Charles Leno has regressed with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) /

Since signing an extension in 2017, the Chicago Bears left tackle has slowly gotten worse

When the Chicago Bears signed Charles Leno to an extension it had seemed like a reasonable deal. The Bears did not pay up for his services, and Leno was being paid at about an average tackle salary. Being able to lock down a starting tackle for that price was not a bad deal.

After the 2017 season, the move looked even better. According to PFF, Leno was top ten is pressures allowed. However, in the three years since then, Leno has started to come down to earth. Many fans have been down on Leno since his extension and have called his regression coming. Over the past three years, it is now hard not to see.

In 2017, he rated 10th in pressures allowed with a 97.5 pass rush efficiency rating. In 2018, that number went down to 96.8, and he fell to 26th overall. Still, in 2018 the Bears were winning and his decline was in line with his salary, so it was not an issue.

In 2019, he dropped to 96.5, which was 35th in the league. His fall below a top 32 starting tackle coincided with the Bears falling back on offense and in their record. Now, in 2020, he has once again fallen to 96.2 in pass rush efficiency, which ranks 47th in the NFL. From 10th to 26th, 35th, and now 47th we have seen the decline of Charles Leno into what he is.

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Charles Leno is signed through 2021 but could save the Chicago Bears over $6 million if he were let go. The issue with the Bears is that they have so many issues, that cutting Leno with no sign of a replacement is not optimal either. Beyond that, they need to invest all of their resources in these other issues. It will be interesting to see how they handle Leno in the last year of his deal because he has clearly regressed from what he was when they extended him.