Former Chicago Bears DT unretires ahead of 2023 NFL season

Chicago Bears
Chicago Bears / Kena Krutsinger-USA TODAY Sports

Despite retiring ahead of the 2022 NFL season, former Chicago Bears defensive tackle Eddie Goldman is seemingly rejoining the league with the Atlanta Falcons.

Former Chicago Bears DT, Eddie Goldman unretires to play in Atlanta

The Falcons signed Goldman to a one-year deal during the 2022 free agency window, and while the player would go on to retire just two weeks later, Goldman is now slated to play out his contract with the Falcons in 2023.

A second-round pick in the 2015 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears added Eddie Goldman to a defense that already included the likes of Lance Briggs, Charles Tillman, Kyle Fuller, and Tim Jennings. In his first season with the Bears, Goldman started 12 games and appeared in 15, accumulating 4.5 sacks and 22 total tackles.

Goldman would go on to play four more seasons in Chicago before stepping away from the game during the 2020 season due to health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Goldman returned to the team the following season, but after only managing 0.5 sacks over 14 games in 2021, the Florida State product left the team in free agency, opting to join the Atlanta Falcons and former general manager Ryan Pace.

Despite his new one year contract in Atlanta, Goldman retired 13 days later, but now appears to be ready to go for the Falcons in 2023. Atlanta retained Goldman's rights through the use of the reserved/retired tag, allowing both parties to honor the contract that was agreed upon before his retirement.

Still just 29 years old, Goldman will have the opportunity to play his third season over the past five years. In his prime, Goldman was a solid nose tackle, even getting nominated to the 2019 Pro Bowl as an alternate. In Atlanta, Goldman is slated to return as a nose tackle, playing alongside former Pro Bowler Grady Jarrett.

However, Goldman is not the de facto starter at nose tackle. Just over a week ago, the team signed former New Orleans Saints defensive tackle David Onyemata to a three-year deal. Goldman may not start for the Falcons in 2023, but will likely get reps at nose tackle, especially in short yardage and goal-line situations.

Goldman is one of many former Bears who wound up in Atlanta after Ryan Pace became the team's Senior Personnel Executive following the 2021 season, including running back Cordarelle Patterson, wide receiver Damiere Byrd, tight end MyCole Pruitt, offensive tackle Germain Ifedi, defensive lineman Abdullah Anderson, and linebacker Nick Kwiatkowski. The majority of these players are no longer with the Falcons, with just Goldman and Patterson being the only two former Bears currently on the Falcons' roster.

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Overall, Goldman has recorded 13 sacks and 175 total tackles in six seasons with the Chicago Bears. The Falcons might not see this level of production from Goldman, especially when considering that he will likely not serve as a starter this season, but nonetheless, the team can expect solid, rotational nose tackle play from the former Bear.