An important player may be on his way off of the Chicago Bears’ roster. It is one of the latest rumors to hit the Bears this offseason. And if you are paying attention to the signs, there may be some validity to what is being said.
Over the course of the NFL offseason, left guard and center Matt Slauson has somehow found himself as part of the trade chatter. The burly offensive lineman, along with right guard Kyle Long, has been a constant on the Chicago Bears’ offensive line for the past couple of seasons. Slauson, while oftentimes overlooked when the Pro Bowl rosters are announced, has had a couple of all-pro seasons under his belt.
With the Chicago Bears, Matt Slauson has proven to be a valuable member on the offensive line. When he had to switch to center, Slauson and Long were voted by Pro Football Focus as the top linemen at their positions.
Ramirez is expected to push second-year center Hroniss Grasu for the starting job. His experience comes from the Denver Broncos where he worked with current Bears’ coach John Fox and offensive line coach Dave Magazu, before spending last season with the Detroit Lions. He is a consummate professional with the size and strength to give a push up front. That will help in both the passing and rushing attacks. If he does not win the starting job, Ramirez will at least add a veteran presence on the roster. He can also pitch in at one of the guard spots.
Ted Larson is more of a guard, than a tackle, but he can fill both positions when asked. Larson spent last season with the Arizona Cardinals. He started 10 games in total, spending time at left and right guard. Larson is an insurance policy in case of an injury or a trade.
Larson’s best position is left guard. Coincidentally, Matt Slauson plays there. According to Spotrac, Slauson is signed until next season. He will earn over $6 million in base salary and performance bonuses in the next two seasons. Slauson has a team-friendly deal. Rumor has it that another team is interested in acquiring that deal.
Matt Slauson is an asset to the Bears, but if a team offers a draft pick for him, he is as good as gone some believe.
The prospects of a possible Matt Slauson trade was discussed by the Chicago Tribune‘s Dan Wiederer and Rich Campbell in a podcast they host.
According to Wiederer and Campbell, the Miami Dolphins are a team interested in acquiring Matt Slauson from the Bears. The Dolphins’ interest in Slauson makes plenty of sense.
New Dolphins head coach Adam Gase worked with Slauson closely as the Bears’ offensive coordinator last season. Gase entrusted Slauson to make the offensive line calls once then starter Will Montgomery got injured and was lost for the season. Matt Slauson made the calls on the line, put the linemen in position to make the correct plays in protection and informed everyone on certain tendencies.
Adam Gase wants the Dolphins to become smarter in the protection of Dolphins’ quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Adding Matt Slauson would give the Dolphins that ability.
The next question now becomes why would the Chicago Bears trade Matt Slauson if he is an asset?
What Slauson has taught the incumbent starters in Kyle Long and left tackle Charles Leno Jr. is invaluable. For the Bears to take the next step, Long and Leno must take what they have learned and use it. The Bears also want to get younger on the offensive line at some point. Manny Ramirez is 33, dispelling that belief, but Ted Larson is 28.
Matt Slauson is 30, and 30-year-old offensive linemen usually do not warrant a fourth or fifth round pick on the trade market. Rumor has it, that is what the Chicago Bears can get for Matt Slauson.
Adding another draft pick gives the Chicago Bears more flexibility to get younger.
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