3 Veteran Defensive Line Free Agents Who Could Help the Chicago Bears in 2024

Chicago Bears, Calais Campbell
Chicago Bears, Calais Campbell / Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
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The first wave of NFL free agency has come and gone, and the Chicago Bears, like many teams, were quick to add potential top-end contributors to their roster in safety Kevin Byard, running back D'Andre Swift, and tight end Gerald Everett.

Still, even with these major additions, plus the trade to acquire receiver Keenan Allen, the Bears have a number of positions that they still need to address before the start of the 2024 season. Between now and then, of course, lays the NFL Draft, and the Bears will certainly look to add top-end talent and potential depth players alike come late April.

Even so, there remains a number of talented, experienced, and successful current NFL players in free agency, and the Bears should be eager to fill out their roster with some of these individuals. Specifically, as the team is likely to focus on the offensive side of the ball come the draft, here is a list of some veteran free agents who could bring production, versatility, and leadership to the Chicago Bears defense:

Emmanuel Ogbah

Most recently with the Miami Dolphins, Emmanuel Ogbah is an intriguing veteran pass rusher that most NFL teams should be interested in picking up. Standing at 6'4" and weighing in at 275 lbs, Ogbah is a big, long, physical edge defender who can also line up inside, if necessary. Spending time with the Dolphins, Kansas City Chiefs, and Cleveland Browns, Ogbah is an impressive pass rusher who averaged six sacks per year over his first six seasons as a pro.

Ogbah's production has dipped in recent years as he has managed to record only 6.5 sacks since the start of the 2022 season, but a lot of this disappointment seems to be primarily scheme-dependent. Ogbah was moved to more of a defensive tackle role after the Dolphins acquired edge rusher Bradley Chubb to pair with bookend edge Jaelan Phillips. Accordingly, Ogbah's production dipped due to playing out of position, but now a free agent, there is hope that the veteran can return to his true spot in 2024.

For a team like the Chicago Bears, who have a need at the defensive end position opposite of Montez Sweat, adding Ogbah on a short-term deal could make a lot of sense. While the position may be addressed near the top of the draft, the Bears could add Ogbah as a write-in starter, just in case. But even if the team does land an edge rusher, Ogbah would be a valuable depth player who could make his presence felt rushing from the edge of the interior.

Ogbah's silhouette matches what the Bears seem to like in defensive linemen, and his ability to play situationally inside only helps his case. Alongside other tall and thick rushers like Sweat and Gervon Dexter, Ogbah would be a welcomed veteran voice for a budding star defense.