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 /
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Chicago Bears, Justin Houston
Chicago Bears – Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bears Free Agent Option: Justin Houston, DE

Remember, I am not advocating that the Chicago Bears sign all five of these guys. The point is, all five deserve to be on a team prior to training camp. With the Bears’ current salary cap situation, there is no way they should make corresponding moves to sign even more than two of these free agents. That said, all of them are worth considering if I am Ryan Pace.

We all saw how the team struggled last season to generate pressure. Outside of Khalil Mack, no one stepped up enough to make a huge difference. The new face brought in to help bring pressure was Robert Quinn. Reports came out he was dealing with drop foot last season and hopefully he bounces back in 2021. Can the team afford to not have an insurance policy though?

Insert Justin Houston into the conversation. Although on the other side of the football, Houston was on the Chiefs when Matt Nagy was in Kansas City. Maybe that familiarity helps make this deal work? Unlike the other free agents mentioned thus far, Houston is not coming off a major injury. In fact, he has played all 16 games for the Colts the last two seasons — and he played well.

Last year Houston sacked the quarterback eight times and in 2019 he grabbed 11. Moving him back to outside linebacker could be a good thing for him too where he has dominated for years. Throughout his career, Houston has averaged nearly 10 sacks per season. Why he’s still available even at 32 years old is strange to me.