GM Ryan Poles did everything he could within reason to help the Chicago Bears offense this offseason. It would’ve been nice if he had boatloads of cap space and a 1st round pick to work with. Sadly thanks to the previous regime, that wasn’t an option. So he made do with what he had. All things considered, it was an admirable effort. By the end of the draft, he turned six picks into 11 and added several new faces to the depth chart at both wide receiver and the offensive line.
Even so, experts aren’t impressed with his work. They don’t feel he was aggressive enough in trying to build around Justin Fields. While that is up for debate at receiver, the argument is somewhat fair on the line. Lucas Patrick was the only sure starter he added this off-season. The rest were backups from other teams and late-round draft picks. There is still a glaring hole at the right guard position in the lineup as it stands. Current projections have Sam Mustipher, Dakota Dozier, Zachary Thomas, or Ja’Tyre Carter winning that job. Not exactly an inspiring group.
It’s surprising the Bears haven’t tried to add a more proven veteran to the mix. What makes it even more confusing is one still sits out there—somebody who even has a direct connection to Poles.
Look at Laurent Duvernay-Tardif on back-to-back snaps for the Chiefs’ first TD. Sells the screen, gets out and lays out the LB. Then gives Kareem Hunt the easiest TD possible. pic.twitter.com/krKim78bJF
— Sam Mellinger (@mellinger) September 27, 2018
Having watched the coaches film, I can confirm that the 17.1 pass blocking grade given to Laurent Duvernay-Tardif by PFF is absolute
I can only imagine the grader was GVR’s little brother. Outside of a couple of plays (mainly on one series) he was #TakeFlight #Jets pic.twitter.com/zBW16lntkp
— David Wyatt-Hupton (@DWyattHupton) November 23, 2021
The Chicago Bears have every reason to sign Laurent Duvernay-Tardif.
The former 6th round pick spent five seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2015 to 2019. He started 57 games at right guard during that span and helped them win a Super Bowl. That would’ve continued in 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic happened. A medical school graduate, Duvernay-Tardif chose to put his football career on hold to help battle the spreading virus. Not until late 2021 did he finally make his return with the New York Jets.
After a rough debut, he had three great games against the Texans, Eagles, and Saints with only three pressures allowed. Then an ankle injury hampered him over the remaining three weeks of the season. Now the 31-year-old remains unsigned as the summer begins. Nobody would ever call Duvernay-Tardif a great player, but he’s proven to be more than serviceable for most of his career. He also has the athleticism necessary to fit the new offense Luke Getsy is installing.
Last but not least, he’s experienced in blocking for a quarterback who likes to scramble. He did so for Patrick Mahomes across two years. The idea of Patrick, him, and Teven Jenkins manning the right side of that offensive line is far more palatable than any other option available.
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