Pernell McPhee - Signed through 2019 - McPhee hasn’t played a full 16 game season since joining the Chicago Bears. His 2015 knee injury lingered into the 2016 season and he started the year on the PUP list. After a solid start to his Bears career, he struggled down the stretch in 2015 and he only played in nine games last year, averaging 30 snaps per contest.
McPhee brings the right attitude and a violent style of play, but he has a lot to prove in 2017.
Leonard Floyd - Signed through 2019, with a 5th year option in 2020 - Floyd fought through a few injury issues as a rookie, but he still ended with a solid campaign. He had seven sacks in 12 games, and he started to show he’s wasn’t just a speed rusher. I’m excited to see his game develop in 2017.
Willie Young - Signed through 2018 - The Bears signed Young to a 2 year extension and he led the team in sacks for a second time in three years. Five of his 7.5 sacks came in a two game span, but he still gives the Bears another edge rusher for teams to worry about.
Lamarr Houston - Signed through 2019 - I know most assume Houston will be a cap casualty (me included), but I’d be OK if they kept him around a while longer as long as he’s healthy. Houston is good against the run and he’s shown an ability to harass QBs from time to time. He may not be “worth” the $6 million he’s due in 2017, but I think he adds some value to the defense.
Sam Acho - Free agent - Acho is very good special teamer, so I could see the Bears bringing him back on another one year veteran minimum type of contract. He’s a smart player that can start in a pinch and he knows his job.
Danny Mason - Exclusive rights free agent - The Bears may bring him back to compete in camp, but he’s a long shot to make the roster.
Roy Robertson-Harris - Signed through 2018, then he’s a restricted free agent - Robertson-Harris missed all of his rookie season with an illness, but he’s a guy that a lot of teams were after as an undrafted free agent, so there may be some potential there. From a physical standpoint, he has everything you could ask for, size (6’7”, 268), speed (4.84 forty), explosiveness (35’ vertical), strength (23 reps on the bench), now we’ll have to see if he takes to NFL coaching.
2017 OUTLOOK - Christian Jones (RFA), who I looked at with the inside linebackers, is another guy that could be in play as a back up OLB. He’s versatility and special teams ability give shim value.
I think the Bears would like another viable option off the edge. Maybe that could be Robertson-Harris, maybe they sign or draft another pass rusher. If they do sign a free agent, it won’t be a big money guy.
If the NFL Draft falls just right, maybe the Bears come away with Myles Garrett of Texas A&M.
What are your thoughts with the outside linebacker position for the Bears?