Is Eddie Goldman contract bad value for Chicago Bears?

Chicago Bears (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

Is the Chicago Bears extension of Eddie Goldman holding the team back?

Earlier this week, the Ringer dug into the Chicago Bears for a feature article and the theme came off as generally negative. Because the article was written by Robert Mays, an admitted Chicago Bears fan, the tear down struck a nerve with many Bears fans.

One of the biggest issues with the article came with a line referencing Eddie Goldman. Mays was noting how the Bears were doomed, not by one bad gamble, but by a series of doubling down on mistakes that led to where they are.

In reference to Goldman, he noted

"It’s the weight of Eddie Goldman’s sizable salary."

This did not sit well with Bears fans, because for all intents and purposes, Goldman has been a stud player for Chicago. He gave them valuable seasons on his rookie deal and saw a reward from the team that drafted him. This is an issue?

It is fair that there can be criticism for Goldman and how valuable he may be in today’s game. He is not an impact pass rusher and does more of the little things that keep the line together. In a league where having four impact pass rushers is more valuable than ever, it is worth wondering how valuable a slow and steady nose tackle such as Goldman is.

When looking into defensive tackle salaries, Goldman sits around Jordan Phillips, Michael Pierce, Jarran Reed, A’Shawn Robinson, and Brandon Williams. Below you can see the career stats of each and how they compare.

Goldman is right in the middle for games played. However, he is behind only Brandon Williams in Approximate Value, despite Williams playing in 30 more games. In fact, Goldman has three more hits than Williams in far less opportunity and has nearly double the sacks. If any team is overpaying a nose tackle, it is the Ravens. Goldman compares favorably to all of the others as well, you can see their per-game averages below.

Lastly, with the help of Pro Football Focus, we are able to look into the advanced stats of each. Below are their snaps played and production per snap metrics. Pressures include sacks, hurries, and hits, while run stops are plays that result in a negative play. We looked into just their last three seasons to give us a big enough sample size, but keep their production relevant. The per snap metrics are on a percentage basis.

Lastly, you can see their salary on a per-year basis as well as their age. They are in the same salary range.

"View post on"

Robinson and Pierce hit the open market this offseason and saw about $1-$2 less than the Bears gave Goldman. Robinson is a year younger and has similar production, so you can argue the Bears might have overpaid Goldman by $1.5 million per year according to to the market.

However, once again we see that if anyone is a bad value, it is Williams. Goldman does have less pass rushing upside than Reed and Phillips, but is about two years younger, and is making less than Reed. He has provided more pressures per snap than Robinson and Williams despite being in a similar price range.

Is Eddie Goldman replaceable?

Mays was asked about Goldman in his article, and noted that Goldman is good. However, paying him starts to add up when you are paying so many players. So, the question to that response is, what else would they do? Someone has to play there. According to the market, he would have seen at least the $8.5-$9 million that Robinson and Pierce saw.

Do they save $1.5 million and pay Robinson to replace him? Looking at the market, there are a few value nose tackles who could have been signed recently.

Malcom Brown went from the Patriots to the Saints. Danny Shelton went from the Patriots to the Lions. Andrew Billings went from the Bengals to Browns, and Abry Jones was extended in Jacksonville. Here is how they compare to Eddie Goldman.

Goldman is about the same as Malcom Brown, and they are the same age. However, he has been better than the rest, although Billings has not seen the field much. Here are their per-game comparisons. It is fair to note that Goldman should be decidedly more valuable than these nose tackles.

Lastly, we look at their age, salary, and advanced metrics thanks to PFF.  Jones is a bit older, and provides some of the last productivity. Plus, he did not hit the market. He would have been hard to replace Goldman. Still, he likely helped set a price for some of these names.

"View post on"

Andrew Billings is a bet on upside. Still, to be a just a year younger, and much less productive on similar snaps than Goldman would be a risk. It would have saved the Bears about $7 million to go in that direction, though.

Shelton is older than Goldman and has been even less productive as a pass rusher. Sure, the argument is that you can save $6.5 million, but the production you are losing as a pass rusher negates the idea of letting go of Goldman because he does not provide enough as a pass rusher.

There is Malcom Brown. Brown has similar hits, sacks, and tackle for loss stats. However, Goldman does edge him slightly in run stops, but significantly in pressures per snap. Goldman may not be $5 million better than Brown, but he is better than Brown.


This is hardly a critique of the article. However, it is hard to argue against anything the Bears did with Goldman. He performed well from the second they drafted him, and they gave him fair market value.

There is a small argument that the Bears could have let Goldman walk, save $5-6 million, and saw Shelton or Brown replace him. Still, it is taking a small pass rush hit for either. If the argument is that Goldman should be let go because of lack of pass rush, it kind of ends there. Maybe they could have saved $1 million to move on to A’Shawn Robinson, but it is nitpicking.

Where does Allen Robinson rank all-time Bears WRs?. dark. Next

The Bears have made a lot of bad decisions that have added up and have put them in a make or break spot. That is true. However, hitting on Eddie Goldman as a draft pick and not letting him walk because he wanted market money is not one of their issues. What he is making is fair, and the Bears re-signing a 25-year old that they drafted did not hurt anything.