Emmanuel Ogbah in action with the Dolphins
Photo credit: The Phinsider

Bears Anticipated to Acquire Former $65 Million Edge Rusher

Published May 14, 2024 at 10:00

In 2024, the Chicago Bears are once again facing a critical need for enhanced pass-rushing capabilities on their defensive line. ESPN's Bill Barnwell suggests a "logical" move for them could involve signing former Miami Dolphins standout Emmanuel Ogbah on an extremely affordable contract for the upcoming season.

Ogbah has accumulated 42.5 sacks and 268 total tackles across his eight-year NFL tenure, and clinched a Super Bowl title with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2019. He delivered impressive performances with back-to-back nine-sack seasons for the Dolphins in 2020 and 2021, which earned him a four-year, $65 million contract extension, with $32 million guaranteed from Miami.

However, Ogbah's impact has waned since. In 2022, he managed just one sack across nine games before a season-ending triceps injury sidelined him. Though he made a modest comeback with 5.5 sacks in 2023, the Dolphins chose to terminate his contract this offseason, freeing up approximately $13.6 million in salary cap space.

Despite this, Ogbah could still be a valuable asset for a Bears defense that includes star Montez Sweat and is seeking a rotational player rather than a full-time defensive end.

"Those stats don't suggest he'll be an All-Pro with a full workload at this stage in his career — Ogbah would likely excel in a situational role," Barnwell noted on May 14. "Securing about 300 snaps of solid pass-rushing from Ogbah for around $2 million would be a prudent investment for GM Ryan Poles."

The possibility of signing Ogbah isn't only entertained by Barnwell. Former Bears scout Greg Gabriel also mentioned it as a strategic move in a recent Windy City Gridiron article, citing the need for another veteran defensive end to address a significant gap opposite Sweat.

"Though Ogbah's recent stint in Miami might not ideally align with what the Bears are seeking, he shouldn't be discounted entirely," Gabriel mentioned.

Furthermore, Gabriel suggested the Bears might consider bringing back Yannick Ngakoue in 2024. Ngakoue, whose performance dipped last year due to an ankle injury in December, showed potential improvements alongside Sweat, marking two sacks and several defensive stops in just five games.

The Bears are poised to start OTAs on May 20 and will have multiple sessions, including a three-day mandatory minicamp from June 4 to June 6, which could be a crucial period for integrating a new player like Ogbah into their system.

Nonetheless, the Bears might prioritize evaluating their current lineup before making any significant additions for the 2024 season.

With Sweat leading the defense, the Bears also have high hopes for veteran DeMarcus Walker, who posted a career-best 47 pressures in 2023, and newcomer Austin Booker, a fifth-round pick who excelled with a 12-sack season at Kansas last year. Together with free agent signee Jake Martin, the Bears might decide their existing roster is sufficient, potentially eschewing further acquisitions in favor of developing their current talents.
May 14   |   65 answers
Bears Anticipated to Acquire Former $65 Million Edge Rusher

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