Dec 28, 2014; Baltimore, MD, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Connor Shaw (9) avoids the rush of Baltimore Ravens linebacker Pernell McPhee (90) in the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
I thought that free agency didn’t start until tomorrow. According to multiple sources, the Bears are looking to sign Outside Linebacker/ Defensive End Pernell McPhee to a multi-year contract when the new league year starts tomorrow. I had questions about the Bears new defensive acquisition, so I reached out to Brett Foote, who is the editor of Fansided’s Baltimore Ravens site Ebony Bird.
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Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
"I am the editor over at Ebony Bird, FanSided’s Baltimore Ravens site. I’m also a die hard football fan who follows every team and player somewhat obsessively."
What can you tell Bears fans about Pernell McPhee?
"McPhee had a very underrated year in 2014, and actually graded out as Pro Football Focus’ number two 3-4 outside linebacker behind only Justin Houston. He only had 7.5 sacks but he also only played around 50% of the defensive snaps. My only concern with the former fifth round pick is that 2014 was his best season since his rookie year in 2011. Prior to last season’s breakout, he was largely invisible as a situational pass rusher."
How much will the Ravens Defense miss McPhee?
"McPhee had a great year in 2014 and was a large part of the Ravens’ defensive success as a situational guy. Having said that, letting him walk was a no brainer. They have big money tied up in Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs, so McPhee was a bit of a luxury. The problem is, both of those guys are over 30. There’s no telling how many more effective years they have left, and the team lacks quality depth at OLB behind them."
Do you think that McPhee is worth the reported 5 year, $40 million w/ $16 million guaranteed contract?
"If he is the Pernell McPhee that showed up in 2014, yes. The sample size is small, so Bears fans can only hope that he isn’t just a contract year wonder. If he can transform into more of a full time, consistent pass rushing threat, that contract will be a steal."
Bears fans would love to hear what you think about your new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. Do you feel he will be able to step in and take over Gary Kubiak’s offense without any issues?
"I like Trestman as an offensive coordinator, but his philosophies are obviously a lot different than Kubiak. Kubiak is a run first guy who is famous for his ability to transform offensive line play. He worked a lot of magic with the Ravens last season. This is a line that went from one of the worst in the NFL to one of the best, and Joe Flacco had the best statistical season of his career under Kubiak’s tutelage.Having said that, my concerns lie with the fact that the Ravens are going to try and keep the same system. Whether or not that will work, it’s hard to say. Trestman is a talented offensive mind, but his style of offense in Chicago was nothing like Kubiak’s. It looks like he will either have to adapt, or the Ravens will have to give in and let him run his style of offense. It won’t take long to find out which way is best."
I want to thank Brett Foote for taking the time out to answer our questions about Pernell McPhee. I really hope that McPhee isn’t just a contract year wonder. The Bears need a lot of help on the defensive side of the ball and McPhee seems to be a really good fit for the Bears new 3-4 defense. I am sure his versatility was a large factor in the Bears decision to pursue and ultimately sign him when free agency begins tomorrow. Let us know what you think of the Bears signing McPhee in the comment section below.