Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Chicago Bears Considered Favored Landing Spot For Top Pass Rusher


The Chicago Bears are almost certain to do some spending in free agency. Maybe not a full shopping spread, but it’s hard to imagine they don’t add at least one notable veteran. The obvious question is which position it will be at. Some think it will be a wide receiver. Others are hoping for a center. However, there is a strong possibility GM Ryan Poles might go hunting for another pass rusher to put across from Montez Sweat. There could be some intriguing options available depending on how things unfold.

Matt Bowen of ESPN did in-depth research on all the upcoming free agents. From there, he determined who the best 50 were and the top landing spot that would fit them best. He only picked one for the Bears, but it was an interesting one.

Jonathan Greenard, EDGE

Best team fit: Chicago Bears

General manager Ryan Poles made the trade last season to acquire defensive end Montez Sweat, which changed the Bears’ defensive setup. Now Poles could add another edge defender in Greenard, who is explosive off the ball and makes plays late in the down with his fantastic effort level. Last season with the Texans, Greenard had 12.5 sacks and a 22% pass rush win rate (sixth in the league). And his instincts show up as a run defender, too.”

Further intrigue added to this is Greenard knows the type of defensive scheme the Bears run. He played in it for two years under Lovie Smith in 2021 and 2022. He had eight sacks in 12 games that first year. Unfortunately, injuries hampered him the next. It is evident he can be a dynamic pass rusher when healthy.

The Chicago Bears must weigh one key risk with Greenard.

His health. Since coming into the league in 2020, he has missed 19 games with various ailments. Poles is known for being risk-averse when it comes to players with iffy injury backgrounds. At the same time, Greenard could be a missing piece that takes this defense over the top. Cap expert Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus projected he will command around $16 million per year in his next contract. That would put him slightly under Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaquil Barrett, well out of the top 10 range. Pretty affordable for a productive pass rusher entering his prime.

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Greenard checks most of the boxes. He’s a high-effort player with a large toolbox of moves. His 34-inch arms give him the length Matt Eberflus typically prefers with his defensive linemen. He constantly looks to attack the football, forcing turnovers. Everything about him says he would fit perfectly in this Chicago Bears defense. As always, it comes down to how hot his market is. Houston may try to keep him. Other teams will be interested as well. Poles rarely gets into bidding wars, so this will be one to watch.


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Slip Knotz
Slip Knotz
Feb 20, 2024 8:22 pm

I would prefer a different DE but I do like suing FA for DE. With this guy you would have to use an incentive laden contract vs anything guaranteed which would be great if we had a rookie DE too. But we don’t have enough picks for this. We need a dependable DE for pressure just as much as a sack master. Maybe Hunter is too old and expensive and we should settle for Espinosa if we have to tag JJ?

Feb 20, 2024 6:13 pm

DEs Greenard from HOU, SFs Young and JAX JAllen all are under 28 and will only get better. But who can you LURE away from their team without breaking the bank? Hunter will be 30 early in the season. Not crazy about going older. Let’s get young and think long-term. Free Agency definitely looks better than draft options with only 6 picks currently. IF we trade Fields, our odds of getting a Darius Robinson increase as I do not want to waste a Top 10 pick on Latu or Turner or Verse. I would invest a 2nd or 3rd to… Read more »

Feb 20, 2024 2:59 pm

The DEs in the early part of the draft concern me. I’d much rather have an established guy in the prime of his career. I know Poles can find a starting CB in the draft easier.

Feb 20, 2024 11:34 am

I’d rather sign him than resign JJ, honestly.

Feb 20, 2024 11:09 am

This one is tricky. How much can you pay a guy that’s never played a full season in his career? $12 million per? If it’s something in that range, sure. You might get production and save a bunch as opposed to signing Hunter or Burns. But can you trust him? I’d think you’d have to look at Turner in the Draft at nine then, having a stable of pass rushers is never a bad thing and there needs to be a solid backup plan if you’re rolling with him as your DE2. With the extra money saved, we can not… Read more »

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