Here is the eighth in a 10-part series examining the top 10 players on the Chicago Bears’ 2015 offseason roster.
Name: Kyle Long
Position: Offensive guard
Experience: Third season
2015 base salary: $1,159,632
2014 recap: Long started 15 games at right guard last season, earning a second consecutive trip to the Pro Bowl. Long is the first Chicago offensive lineman to receive Pro Bowl honors in his first two seasons. The Bears’ 2013 first-round pick out of Oregon, Long quickly developed into one of the better interior offensive linemen in the entire NFL, despite having a limited body of work at the collegiate level. Long further solidified his status last year as a team leader and fan favorite.
2015 outlook: The Bears experimented with Long at right and left tackle near the end of the offseason program, but did not reveal whether the move is permanent. Long is likely to move to tackle at some point in his career, but Chicago is probably better off keeping Long inside at guard this upcoming fall. The fear is that if Chicago places Long at tackle before he’s ready the team could end up weakening two positions. But no matter where Long plays, he is expected to be the best offensive lineman on the club’s 2015 roster. Long should also assume a larger leadership role on the line after the team cut ties in the offseason with veteran center Roberto Garza.