4 reasons the Chicago Bears should stay away from this potential free agent

The Chicago Bears enter free agency with the seventh-most 2024 cap space in the league, but they shouldn't break the bank for this free agent pass rusher.

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports / Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, A.J. Epenesa
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Reason No. 4: The Bears have better, cheaper, younger options at EDGE

While Danielle Hunter is an intriguing free agent, the Chicago Bears could do better for cheaper and younger. It's more and more likely with each day that passes that Caleb Williams will be the Bears' No. 1 pick this upcoming draft. If that's true, that leaves No. 9 open.

Players like Jared Verse, Dallas Turner, and Laiatu Latu have emerged as options for the Chicago Bears in the draft at pick No. 9, but there are other options if they don't want to use a draft pick on their next edge rusher.

Current free agents like A.J. Epenesa, James Houston, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Bryce Huff have been names murmured as possible free agents the Bears could pursue, and there's one name that sticks out from the rest.

Of the names above, A.J. Epenesa would be my choice. No, not just because I watched him at the University of Iowa. Well, okay, maybe that influences it a little.

At a projected salary of $5.6 million per Spotrac, Epenesa brings qualities Matt Eberflus looks for in a defensive end at 6-foot-6 and 260 pounds. Epenesa will be 26 at the beginning of this upcoming season, which makes him a significantly younger option than Danielle Hunter.

When players move from team to team, it's good to be able to take someone in and know you're going to have them for years to come. With Danielle Hunter, it's less likely that he'll be available at a high level four years down the road. With A.J. Epenesa, those worries are lesser, as he'd be turning Danielle Hunter's age by the time those four years are up.


All-in-all, if the Chicago Bears sign Danielle Hunter in free agency, there will be things to be happy about. However, it's a move that opens the door for more bad than good.