The Chicago Bears should be thankful they didn't sign this free agent

Looking back, the Chicago Bears will be thankful they didn't sign Danielle Hunter.

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports / Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports

As a team with a glaring need for edge rushers, the Chicago Bears were probably in talks with Danielle Hunter to some degree. Those talks, however, didn't land the 29-year-old free agent. Hunter signed with the Texans, and he will join DeMeco Ryans.

With the position the Bears are in currently, adding Danielle Hunter is a double-edged sword.

On one side, you get a stat-sheet warrior who's had a combined 87.5 sacks in eight seasons. On its own, that's impressive. An edge rusher who can get ten sacks per season regularly is enough to intrigue a GM.

However, on the other side, the not-so-positives.

Ryan Poles is on the record of not being interested in the idea of building a team around top-dollar free agents. He wants to build through the draft, and with the possibility of drafting Dallas Turner— or one of the other edge rush prospects— on the table, Danielle Hunter wouldn't make sense.

Poles is also on the record of wanting to draft blue-chip players at premium positions. One of those positions, in Poles' mind, is edge rusher. Being able to draft a blue-chip edge rusher makes passing on a highly-paid free agent much easier.

Danielle Hunter doesn't sign with Chicago Bears, chooses Texans

Not only is drafting a high-end edge rusher smart on its own, but it becomes an even better option when the free agent in mind is approaching 30 years old— like Danielle Hunter. Age, obviously, plays a factor in how long the careers— more specifically, primes— of these players last. As a buyer, teams ideally want players who still have some juice left in the tank. Danielle Hunter isn't on empty yet, but with the age of 30 peeking around the door, he's closer to empty than full.

Though he brings plenty to the table, the Chicago Bears will be thankful, looking back, that they didn't drop the bag for Danielle Hunter in the 2024 free agency window.

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