The Chicago Bears could re-sign this free-agent linebacker

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Most Chicago Bears may be just learning that Dylan Cole was on the roster all of last season. Some would be stunned to hear that Cole has been in the NFL since 2017. He signed with the Bears last offseason and is a free agent this spring. Why is there a good chance the Bears will re-sign him, despite playing just three defensive snaps? 

Will the Chicago Bears re-sign Dylan Cole in NFL free agency this offseason?

The Bears did not sign him for a defensive skill set, although they do trust him, having 969 snaps since the 2017 season, including 439 for the Titans in 2022. However, he was signed after the team had Tremaine Edmunds, TJ Edwards, and Jack Sanborn, and then they drafted Noah Sewell. Cole had to know that he was going to be the fourth linebacker at the highest and that playing was always going to be injury-related. 

The reason he signed with the team was special teams. Cole had 332 special teams snaps this past year, which was career-high. Over the 2021 and 2022 seasons, he started to establish himself as an ace on special teams. When the Bears signed him, that is all that they had in mind. 

He was not an elite team player and did not make a huge difference, but he also lived up to expectations. The Chicago Bears will bring back all four of their linebackers mentioned, so, at the best, Cole would return to be the fifth linebacker. 

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Still, for the Chicago Bears, re-signing him means they are set at linebacker, they have a core special teamer, and they can focus all of their attention on other positions. For Cole, he re-joins the team that he knows will make him active on game day, which is good enough for his league standing. 

Of all of the depth free agents, Dylan Cole is most likely to re-sign with the Chicago Bears.