Chicago Bears 2016 Position Preview: Defensive Line

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports /


Will Sutton – Under contract for the next two seasons, but for a minimum deal that would cost the Bears less than half a million total to release him before the 2016 season. Sutton had an impressive preseason for the Bears last year, but it didn’t carry over to the regular season and he ended up as one of the lowest graded DEs in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus.

Sutton would be a better fit as a 3-tech DT in a 4-3 scheme. He gave a valiant effort to fit in to the Bears new defensive scheme, but someone will have to go in order for the Bears to bring in an influx of talent. It won’t cost much against the cap for the Bears to release Sutton and he lacks the upside of Washington or Ferguson and was less effective (despite way more snaps) than Gaston or Unrein.

I’m disappointed putting Sutton on this list as I loved him at ASU and thought he would be a solid pro, but injuries and a bad schematic fit could ultimately cost Sutton his spot on the Bears roster.

Greg Scruggs – Was signed off the street before week 17 and actually played really well for only being on the team a few days, but after being out of the league for a while Scruggs seemed more like an emergency signing than someone the Bears have in their long-term plans. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Scruggs again at some point if the Bears have injury issues, but I don’t think he will come into the 2016 season with a contract from the Bears.

D’Anthony Smith – Another emergency off-the-street signing who provided d-line depth for the Bears late in the season. If the Bears need Smith again in 2016, things went terribly wrong.