Is the stock finally going up for Joel Iyiegbuniwe with the Chicago Bears?
Joel Iyiegbuniwe has struggled to fit in from the day he was drafted by the Chicago Bears. When he was drafted, many fans saw him as a reach and did not know much about him. He was deemed a stud special teams asset that the Bears would develop and hope to find a starter.
To be fair, through two seasons, he has stuck around in Chicago, almost solely due to his special teams’ ability. He has not been an elite special teamer but has found work in the NFL for his abilities.
Still, especially in his second season, the argument could be made that his stock went down. Joel Iyiegbuniwe was not only behind Nick Kwiatkoski as the Bears top back up, but the Bears also signed Kevin Pierre-Louis late into the process, and he turned into a more capable asset.
Danny Trevathan was injured, and Roquan Smith had some personal issues. Pierre-Louis started three games due to the issues, but Iggy could not see the field. His stock has to be down, right?
This offseason spoke differently. Nick K went to Oakland. This is no surprise, he saw a pretty large contract and the Bears chose Trevathan, who has a higher ceiling, over Nick K, who is younger and healthier. Still, the Bears also moved on from Kevin Pierre-Louis. This is not a player who broke the bank, although he saw a nice little raise from the low salary Chicago had him on last season.
Still, the two big names that kept Iggy off of the field last year are gone. Sure, Trevathan and Smith are the starters. That means that Iggy is one injury or even a quick breather away from NFL snaps on defense. That is closer than he has been.
The Bears have to have some faith in Iggy to keep him as their only backup with any pedigree on a position that very well may rely on its depth. They gave him two seasons, now in 2020 something tells me we are going to learn what Joel Iyiegbuniwe is actually about.