One of the true constants during Ryan Pace's time as Bears general manager has been his willingness — eagerness, even — to take chances on players rehabbing injuries or with checkered medical backgrounds who can be found on discounts.
Eddie Jackson might be Pace's best draft pick in his first four years, a universally feared playmaker on 'D,' who was only available at No. 112 because he was coming off a broken leg and previously tore his ACL at Alabama.
Allen Robinson signed for $6 million less than fellow injury risk Sammy Watkins last year because he played only three snaps in 2017 before tearing his ACL and wasn't full-go until camp in his first Bears offseason. Bears fans got a glimpse in the wild-card round of what they should expect routinely from A-Rob in Year 2.
James Daniels likely would have been drafted in Round 1 alongside fellow interior blockers Billy Price and Frank Ragnow, if not for worries about an arthritic knee condition. Daniels exceeded expectations as a 21-year-old starting left guard after mostly playing center at Iowa.
Of course no one bats 1.000, period, much less when targeting players who inherently carry greater risk, and Pace has been burned with this approach, too, by the likes of Pernell McPhee and Markus Wheaton, to name a few. Thus, it's important to strike the proper balance, not loading up on constant cold tub inhabitants, especially with the franchise coming off its most successful and healthiest (read: these aren't mutually exclusive) season in years.
Yet in his first offseason in Chicago with precious few resources, Pace's affinity for attempting to procure greater value by taking players whose injuries might deter other clubs could loom especially large. So we've identified four free agents who play positions of relative need for the Bears and have an injury or durability concern likely to influence their market.
(Editor's note: If you enjoy this piece, be on the lookout later Wednesday for our Bears' draft discounts.)