Bears to make signing Pace a top priority

According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bears have reportedly made signing free agent tackle Orlando Pace a priority.

Orlando PaceIf Pace signs, the Bears probably would start him at left tackle and shift Chris Williams to the right side. Pace was selected to seven Pro Bowls at left tackle and is destined to be a Hall of Famer. He likely would have been the Rams’ starting left tackle for the 2009 season had they not opted to save $6 million in cap space.

Williams is versatile enough to play either tackle spot, which is why the Bears would be willing to move him to the right side.

The Bears have already signed veteran Kevin Shaffer, and he could compete to start at right tackle regardless. Adding the 33-year-old Pace would push newly acquired Frank Omiyale back into the mix at guard.

Although age and injuries are a concern, signing Pace makes a lot of sense for the Bears, who have been trying to rebuild their offensive line since last year’s draft. I was shocked when I read that the team was counting on the undersized Omiyale to play right tackle next season. He’s a better fit at guard and really only makes sense at tackle in a zone-blocking running scheme, which the Bears don’t run. Signing Pace would allow Chicago to move Omiyale inside and although it wouldn’t be the most feared O-line in the league, it would be an upgraded unit.

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