Chicago Bears: 5 Overlooked free agents Ryan Pace needs to sign

Chicago Bearas (Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
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Chicago Bears, Carl Nassib
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) /

Carl Nassib – OLB/DE

Leonard Floyd is not a bad football player. In fact, he is a very good football player. He just is not the pass rush specialist Ryan Pace hoped for and the amount of money he is about to make this season if Pace does not either cut or extend him is highway robbery. The fifth-year outside linebacker is scheduled to make $13.2 million dollars in 2020. Pace cannot let this happen and needs to find a way to move on from his prior first-round pick.

Hopefully, Pace can find a way to trade him. That would be ideal. The next best scenario is if the two can come up with an extension that allows Floyd to remain a Bear, but for much less money per season. Finally, the other option is for Pace to just let Floyd go. The closer we get to the start of free agency, the more likely I am thinking this is the outcome.

If the Chicago Bears decide to part ways with Floyd or even if they can extend him and save cap space, Pace needs to find someone opposite Khalil Mack who can get to the quarterback. In steps Carl Nassib. Nassib is an undervalued player in my opinion. He played for the Browns with his hand in the dirt and recorded 2.5 and three sacks in his first two seasons.

Nassib found his way to the Buccaneers where he has played as both a defensive end and outside linebacker. In 2018, Nassib racked up 6.5 sacks. Last season he finished with another six. Floyd and Nassib were drafted in the same 2016 draft class. Nassib was a third-round pick though. In four years, Nassib has racked up only half a sack less than Floyd yet has only earned $4.7 million compared to Floyd’s $15.7 million. This does not include the $13.2 he is scheduled to make.

Nassib has only made 80 solo tackles compared to Floyd’s 108 over four seasons, but that difference is not enough to make up the huge salary difference. If I am Pace, I am letting Floyd go if I cannot trade him for a late-round pick. Then I would target Nassib and sign him to a three-year, $20 million dollar contract.