Chicago Bears signing Mike Pennel should raise Eddie Goldman concerns

Chicago Bears (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears signing Mike Pennel is not the move that is going to be the move that kicks off Sports Center, but it does have ramifications for the roster as the Bears head closer to training camp. Pennel is a nose tackle and is not a sexy, fantasy-type player, but he has a role.

Beyond that, this is a veteran who has been getting snaps on the defensive side of the football since 2014. This is a player who won the Super Bowl in 2019 and spent the past two seasons getting rotational snaps on a championship Chiefs team.

Mike Pennel is not the reason the Chiefs won, but this is a player who has value and a role in the NFL. A team like the Chiefs valued him in the past two seasons, so he is not just going to sign wherever he can.

Mike Pennel has to think that he has a legitimate chance to have a job with the Bears. Last season Pennel played 370 defensive snaps, which is the same number as Brent Urban. That is a legitimate role. Even if he does not get that, this seems like a player who would have to either show up out of shape or get injured to not make this roster.

How Mike Pennel will affect Edde Goldman

So, the question becomes how does this affect Eddie Goldman? Pennel essentially just plays nose tackle. Goldman can move around, but his best role is as the team’s nose tackle as well. Considering Goldman opted out last season and now is not at the team’s mandatory OTAs, there has to be something worth talking about.

Matt Nagy downplayed the absence despite making it clear that it was unexcused. Still, had the team went about their ways, and not made a move, this would not be interesting. Signing a fringe player, a college UDFA, or some other try-out player would not make noise. Signing a player who got close to starter snaps is going to raise the eyebrow.

When looking at the interior defensive line, the Bears have typically kept six defenders. In theory, two days ago this would have been Akiem Hicks, Eddie Goldman, Bilal Nichols, Angelo Blackson, Mario Edwards, and Khyiris Tonga.

This could just easily be that Tonga, the late-round rookie is behind the curve and they feel he may not make the roster. However, seeing Goldman miss time like this after his opt-out, and seeing them sign a position player that could easily replace him makes you think that the one-for-one swap here is Goldman for Pennel.

Next. Will Bilal Nichols outsnap Eddie Goldman. dark

To be honest, Pennel would have been a great addition last season around this time as they saw what happened due to the opt-out of Goldman. This could just be an extra insurance policy. Still, as noted, Pennel may have waited if he thought he was 50/50 to make the team. Keep an eye on this developing story.