There is no doubt that the Chicago Bears seem to have a dire need for an edge rusher. Despite solid additions like Walker and Green, the Bears still need a lot more help in that department. While many names have been thrown around as possible options for the Bears, no option is more intriguing than the Washington Commanders’ Chase Young.
Chase Young was seen as one of the best defensive players in a long time to be drafted. In his three years at Ohio State, Young racked up 30.5 sacks and 40.5 TFL. This included a monster 2019 season, where he recorded 16.5 sacks and finished 4th in voting for the Heisman Trophy. Young’s stellar college career led to Washington drafting him 2nd overall in 2020. His rookie season lived up to the hype, as he recorded 7.5 sacks, 10 TFL, and capped it off with a Pro Bowl appearance and, most notably, the 2020 AP Defensive Rookie of The Year. Young seemed destined for stardom after his rookie season, but it, unfortunately, has not yet come to fruition. In 2021, Young was disappointing, by recording just 1.5 sacks in nine games. His second season in the NFL was also cut short by a devastating ACL tear, which would wind up sidelining him until his return in week 16 of the 2022 season. In Young’s 3 appearances last season, he didn’t record a single sack or TFL. Despite Young’s tremendous potential, his struggles in years 2 and 3 were enough to result in the Commanders declining his 5th-year option, meaning he’ll be a free agent at the end of this upcoming season. The recent rejection of Young’s fifth-year option has led to increasing trade speculation, and one of the possible suitors for Chase Young is the Chicago Bears.
Bears general manager Ryan Poles has hinted at possibly intending to add pass rushers, as he told ESPN1000. Clearly, additions should be made to improve the pass rush, as the current top 4 edge rushers on the Bears’ roster are Demarcus Walker, Trevis Gipson, Dominique Robinson, and Rasheem Green, a group that recorded a combined total of just 15 sacks in 2022. While Chase Young only has 9 career sacks, he still has the potential to be one of the best edge rushers in the league. And at 24, Young still has plenty of time to reach his sky-high potential. His age also fits in perfectly with the Bears’ timeline, adding an under-25-year-old potential superstar to a young Bears roster, which is still searching for its identity, could be a match made in heaven.
While it’s nice to imagine Chase Young’s potential; that's all it is, potential, and Young hasn’t done much after his rookie season to prove he’s a future superstar. The 9 games he played in 2021 weren’t great, as he recorded just 1.5 sacks and 3 TFLs. His ACL injury isn’t a good sign either, which kept him off the field for over an entire year. It’s not very encouraging to see him come back in week 16 of the 2022 season, from an injury he sustained in week 9 of 2021. It’s a clear indicator that something is wrong. There’s also always the chance that Young comes back as a shell of himself due to the injury. We saw that last season, as in the 3 games Young appeared in, he failed to record a single sack or TFL. Trading for Young would certainly be a huge risk that a GM might not be willing to make if the price is too high.
That being said, I still believe in Chase Young. And I believe that Bears GM Ryan Poles absolutley should make a move for the pass rusher. His trade value is at an all-time low after the rejection of his fifth-year option, and the star potential is still there. Adding a player like Chase Young to the Bears, could immediatley help the defense go from bottom of the league in 2022, into respectable . I would love to see a pass rushing duo of physical freaks like Young and Dominique Robinson. Two incredible athletes on either side of the defensive line like Young and Robinson could dominate the NFL for years if developed properly. If Ryan Poles can get a deal done with the Commanders for Chase Young in exchange for a few mid-round picks, it could wind up being the best move he’s made as general manager of the Chicago Bears.