Bears decided to bring in reinforcements via the trade market.
The Chicago Bears Trade a 6th Round Pick to the Miami Dolphins for Dan Feeney (NFL)
Cronin reported on X (formerly known as Twitter) that the Bears traded a 2024 sixth round draft pick to the Miami Dolphins for Dan Feeney:
The Bears are sending a 2024 6th round pick to the Miami Dolphins for veteran guard Dan Feeney, source confirms. With Teven Jenkins leg injury keeping him “week to week,” Chicago adds much needed interior depth w/ an OL who has experience at LG, C and RG.
— Courtney Cronin (@CourtneyRCronin) August 29, 2023
Feeney was originally drafted by the Los Angeles Chargers in the third round (71st overall pick) of the 2017 NFL Draft. He spent the first four years of his career with the Chargers before signing as a free agent with the New York Jets in 2021.
After the 2022 season, Feeney decided not to return to New York and signed with the Miami Dolphins.
Over the course of his career, Feeney has not been considered to be anything more than an average offensive lineman (at best), though he does provide positional flexibility on the interior. According to PFF, though, Feeney was pass blocking better during the 2023 preseason than he had at any point in his career.
In three preseason games with the Dolphins, Feeney had a PFF grade of 66.1, which would rank as his second-highest overall grade in his career if it were the regular season.
Notably, Freeney had a pass blocking grade of 84.8 this preseason, by far the best of his career. If he is able to provide that level of protection for Fields, it will go a long way to helping the young quarterback continue to progress in the NFL.
The problem, though, is that Freeney historically is not a good pass blocker. In his six seasons, he has PFF pass blocking grades of 53.5, 39.8, 57.0, 51.5, 55.1, and 66.1. As one can see, he has improved in each of the first three seasons, so the Bears hope that he continues that trend.
All of the grades aside, though, Freeney does bring one definite positive to the Bears’ offense: availability. Out of a possible 97 career games, he has played in 96. The only game he missed was during his rookie season in 2017. Durability is something that Chicago severely lacks on their offensive line, so the addition of Freeney makes sense in that aspect.
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