The Chicago Bears continue churning the bottom of their roster in search of help. After making some new additions to the offense last week, they’ve shifted their focus to the defensive side. According to insider Matt Lombardo, one of their most interesting signings to date came on Friday when they secured Demarquis Gates. The linebacker was a star for the eventual USFL champion Birmingham Stallions, finishing the season with 58 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and an interception.
Gates is the true definition of a football journeyman. He went undrafted in 2018 out of Ole Miss, signing with the Cleveland Browns. From there, he spent time in the Alliance of American Football, XFL, CFL, and now the USFL. This will mark his fourth NFL opportunity after failing to stick with the Washington Commanders and Minnesota Vikings in 2019 and 2020, respectively. He has good size at 6’2 and 220 lbs.
It will be interesting to see what the Bears have planned for him.
BREAKING: The #Bears have signed Demarquis Gates, per sources.
Gates was widely viewed as the top LB in the @USFL this spring.
— Matt Lombardo (@MattLombardoNFL) August 5, 2022
Chicago Bears likely seeking more competition.
Roquan Smith still hasn’t returned from his current hold-in over his desired contract extension. So the Bears linebackers have operated somewhat handicapped. Matt Eberflus and his staff may wish to add more competition to what many view as a thin group. Gates should definitely do that. This might be the best opportunity he’s ever had to crack an NFL roster considering his USFL success and how thin the Bears are at the position.
It won’t be easy. Gates is arriving late to the party with training camp already underway. He’ll have to get up to speed on the new defensive system. Time isn’t on his side. The Chicago Bears will do what they can to help, but it will fall on him to make an impression. The first preseason game is on August 13th. That gives Gates over a week to acclimate before evaluations become serious. It will be interesting to see how things go for him.