Chicago Bears: 5 defensive free agents worth signing by training camp

Chicago Bears - Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports /
1 of 6
Chicago Bears, Eddie Goldman
Chicago Bears (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have wrapped up their mandatory minicamp. Now the players get a bit of a break before coming back together for Training Camp on July 27, 2021. The team has signed all of their rookie draft picks and the salary cap is fairly depleted.

That said, this team could use a few playmakers, especially on the defensive side of the ball. It’s strange how the shift from defense to offense has started and now I am more concerned with what this defense can do this year than what the offense can do. Maybe it is because I have become content and used to the fact that the Chicago Bears offense will never be great, but I can tell that this unit is going to be better than it was in 2019 and 2020.

The defense, on the other hand, I am not so sure. Here we thought we were going to see Eddie Goldman return and help shore up the run defense. Now, I get the sense that he might not be back. Seeing the team sign Mike Pennel shortly after does not help my fears that Goldman might not be around in 2021 or beyond.

Nothing against Mike Pennel, but I am not so sure he’s the answer should Goldman decide to retire or something. This is pure speculation, with no substantiated rumors, but the fact he skipped mandatory minicamp and it was not excused is a little concerning. Goldman is one of the most underrated defensive tackles in the game and not many could fill his shoes.

Pennel was not even a starter for the Kansas City Chiefs as he only saw 14% of the defensive snaps in 2018 and 30% last season. Pennel only has one season with 35 combined tackles and only two sacks total throughout his seven-year career. He has had a nice career as an undrafted free agent, but he is nothing but a depth piece.

How confident do you feel about the pass rushers on this team? The outcome has not been the same in the last couple of years. Hopefully promoting Sean Desai will help, but I just feel like they need some additional help after the Robert Quinn mishap. I know he was dealing with a severe foot injury, but how do we know he will be back to form this season? We don’t.

Then add in the fact that the team is counting on second-year corner Jaylon Johnson to lead the way with Kyle Fuller now in Denver. As you can see, there are plenty of holes here and I think one or two established veterans could help. The team would have to make a move or two financially to make it work, but I’d love for them to sign one or two of these five guys to see what happens.