5 free agents that could give Bears new life in the New Year

Chicago Bears, Brian Burns
Chicago Bears, Brian Burns / Kara Durrette/GettyImages
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2. Brian Burns, EDGE

This season, the Bears made the move to acquire Montez Sweat from Washington; a move that's worked out better than anyone could have expected. Then, signing Sweat to a long-term deal, the Bears secured a cornerstone piece to their defense.

But, they still need some more help at this position. Getting another long-term starter opposite Sweat should be an offseason priority. And, while the Bears are likely to do that via the draft, they could always surprise us and sign a veteran. Brian Burns has long been rumored to want out of Carolina, but the Panthers still haven't traded him. Now, he'll enter free agency and, unless he gets the franchise tag, he'll be signing elsewhere in 2024.

Burns and Sweat could give the Bears a dynamic pairing at the pass rusher position. It would be the a complete 180 from where the defense was at a year ago, and the position would immediately become a strength if the Bears were to do something like this.

This year, Burns has had a down season and only has 6.0 sacks at the moment. But last year, he finished with 12.5. He'll likely want a hefty contract, but the Bears should be careful not to pay him more than he's worth.