Chicago Bears get steal signing T.J. Edwards in free agency

Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears added linebacker T.J. Edwards as one of the first big moves of NFL free agency. We highlighted linebacker as one of the five biggest needs for the team so it is no surprise they went out and made a play.

Edwards made the Super Bowl as a starter with the Philadelphia Eagles and was a three-down linebacker. He just so happens to be a UDFA from Wisconsin, so he will have in common with Jack Sanborn as well.

The deal makes sense, but when you look at the numbers, it becomes a steal.

Ian Rapoport said that T.J. Edwards will cash in $19.5M over three years. He gets $12M guaranteed. This is notable because PFF had Edwards projected to get $40.5M over three years. You read that right. He also was projected for $24.25M in guarantees.

PFF is not the market, but even Spotrac had T.J. Edwards projected for four years and nearly $48M. That comes at about $12M per year. So, that is a touch below PFF, but from $12M and $13.5M projections from the media, Edwards getting just $6.5M comes off as a steal.

There are questions about the linebacker market this offseason. The group is not only top-heavy, but there is depth. This could have driven the price down. Beyond that, teams value linebackers less, which is why they get to free agency so often.

Beyond that, Edwards knows Jack Sanborn from Wisconsin and is from Chicago. He probably helped the team out around the edges.

We saw Ryan Poles did not value Roquan Smith at his high price and moved on. Smith is probably the better player, but at the cost, the Chicago Bears are getting much more value from T.J. Edwards. When you add that Jack Sanborn is making a rookie salary of a UDFA, the Bears now have two starters without much invested in them against the salary cap.

Next. 5 stats to know about DJ Moore. dark

This was a wise move for the team and opened up cap space for other positions. Give the Chicago Bears credit for filling this spot at a cost-effective price.