NFL Insider Unveils Final Position Bears Aim to Strengthen

V. Carbonneau
June 7, 2024  (12:12)

Matt Eberflus
Photo credit: ESPN

Bears Seek to Bolster Pass Rush as Training Camp Nears

The Chicago Bears have assembled a robust roster for the upcoming training camp but remain in search of a pass rusher, according to ESPN insider Jeremy Fowler.
«The Bears love their roster as it stands, but they're still looking at edge rusher. They know they probably need one more guy,» Fowler stated on a May 31 episode of NFL Live.
While the team is pleased with defensive linemen Montez Sweat and DeMarcus Walker, Fowler indicated that the Bears are exercising patience in their pursuit.
«Free agency is pretty thin. You've got guys like Tyus Bowser, Emmanuel Ogbah, Yannick Ngakoue. They didn't sign him until training camp early on last year. They're sort of waiting to see what develops, see if somebody's at a good bargain. Everywhere else, they feel really good,» Fowler added.
Could Yannick Ngakoue Be the Best Option?
Ngakoue, who joined the Bears last season on a one-year, $10.5 million deal, started 13 games before a broken ankle ended his season in Week 14. He recorded 22 total tackles (six for loss), 4.0 sacks, and seven quarterback hits in those games.
Turning 29 in March, Ngakoue might command less than $10 million this season due to his injury. He expressed his desire to join a team before training camp starts to ensure proper preparation.
«I just hope that I'm somewhere before training camp starts because everyone needs to go through a training camp in order to have the kind of season they want to have,» Ngakoue told on May 29. «It's just like a boxer at the end of the day. If you don't have a proper training camp, you can go into the ring and get knocked out. So it's all about preparation.»
Re-signing with the Bears could be advantageous for both sides, given his familiarity with head coach Matt Eberflus' defense and the limited availability of other pass rushers.
Other Veteran Options
Another option is 30-year-old Emmanuel Ogbah, who was released by the Miami Dolphins this offseason. Ogbah played 25% of Miami's defensive snaps last season, finishing with 5.5 sacks, nine QB hits, a forced fumble, and an interception. Bringing in a veteran like Ogbah could allow the Bears to ease rookie edge rusher Austin Booker into the lineup gradually.
Excitement Around Rookie Austin Booker
The Bears selected Booker in the fifth round this year, and his potential has generated excitement within the team. Montez Sweat praised the rookie's athleticism and strength, expressing enthusiasm for his future.
«Oh man, I'm excited about him. He's got the whole makeup, from the frame to the pass rush ability. He's gonna be a great player,» Sweat said. «I've just gotta be that big brother for him. Be there for him when he has a question, just help him along the way like the vets helped me.»
With Sweat, Walker, Booker, and third-year DL Dominique Robinson set to form the core of Chicago's pass rush, adding an experienced veteran like Ngakoue or Ogbah appears to be the logical step. The decision on who to bring in remains to be seen.
June 7   |   58 answers
NFL Insider Unveils Final Position Bears Aim to Strengthen

Should the Bears prioritize signing a veteran pass rusher before the start of training camp?

Yes4679.3 %
No1220.7 %
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