Eddie Goldman’s bright future rests on the same thing as his quick, powerful legs: his ankles. Goldman suffered ankle injuries in his senior year in college and both of his years in the NFL. He played 15 games in a promising rookie season, but only six in his sophomore endeavor. In total, he’s played 713 snaps for the Bears, accounting for 34% of the defensive snaps during his first two seasons.
When on the field, Goldman is arguably one of the most exciting young players of the Bears’ rebuild. He has quick hands and explosive strength. He always played well against the run, but has been better at getting to the quarterback than was expected coming out of college. Although he only had 2.5 sacks in 2016, he got them at a more efficient per snap rate than Akiem Hicks (1 per 79 snaps as opposed to Hicks’ 1 per 133).
Goldman has always been a student of the game. His father played him cut up game film of historic defensive tackles when Eddie started playing the position in 8th grade. Goldman chose to wear number 90 in college after both underrated Jaguars tackle Tony Brackens and Cowboy-turned-Bear J Ratliff. Somewhat ironically (at least in the Alanis Morissette definition of the word) Goldman couldn’t keep that number coming into the NFL because Ratliff was still on the Bears’ roster with the number 90 until October of 2015.
Goldman is looking to show he can dominate for a full season in 2017. He is actively attempting to address his injury issues by strengthening his ankles and maintaining his weight. Combining that with the fact that defensive line coach Jay Rodgers says he “understands his body now” gives some reason to be optimistic that he can stay healthy for more (if not—cross your fingers—all) of the 2017 season. I will be holding on to that hope because I love watching this guy play and I’d love to see him improve.
Experience: Third season
Weight: 320 pounds
Contract and Salary Cap
Goldman is in the third year of his rookie contract, and stands to make $952k guaranteed with $599k prorated for a total cap hit of $1.55M.
Reason for improvement in 2017
Year three is a popular year for NFL players to improve. All Goldman has to do to improve is stay on the field. At his 2016 rate, if he played 800 snaps, he would reach 10 sacks: an outstanding number for a nose tackle. The Bears are also better off in the secondary than what they rolled out last year, which will give Goldman and the boys up front more time to do their dirty work.
Reason for regression in 2017
If Goldman regresses, I can only imagine it will be due to injuries—either his ankles being worse than we’ve been led to believe, or (dare I say it) something new. I can imagine his sack efficiency may go down, but only because Leonard Floyd and Pernell McPhee will be getting to the quarterback before he can! Sorry. I’m feeling too optimistic right now to come up with a good reason for Goldman to play poorly.
Final Roster Odds
There’s no reason Goldman won’t make this roster. I’m pretty sure they already tested the particle accelerator that might end the universe, Y2K has past, and so has the Mayan-predicted apocalypse of 2012. I’m feeling confident in calling this a lock.