Defensive Free Agents The Chicago Bears Should Target

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Dec 2, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett (72) runs the ball in for a touchdown after recovering the fumble by New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (not pictured) during the 1st quarter at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

 

Defensive End

1) Michael Bennett (UFA) — This one should be an absolute no-brainer for the Bears.  Michael Bennett, brother of current Bears tight end Martellus, has racked up 7.5 sacks this season as part of a fantastic Seattle Seahawks defensive unit.  He’s emerged as a premier pass rusher during the past two seasons and has age (28) on his side.  His $4.8 million cap hit in 2013 will likely climb next season, but hopefully the desire to play with his brother is strong enough for the Bears to get a bargain.

2) Greg Hardy (UFA) — If the Bears want to make a huge splash in free agency this offseason, they’ll target Greg Hardy.  The 25-year-old defensive end has been one of the biggest reasons for the immense success of the Carolina Panthers defense this season.  However, Hardy will likely command a huge salary that the Bears will have a difficult time affording with Julius Peppers still on the books.  If they can find a way to move Peppers, Hardy would be the ideal replacement.

3) Lamarr Houston (UFA) — Houston is a big (6-3, 300) and durable (has started all but four games in his four-year career) defensive end who is best suited for a 3-4 defense, but could be utilized as a three-technique tackle or nose in the Bears system.  He has an ability to get after the quarterback while also take up space and stuff the run.  He’s stood out on a terrible Raiders defense the last few years, so the Bears would need to be careful in assessing his value to the team.

 

Defensive Tackle

1) Linval Joseph (UFA) — The Bears desperately need a run-stopper in the middle of their defensive line.  Joseph, at 6-4 and 328 pounds, would be the perfect candidate.  He’s been part of a struggling New York Giants team this season which could have him looking for a change of scenery.  Joseph is only 25 years old and would be a welcome addition of youth to an otherwise aging defense.

2) Jason Hatcher (UFA) — Hatcher has enjoyed a breakout season in Dallas and could be reunited with Jeremiah Ratliff to create a formidable tandem on the Bears’ defensive line.  He’s racked up nine sacks this season, but at 31 years old, General Manager Phil Emery would need to work a deal in the team’s favor and not create the age issues that former GM Jerry Angelo did for the team.

3) Terrence Cody (UFA) — Cody has been somewhat of a bust early on in his career.  The 6-4, 340 pound defensive tackle garnered the nickname “Mount Cody” as a standout at Alabama and was a second-round pick by the Baltimore Ravens.  He was expected to become their nose tackle of the future, but has struggled to win playing time.  He could be worth a look for the Bears as added depth with the potential for short-yardage and goal line situations.

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Tags: Aqib Talib Chicago Bears Linval Joseph Michael Bennett Tj Ward

  • HurricaneBeef

    What about FS Jairus Byrd or SS Ihedigbo from Baltimore? Probably can’t afford Byrd now after signing Cutler. Also FS Don Carey(cheap option) from Detroit. He seemed to make plays for Lions when he got a chance to play and he’s a former CB so he has some cover skills. Definately better than out of position/bad angle Conte.

    I’d say both safety positions and DT are the biggest need