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NFL: Bears strike fast, agree to deal with new RB D'Andre Swift

Just 12 minutes into the NFL's so-called legal tampering period, the Chicago Bears landed a running back.

It wasn't Saquon Barkley, which had been rumored for a couple days, but D'Andre Swift. Swift agreed to a three-year, $24 million deal from the Bears, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Media. No deal can be officially signed until Wednesday when the league year starts so Swift or the Bears could back out, but it appears the Bears' first order of business in free agency was spending some of their cap space on an upgrade at running back.

Swift, who spent his first three seasons with the Detroit Lions, was traded to the Philadelphia Eagles before last season. He had 1,049 rushing yards with five touchdowns with the Eagles and turned that into a nice payday with the Bears. That contract could shape the market for other free agent running backs like Barkley and Josh Jacobs.

Former Philadelphia Eagles running back D'Andre Swift agreed to a new deal with the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Former Philadelphia Eagles running back D'Andre Swift agreed to a new deal with the Chicago Bears. (Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) (Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The deal also does take away a prime team to land a top running back. The Barkley-to-Bears rumors made a lot of sense because the Bears had a lot of cap space and a need at the position. The Bears' top rusher at running back last season was Khalil Herbert, who had 611 yards.

Signing a new RB1 will help whoever is the Bears' quarterback. The Bears haven't yet traded Justin Fields but have the No. 1 overall pick of the draft.

That decision is for another day. The legal tampering period was just minutes old and the Bears have already filled one of their needs.