Bears linked to top defensive free agent to give some help at edge rusher

They're also linked to literally every other free agent pass rusher.
Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp
Chicago Bears Rookie Minicamp / Michael Reaves/GettyImages

It's the story that won't quit: the Bears are looking for more edge rushers. It's been a complaint in Chicago for more than a couple of years now, and even with the move for Montez Sweat, the group could use some more depth. Even if some of the younger guys behind Sweat – like Austin Booker and Gervon Dexter – take a step forward this year, it certainly wouldn't hurt a defense that's trying to be among the NFL's best to sign a guaranteed 8/9 sack guy.

And as the expression goes, if at first you don't succeed, just wait a year and sign the same defensive end that was really underwhelming the first time. The Bears are (supposedly) taking that to heart, which Albert Breer explained a bit in his latest mailbag:

Are Bears about to sign Yannick Ngakoue again?

"Right now, the Bears have Montez Sweat and “we’ll see” on the edge. DeMarcus Walker is back after coming over from the Titans before the 2023 season and having a so-so first year with Chicago. If there’s an upside guy, it might be fifth-round pick Austin Booker, who has ability, but probably could’ve used another year or two in college ... "

"All of it points to adding a vet such as Ngakoue, who signed in Chicago on Aug. 3 of last summer after the Bears determined they needed more help at the position. I’d forecast something similar, maybe right to the timing, coming this year, with the team continuing to monitor the trade market leading right up to the October deadline."

It's actually not as silly of an idea as it sounds on the surface – Ngakoue's one (very bad) year with the Bears was something of an outlier for him, as his four sacks was by far the lowest he's ever had in a season. He's averaged around eight sacks per season since coming into the league back in 2016, and had 10 as recently as 2021. On a reasonable one-year deal, giving a presumably-healthy Ngakoue another chance is exactly the type of training camp deal that Bears fans have gotten used to seeing Poles make.

The Bears are going to make Ngakoue happen if it's the last thing they ever do. They're just going to sign him to one-year deals every season for the next decade, waiting patiently for him to have 8.5 sacks. In 2029 we're going to be debating whether Ngakoue's ankles are finally healthy enough to make him an intriguing option. See you then.