Chicago Bears Free Agency Wish List: 3-4 Outside Linebackers

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /
3 of 3
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

Depth with Upside

Nick Perry, Packers (25) – The former first round pick (28th overall) in 2012 has been a disappointment for the Packers so far. Despite showing an elite burst off the line of scrimmage and the speed (4.64) to chase down QBs, Perry only had 3.5 sacks last year. He also only started one game which was the fewest in his four years in Green Bay. Packers coaches clearly lost faith in Perry last year which makes it doubtful that Perry will be back in Green Bay in 2016.

Coming out of USC in 2012, Perry ran a 4.64 40, finished with the best vertical leap of all d-linemen at the combine by 2.5 inches, and also tied for 1st in the broad jump at 10’4″. There is certainly no issue with Perry’s athleticism, but it is troubling how unproductive Perry was despite being an elite athlete and surrounded by talents like Julius Peppers and my least favorite player Clay Matthews. At USC Perry had 21.5 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss in just 2.5 years as a starter.

Perhaps it was just a bad scheme fit for Perry in Green Bay? Or maybe he’s just a bust? Either way, I think Perry would be worth a low-base, high-incentive contract offer from the Bears to see if Vic Fangio can unlock the natural pass rush skills Perry showed in college. Plus it would be fun to watch a former Packers 1st round bust play well for the Bears.

Projected salary: 2-yr, $3M

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /

Junior Galette, Redskins (27) –  He was one of Ryan Pace’s best undrafted finds in an impressive run as the Saints director of scouting back in 2010. In his first two years as a starter for the Saints (2013-2014), Galette put up 22 sacks, had 38 tackles for loss, and five forced fumbles in just two seasons as the Saints 3-4 OLB. He was the epitome of a play-maker off the edge, which just so happens to be one of the Bears biggest needs this off-season. If his play on the field were all that mattered, signing Galette would be a no-brainer. Unfortunately, Galette was a loose cannon in the locker room and involved in an ugly domestic violence situation that led to his release from the Saints.

The charges against Galette were eventually dropped and he is saying all the right things about being a changed man looking for a second chance, but given the fact the Bears new leadership made an effort to clean the suspect characters out of Halas Hall last year, it would seem unlikely that the Bears would take a chance on Galette.

Bears GM Ryan Pace was part of the team that discovered Galette out of small DII Stillman University and gave him his first chance with the Saints. Could Pace be willing to give Galette another chance and potentially fill a glaring need for the Bears? Edge-rushers are hard to find and if Galette is willing to take a 1-year “make good” deal to rebuild his value, it would minimize the risk for the Bears who could just cut him loose should Galette become an off-field distraction.

Projected salary: 1-yr, $4M