Leatherwood will be out at least four weeks with mono, and while Schofield wasn’t active for the team’s Week 2 contest against the Green Bay Packers, one analyst thinks the Bears might be able to shop the veteran O-Lineman to a very needy Cincinnati Bengals team.
Schofield, 31, started 12 games for the Los Angeles Chargers last year, appearing in 15. He has played in 102 NFL games (81 starts) since entering the league in 2015, but he didn’t look good in the preseason and the Bears wound up releasing him as part of their final roster cuts.
The Bengals attempted to revamp their offensive line this offseason, adding veteran La’el Collins and rookie left guard Cordell Volson, among others, but the unit has already given up 13 sacks over two games, and Collins has been out with an injury heading into Week 3. Are they desperate enough to try to trade for a guy like Schofield?
B/R Analyst Thinks Bears Could Get Day 3 Pick for Schofield
Kristopher Knox of Bleacher Report pitched the Bengals as a potential trade partner for the Bears in his September 20 column. In exchange for Schofield, Knox thinks the Bears could get a 2023 sixth-round pick from Cincy.
“Schofield, who was cut and re-signed to the practice squad, is likely a short-term depth solution for Chicago,” Knox wrote on September 20.
“The Bears should strongly consider offering Schofield to the Cincinnati Bengals,” he added. “The defending AFC champions are in a 0-2 hole to start the season, and their offensive line remains a massive question mark. The signings of La’el Collins, Alex Cappa and Ted Karras were supposed to fix last year’s biggest weakness. That hasn’t happened. Quarterback Joe Burrow has been sacked a league-high 13 times despite being under pressure on only 18.2 percent of his dropbacks.”
With Leatherwood expected to return in October, Knox thinks the Bears would be wise to shop Schofield, and the Bengals are among the neediest teams out there when it comes to offensive line depth.
“Adding Schofield would give Cincinnati another option as it continues to shuffle its offensive line and try to find a combination that can protect Burrow. Chicago, meanwhile, could get something in return for a player who may be out once Leatherwood is ready to return,” Knox posited.
How Desperate Are Bengals?
That’s the key question. Cincinnati could’ve added Schofield after Chicago cut him, but the team didn’t have a growing concern about protecting QB Joe Burrow at that time.
Schofield didn’t play Week 1 — he watched Chicago’s waterlogged 19-10 win over the San Francisco 49ers from home — and the Illinois native admitted he was glad Chicago looked his way when Leatherwood went on to NFI list.
“I’m definitely excited to be back, especially after watching that first game,” Schofield told the Bears’ official website. “It kinda sucked watching it from home, but it was pretty cool watching and watching that weather and how the team acted and played and how great they looked. So, definitely wanted to come back and pretty excited to get the call to come back.”
When Leatherwood returns, though, Schofield will likely be the odd man out again. Shopping him to a team like Cincinnati is a great idea — and one general manager Ryan Poles should consider.