Another potential free agent target bites the dust for the Bears. Hours after Neal was rumored to be in play as a defensive end target for the Bears, it was announced that the Packers have resigned him to a 2-year deal. Neal played defensive tackle in college at Purdue and was drafted by the Packers in the 2nd round of the 2010 draft. He started out as a 3-4 DE for the Packers and had 5 sacks in 2012 before being moved to OLB in 2013 due to injures. Neal lost 20 pounds in a few weeks and was surprisingly effective as a 3-4 OLB to the point where some analysts, like Bill Polian for example, now think that 3-4 OLB is Neal’s best position after he had 5 sacks and led the Packers with 37 QB hurries in 2013.
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The Bears were looking at Neal as a 4-3 defensive end as he has the size (6’3, 294), pass-rush ability, and has proven he can handle multiple positions over the last few seasons. Alas it wasn’t meant to be as the Packers brought Neal back to play OLB opposite Clay Matthews. Bummer.
The financial terms of the contract have yet to be released.