Chicago Bears Free Agent Options: Outside Linebacker

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Jason Worilds – 26, Steelers (6’1 | 262): A young, powerful pass-rusher coming with 8 sacks in each of the last two seasons. Worilds finished the season strong with 6 sacks and 16 QB pressures over the last 8 games of the season and improved markedly in both run defense and short zone coverage. Worilds would give the Bears a dynamic pass rusher in the prime of his career and put less pressure on young players like Jones and Bass while giving the Bears some insurance if veterans like Allen and Young can’t transition to a new scheme.

Worilds made almost $10M last season which is probably more than he is worth. If another team is willing to offer close to that much then the Bears should pursue other options. If the market plays fair for Worilds and his price tag is in the $6-$7 M range, then he may make sense for the Bears.

Pernell McPhee – 26, Ravens (6’3 | 278): A former 5th round pick of  the Ravens in 2011 who has been an above average backup and a standout on special teams for the Ravens since his rookie year. Despite not starting and playing less than half of the Ravens defensive snaps in 2014, McPhee finished with 8 sacks, led all 3-4 OLBs with 21 QB hits, and his 40 QB hurries were 8 more than any Bears player managed in 2014.  

McPhee was also rated as the 2nd best 3-4 OLB according to Pro Football Focus. His solid performance in 2014 will mean a considerable raise for McPhee from the paltry $680k he made this season. McPhee has experience as an edge rusher in the Ravens 3-4 scheme and has proven he can get to the QB while not being a liability against the run or in coverage. After his solid performance as a part-time player last season, McPhee will most likely be looking for a starting gig this season and based on his play in 2014 he could be a steal for a moderate $4 M per season.