Chicago Bears Free Agency Wish List: Inside Linebacker

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports /
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Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

Bears Free Agent Wish List:

Inside Linebacker:

Impact Players

ILB Danny Trevathan, Broncos – The Broncos are in a tough position this off-season with multiple high-profile free agents and limited cap room. There is no chance the Broncos can bring all of their free agent starters back which should make a few of John Fox’s former players available via free agency. Fox has recent, existing relationships with all of these players, which may give the Bears a recruiting edge in free agency.

As for Trevathan, he is only 25 and was one of the key components on the #1 defense in the NFL this season. As I mentioned above, inside linebacker was a glaring hole for the Bears and they don’t have a player well-rounded enough to be a 3-down LB. Trevathan would give the Bears a borderline Pro Bowler who has the coverage and run stopping skills Fangio requires from the position to stay on the field in all situations.

Adding Trevathan would give the Bears a 3-down ILB and allow the Bears to use on their existing run-stopping ILBs (Jones, Timu) on early downs and then Anderson on passing downs. Trevathan has the speed to be a sideline-to-sideline run defender and cover running backs and tight ends when needed. He has a skill-set that no current ILB on the roster can match and would instantly take over the as the leader in the middle of the Bears defense. Pairing Travathan with an explosive rookie like Myles Jack, Darren Lee, or Reggie Ragland would give Bears DC a pair of ILBs he could mold into a modern version of Patrick Willis and Navorro Bowman.

Projeted contract: 4 years, $28 million

*I would be perfectly content with the Bears just signing Trevathan as the only free agent inside linebacker addition, but that would make for a pretty short article. Between the untapped talent of Jones, Timu’s instincts as a run-thumper, and Jonathan Anderson’s ability to be an elite coverable backer and occasional blitzer, I think the Bears would be able to find a suitable pairing next to Trevathan even if they didn’t draft any new talent at the position. Just for the record I will list a couple of low-cost, potentially high-upside free agents that the Bears could add in addition to Trevathan.

If the Bears were to miss out on signing Trevathan, I did already cover some other free agent options at the ILB position. Pairing the aging but still very effective Chiefs legend Derrick Johnson with a top draft pick at ILB is my back up plan for missing out on Trevathan but for more options, read the link. With the Bears surplus in cap space I could see them adding another young ILB that fits Fangio’s scheme even if they were able to snag Trevathan. Here are a few of my top picks for a lower salary, high-upside addition to Trevathan in free agency.

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