The Bears, a team that's won a total of 14 games in the past three seasons, are in need of good football players. But they might have some trouble signing free agents in the future if an Illinois bill related to workers' compensation benefits is passed.

On Friday, DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, said that he would deter players from signing with the Bears in free agency if the bill is passed. According to Smith, the bill targets "professional athletes, and (takes) away their right to health care that every worker in the state of Illinois is entitled to."

I'll let CBS Chicago's Chris Emma explain:

Under Illinois state law, injured workers can claim disability benefits known as a "wage differential award," a calculation based on two-thirds of the difference between the average salary they could earn pre-injury, and the average salary they could earn in "some suitable employment or business" after the injury.

Most permanently injured workers in Illinois can claim compensation benefits until they're 67 years old. However, legislation sponsored by Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) would end workers' compensation benefits for professional athletes when they turn 35, unless they can prove their expected playing career would last longer than that.

Smith told the "Spiegel & Parkins Show" on 670 The Score, a CBS Sports Radio station, that the Bears are behind the bill, saying they "lined up a lobbyist to promote the bill."

"The Bears' owners are behind it as well, to be blunt, it's just another way to bankroll the coffers of the rich owners who own these teams at the expense of the players who actually do all the work," he said.

And then Smith threatened to deter free agents from signing with the Bears.

"I will tell you from the bottom of my heart that this union will tell every potential free agent player, if this bill passes, to not come to the Bears," Smith said. "Because, think about it, if you're a free agent player and you have an opportunity to go play somewhere else where you can get lifetime medical for the injury you're going to have, isn't a smarter financial decision to go to a team where a bill like this hasn't passed?"

The Bears responded to Smith by releasing a statement to CBS Chicago:

"We join the four other major professional Chicago teams in monitoring and supporting changes to the system that protect athletes' rights under the workers' compensation system while acknowledging athletes are not competing professionally until age 67. Nothing in the wage differential language under consideration impacts the right for any athlete to receive just compensation for partial or permanent injury, medical benefits or to file a claim itself."

Clearly, this isn't a good look for the Bears. As previously mentioned, they need more good players given the current state of their team (bad). They haven't made the playoffs since the 2010 season.

And the following positions require upgrading:

The Bears likely can't fix all of those holes in the draft. And this isn't Madden, which means they probably won't make a ton of trades (unless they plan on hiring Chip Kelly to run the team). So, they'll need to be active in free agency if they want to compete as soon as next year.

It remains to be seen if free agents will be receptive to the Bears, though, especially after the NFLPA tells them to avoid Chicago for reasons other than being stuck in a division with Aaron Rodgers.