The Chicago Bears are predicted to add an elite pass rusher in free agency this offseason. The Bears’ pass rush improved immensely after the trade deadline when general manager Ryan Poles traded for Montez Sweat.
Montez Sweat would be even better with help
The Bears still need to add elite pass rusher help either at defensive tackle or at defensive end to complement Sweat next season. The Bears have two top-ten draft picks to use in April at whatever position they want, and defensive end could be one of the positions they decide to draft.
However, the Bears should consider adding offensive talent with both first-round picks, regardless of whether they stay with Justin Fields, or draft a quarterback with the first pick. The Bears’ best chance to add an elite pass rusher for next season will be in free agency.
The Chicago Bears are predicted to add a DE in free agency
According to Jeremy Fowler with ESPN, an NFL executive predicts the Bears will sign Sweat’s former teammate with the Washington Commanders, Chase Young, in free agency:
Washington traded its star defensive line bookends at the 2023 trade deadline, with Sweat then thriving as the Chicago Bears‘ lead rusher and Young now competing for a Super Bowl with the San Francisco 49ers.
Chicago, in its efforts to bolster its pass rush, evaluated both Young and Sweat in the months leading up to the deadline. Sweat landed a four-year, $98 million extension with the Bears, who could spend more money in free agency to sign a pass-rusher such as Young.
Chase Young would be an underwhelming signing
Young’s addition to the 49ers defense hasn’t been as impactful as Sweat’s was to the Bears. Young has just 2.5 sacks for the entire season compared to Sweat’s six since he joined the Bears in November.
The 49ers expected Young to have a more significant role against the Green Bay Packers in the Divisional Round after the 49ers placed Clelin Ferrell on injured reserve for the rest of the postseason. Many 49ers fans on Twitter were trying to spot Young as the former second-overall pick finished with three total tackles on Saturday night.
Adding Young might be an underwhelming signing for the Bears this offseason. While the Bears are at it, why not trade the number one pick to the Commanders for a package that includes Jonathan Allen? The Bears could have 3/4ths of the Commanders’ underperforming defensive line from the early 2023 season.
If there’s a free agent pass rusher, the Bears should look to sign in free agency. It should be Chris Jones. The Kansas City Chiefs star defensive tackle would be an interior disrupter, making life even easier for Sweat in 2024.
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