The Chicago Bears haven’t made a lot of noise this offseason, due to the franchise undergoing an intense rebuild, but they made a free agent addition earlier this offseason that one NFL analyst views as “overlooked” and “important”.
Chicago signed center Lucas Patrick, a Brentwood, TN native, to a two-year deal worth $8 million back in March.
NFL.com’s Adam Rank pointed to the Patrick signing this week as one of the Bears’ most critical moves of the offseason.
You know, I think a lot of people overlooked this signing. Patrick played for Getsy in Green Bay and will be a stabilizing force for the Bears. I don’t want to make a comparison to what Alex Mack brought to the Falcons back in 2016, because he was the best center of his generation. But at the same time, don’t underestimate how important Patrick is for the Bears, and why they won’t go after a free-agent center like JC Tretter.
Patrick is truly a perfect fit for the Bears. He encapsulates the attitude that new head coach Matt Eberflus wants to see in his players.
The former Duke standout plays with a “nasty” attitude that a center needs to have to excel in the NFL. That’s the same attitude that Eberflus is hoping the whole team carries with them in 2022.
“I’ve got a switch I can flip,” said Patrick after signing with Chicago.
“On the field, I play football the way it’s meant to be played: physical, tough, smart, disciplined. That’s what I pride myself on.”
Not only does Patrick have the approach the Bears are looking for, but he’ll also bring a sense of continuity to the offense. The relationship between a center and a quarterback is obviously important, as is the relationship between a quarterback and the offensive coordinator.
Patrick can help bridge the gap between Bears quarterback Justin Fields and offensive coordinator Luke Getsy, thanks to the time that Patrick and Getsy spent together with the Green Bay Packers.
Additionally, Patrick knows what’s like to be part of a championship-contending team after spending six seasons with Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. That experience can help build a championship culture in Chicago.
Bears general manager Ryan Poles didn’t spend a lot of cash in free agency this offseason, due to the rebuild, but he was wise with the money he spent. And I think the $8 million the Bears are paying Patrick might be the smartest cash they spent this offseason.
Featured image via USA TODAY Sports