Bears defense could be one free agent signing away from dominating the NFC North

This defense would be loaded with depth.
Chicago Bears, Shaquille Leonard
Chicago Bears, Shaquille Leonard / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

This Chicago Bears defense is pretty well set at the majority of positions, especially linebacker. Between T.J. Edwards, Tremaine Edmunds and Jack Sanborn, Chicago has a trio of stout backers who can not only start, but play at a high level.

Yet, as the Bears approach training camp, it's going to be all about depth at every position, and there's still one very intriguing name left on the market.

In a piece written over at CBS Sports, Tyler Sullivan talked about free agent linebacker Shaquille Leonard still waiting for a call and listed the Bears as a logical landing spot.

Wrote Sullivan:

" ... he could be a solid depth piece at the position and does have a relationship with Matt Eberflus. The Chicago coach was Indy's defensive coordinator when Leonard entered the league in 2018 and was on hand throughout the pinnacle of his career. While Eberflus shouldn't expect to get the same player he coached in Indy, Leonard does provide a familiar face who should be very comfortable within his defense."

Signing Shaquille Leonard makes too much sense for the Bears

In addition to their top three, the Bears have 2023 fifth-round pick Noah Sewell as a capable backup linebacker. But, if the Bears wanted to add a fifth name to the fold and roll into the 2024 season running five-deep at the position, Leonard makes all the sense in the world.

Leonard's relationship with Eberflus could be the reason why Chicago makes more sense than any other team, assuming he isn't looked at as a starter at this point. Leonard earned four Pro Bowls and three All Pro nods to start his career with the Colts, leading the league in tackles as a rookie and going on to lead the way in forced fumbles in 2021 with eight.

Leonard may not start after enduring back issues over the last couple of years, but if he's healthy enough to play, he'd be a valuable reserve, having known Eberflus' defense and thriving in it previously.

Last year, he appeared in nine games for the Colts before joining the Eagles and appearing in five games for Philly. In 12 starts, total, he combined to make 88 tackles including a sack and four tackles for loss.