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Bear Report's full preview of Chicago Bears 2014 free agency, which begins March 11 at 3 p.m. CST, including open-market rankings, player profiles on current free agents and more.

The 2014 NFL season will officially kickoff on Tuesday, March 11 at 3 p.m. CST. At that time, all hell will break loose, with hundreds of free agents signing with the league's 32 teams in a very short period of time.

For the Chicago Bears, the next few months will be the foundation upon which the team will be built this season. The team has 16 current players set to hit free agency, including seven defensive starters from Week 1 last year, meaning the roster turnover could be significant.

The team's salary cap situation, which is bleak, will make things more difficult for GM Phil Emery to be as active as necessary in free agency. Creativity in contract structuring will absolutely necessary if the Bears expect to land quality open-market players.

Below, in our Bears Free Agency Primer, we break down the team's financials, prioritize the team's needs, address Julius Peppers' contract and much more. We also offer open-market analysis at Bears positions of need to find cost-effective, quality free agents. Finally, we'll evaluate all of the franchise's free-agents-to-be, weighing the pros and cons of re-signing each.

Happy reading!

Bears Free Agency

Bears Free Agency Primer
Bigger Priority: Melton or Wootton?

Open-Market Positional Analysis

Free Agent Defensive Tackles
Free Agent Defensive Ends
Free Agent Cornerbacks
Free Agent Safeties
Free Agent Centers

Hold 'em or Fold 'em

Henry Melton
Charles Tillman
Roberto Garza
Devin Hester
Major Wright
Corey Wootton
D.J. Williams
James Anderson
Josh McCown
Nate Collins
Kelvin Hayden
Zack Bowman
Jeremiah Ratliff
The Final Eight

Jeremy Stoltz is Publisher of and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. He is entering his fourth season covering the Chicago Bears full time. Follow Bear Report on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Bear Report Web site or magazine, click here.

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