Bears Secure $55 Million Pro Bowl DE in Pre-Training Camp Trade Proposal

Vince Carbonneau
May 31, 2024  (10:42)

Ryan Poles in action
Photo credit: ESPN

Bears Eye $55 Million Pro Bowl DE in Potential Pre-Training Camp Trade

The Chicago Bears are actively seeking an edge rusher to complement Pro Bowler Montez Sweat on their defensive line. In a recent Bleacher Report column, Matt Holder suggested six potential trades to occur "before training camp," including a notable move for New England Patriots pass rusher Matthew Judon to join the Bears.
Holder explained, "The New England Patriots are in a rebuilding phase, so keeping a soon-to-be 32-year-old on a contract year doesn't align with their long-term plans. Trading Judon would not only net them valuable draft picks but also provide approximately $6.7 million in cap relief post-June 1."
The Bears have over $22.6 million in cap space, and acquiring a seasoned pass-rusher like Judon could bolster their defense for a playoff push. This prospect might be particularly appealing to head coach Matt Eberflus, who is under pressure to deliver results in the 2024 season.
Matthew Judon Trade: A Long Shot but Possible
While Eberflus would undoubtedly benefit from an additional pass rusher to pair with Sweat, the Patriots may be hesitant to part with their top defensive player. However, considering New England's rebuilding strategy, Holder's point holds merit. Currently, Chicago's pass rush depends on DeMarcus Walker, Dominique Robinson, and fifth-round rookie Austin Booker, indicating a clear need for reinforcement.
Holder noted, "Walker is more of a run defender, which opens up a significant role for Judon to impact the Bears' pass rush. Judon, with his 66.5 career sacks, could thrive as a pass-rush specialist coming off the bench."
Judon, who signed a four-year, $54.5 million contract with the Patriots in 2021, is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2025. However, the Patriots are more likely to extend his contract than trade him. Yet, Judon's age and a recent injury might make a trade more feasible for New England.
Judon's 2024 Season Cut Short by Injury
Last season, Judon played only four games before a torn biceps injury ended his campaign. In those games, he recorded 4.0 sacks, 13 tackles (five for loss), nine quarterback hits, and a safety. The season before, he achieved career highs with 15.5 sacks, 14 tackles for loss, 28 QB hits, three passes defensed, and two forced fumbles.
Despite his age and recent injury, Judon's impressive track record includes four consecutive Pro Bowls prior to last season. Reports suggest he has recovered well from his injury, adding to his appeal as a potential trade target.
Would the Bears consider acquiring an aging pass rusher? If Yannick Ngakoue doesn't return, a trade for Judon could be a viable option, especially if the Patriots are willing to accept a future third-round pick. A second-rounder might be excessive given Judon's age and injury history, but a 2025 third-round pick could be a reasonable offer.
It remains to be seen whether Bears general manager Ryan Poles will pursue Judon, but if the price is right, the veteran DE could be a valuable addition to Chicago's defense.
MAY 31   |   49 ANSWERS
Bears Secure $55 Million Pro Bowl DE in Pre-Training Camp Trade Proposal

Should the Bears trade for Matthew Judon to boost their pass rush? Yes/No

Yes3265.3 %
No1734.7 %
Latest 10 stories