3 Free agents the Chicago Bears should avoid this offseason

Chicago Bears, Jadeveon Clowney
Chicago Bears, Jadeveon Clowney / Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
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Chicago Bears, Jadeveon Clowney
Chicago Bears, Jadeveon Clowney / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears should not be excited about Jadeveon Clowney

Jadeveon Clowney's talent has never been in question. The former number-one pick has always possessed the tools to be one of the league's elite pass-rushers. However, he has fallen well short of that billing and failed to live up to his sky-high potential as a supposed generational talent.

The 30-year-old has played a full slate of games only once and has never recorded double-digit sacks despite playing opposite J.J. Watt for his first five years in the league. He had a bounce-back season with Cleveland in 2021 after recording nine sacks and two forced fumbles. Nevertheless, he followed it up with a two-sack campaign through 12 games before getting benched after alienating his teammates and coaching staff with brash comments during an interview.

While the pass-rusher has never been an elite edge threat, you would not know it by looking at his career earnings, as he has made $80 million since entering the league. To put that into perspective, that is $5 million more than fellow 2014 first-round selection Zack Martin, who has been one of the best guards from day one and is a near-lock for the Hall of Fame. Simply put, he is looking to get paid whenever he signs a new deal, and teams have always been willing to bet on his talent, even to a fault.

The Bears desperately need help at the edge rusher position, and Clowney would be a significant improvement over what they trotted out in 2022. However, he is far too risky of an investment (a substantial one at that) for a team that needs to hit on as many players as possible to field a competitive team.

Clowney is a logical signing for a team that believes they are a pass-rusher away from winning the big game. The Chicago Bears are not at that point, and signing him could be a catastrophic mistake. They would be much better off attacking the edge rusher position in the defensive line-heavy draft or targeting someone like Yannick Ngakoue, who has recorded at least eight sacks every year of his career, in free agency.