Block or Not: Mitch Unrein

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 10: Mitch Unrein
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 10: Mitch Unrein /

Mitch Unrein has been a pleasant surprise for the Chicago Bears the last couple of seasons. But will he continue to be a part of the team’s plans?

Mitch Unrein has been the player that was supposed to be unseated each of the last two seasons. In 2016, it would certainly be rookie Jonathan Bullard. In 2017, if it wasn’t going to be Bullard, it would be Jaye Howard.

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But over those last two seasons, Unrein has played in 25 games and started 17. When he’s been healthy, he has kept the starting position and not allowed any other players to bump him to the bench.

Unrein has the label that he would be a phenomenal rotational player, but if he’s starting, it’s a position that the team could definitely improve. While that label seems to be pretty accurate, and the Bears did try to improve the position each of the last two seasons, Unrein remained consistent and kept his job.

Unrein is now 30-years old and it should be known, was a favorite of John Fox. With a new coaching staff in the mix (but Vic Fangio remaining), will that change Unrein’s position with the team? He’s already a UFA going into this offseason, so there is no guarantee that the Bears will keep him next year.

Here’s what Ryan Pace and the Bears do know, Bullard can’t be trusted to be the man headed into 2018. He might prove that he’s ready and he could start and perform well, but there are no assurances that he will definitely perform at that level.

Could the Bears give Unrein another 1-year deal and keep him around knowing he might start or be a rotational player? Absolutely. But will the Bears look to improve the depth along the defensive line? 100%. Unrein might be on the team next year, perhaps even in 2019, but his time will come to an end sooner rather than later. It’s even possible, his time is already up.

Mitch Unrein: Block or Not? NOT