Why the Chicago Bears should be favorites to sign Denico Autry this offseason

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The Chicago Bears need to continue to stack up the defensive line in free agency this offseason. One name that makes plenty of sense for the team to sign is Denico Autry, formerly of the Tennessee Titans. 

Should the Chicago Bears sign Denico Autry in free agency this offseason?

First, the Titans are going through a rebuild and are changing their entire coaching staff, so Autry may be ready to move on. Autry is coming off of a three-year run with the Titans, where he recorded 28.5 sacks. 

Still, he is 33 years old, and his role is unique and not a fit for every defensive line. It is a fit for the Chicago Bears defensive line, though.

Autry was drafted by the Oakland Raiders back in 2014. At that time, the current Chicago Bears defensive line coach, Travis Smith, was an assistant for the team. After Autry left the Raiders, he signed with the Indianapolis Colts. He signed in 2018 when the defensive coordinator was Matt Eberflus. 

Autry had 10.5 sacks in four years with the Raiders and then recorded nine sacks in his first year with Eberfus. He did not have his best run, but his time in Tennessee would not have happened if Eberflus did not help unlock him with the Colts. 

Both Smith and Eberflus have worked with Autry. Autry plays inside and outside and used to play with DeMarcus Walker, who had a similar role for the Chicago Bears last year. You know those two can play well together, and you know that the scheme and system match his skill set. 

Next. Grading the 2023 Chicago Bears rookie class after their first regular season. Grading the 2023 Chicago Bears rookie class after their first regular season. dark

Autry is projected to sign a one-year, $7M deal in free agency, per PFF. That would be a good deal for the Chicago Bears, who have plenty of cap space. What is stopping the team from signing Denico Autry in free agency this offseason?