The Chicago Bears brought in veteran defensive end Jaye Howard. Should they sign him?
Right before the draft, the Kansas City Chiefs released Jaye Howard, their former starting defensive end. Howard had a hip injury, and it ruined his recent season. Howard was only active for eight games and only started five. It is easy to speculate that may be a part of the reason why Kansas City would walk away from a potential starter.
However, he had 24 starts in the two seasons before and has 7.5 career sacks. He is a great fit for a 3-4 defensive end, and it is a very easy connection to think that the Bears would be interested in Howard.
Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks should get the most snaps on the defensive line, but behind those two there are still questions. Mitch Unrein, Jonathan Bullard, Will Sutton and C.J. Wilson all saw snaps last due to injuries across the board. None of them stepped above and proved themselves as a starter caliber player heading into next year.
Bullard has the most upside and is a recent draft pick. However, he was essentially last in the rotation of those four down the home stretch last season. The Bears went into the draft and speculation was that they may be interested in taking a defensive lineman at some point. However, they walked away without any. While you would like to think it is confidence in this bunch and for one of them to step up, they are going to look into these types of options.
Expect the Bears to kick the tires on a lot of veteran defensive linemen this offseason, especially closer to the season. If Howard tests out medically, he would be a great and cheap addition. If not, there is a good chance that they will be able to find a veteran plugin if one of their current players cannot step up.