The Chicago Bears have to get through free agency before they start true preparations for the NFL draft. They have more cap space than anybody. It is a reasonable assumption that they will be aggressive in finding help for their roster. What nobody knows for sure is which players they may end up targeting. Early speculation points in two directions. One is possible help at right tackle, and the other is help for their overmatched defensive line. The latter is probably the bigger concern.
Probably the two most talked-about names on this front are Da’Ron Payne and Dre’Mont Jones, thanks to their long track record of success as interior pass rushers. The Bears only had 20 sacks in 2022, and defensive tackle was a big issue. They aren’t the only names to watch, though. A source reached out to SM, stating that the Bears brass is “intrigued” by another less-talked-about name on the market. That is Zach Allen. A former 3rd round pick of the Arizona Cardinals, he produced his best season this past year with 5.5 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, and ten tackles for a loss. He also deflected eight passes.
The Chicago Bears’ interest in Allen is easy to see.
Coming out of Boston College in 2019, he was noted for his good size, long arms, and considerable power. While not an electric athlete as defensive ends go, Allen had traits that made him a constant pest for offensive linemen to deal with. His motor is consistent, and coaches regularly praise him for his intelligence. He is only 25 years old. Current projections have him commanding around $12.5 million per year in his next contract. That would be a reasonable price for a player capable of playing both inside and outside. Matt Eberflus loves versatility. It isn’t hard to see why the Bears are interested.
Perhaps they can double down when free agency begins. They can snag Payne or Jones to play defensive tackle and then swoop in on Allen for defensive end help. That would be an instant upgrade to their defensive front. Then they can bring everything together in a draft said to be stacked with pass rushers. It isn’t a bad plan. Allen would be a solid addition for Chicago. He isn’t a star, but he can be an above-average role player in this defense. Those types of guys are important too.
Good article Lambert. Allen would look good in a Bear uniform.
It’s not like the bears have to choose the offensive line or the defensive line and ignore one of them. They’ve got (and will end up with more) draft picks and plenty of money to address both. It comes down to who is available that fits and, for FAs, whether the money makes any sense.
Interesting player but not sure your source for contract projection is the best. Spotrac and Over the Cap put him in the same $7-8 million range as Dre’mont (who has been a more consistent pass rusher). Allen does seem to have the knack for passes defenses though which might balance out.
The real question is, what type of “source” reaches out to SM? No offense but this is still a developing site versus the established ones.
We already have the run stuffing DT in Jones. We need a 3 tech, I could see signing him as a player in the rotation
Bears can sign 100 million worth of free agents, I like the look in the eyes of this player. Importantly age and injuries need to be studied.