6 Linebackers the Chicago Bears could add in 2023
By Peter Jurich
The Chicago Bears only have one remaining game this season, but many fans and analysts have been looking toward the 2023 offseason for the better part of the season. With a guaranteed top-four pick (which could certainly still end up the number one) and the most available cap space across the league, there is no doubt that there will be a number of roster moves made this offseason.
Linebacker should be a priority for rebuilding the Chicago Bears defense
While the primary goal this offseason may be to surround quarterback Justin Fields with weapons to throw to and linemen to protect him, head coach Matt Eberflus and general manager Ryan Poles will certainly look to improve his defense heading into their second year in Chicago.
Eberflus, the former defensive coordinator in Indianapolis, has had relatively little to work with on defense, as the team traded a lot of veteran talents such as Khalil Mack, Robert Quinn, and Roquan Smith before or during the season for future draft picks. Tearing down the defense left the focus on Fields and the offense, but it is clear that Eberflus will rebuild this unit to his liking, perhaps starting with the linebacker corps.
Before serving as defensive coordinator in Indianapolis, Eberflus was a linebackers coach with two teams for a total of nine years. Currently, Jack Sanborn, the team’s best linebacker, is on IR for the remainder of the season, but as an undrafted rookie this offseason, he has already surpassed expectations.
For the last game of the season, the starting unit is made up of Nicholas Morrow, Joe Thomas, and Matthew Adams, but there will undoubtedly be some changes made before this team suits up in 2023.
All three of the above-mentioned players are unrestricted free agents this off-season, and with Sanborn returning as the starting middle linebacker, the Bears are in a position to find two great outside linebackers between free agency and the draft. This way, Sanborn, who is still a really good player, could potentially be the third-best linebacker on this defense.
No matter where the Bears can find talent this off-season, there are certainly a number of linebackers who will be available one way or another that could dramatically improve a unit that struggled significantly in 2022.