As we continue our look at the 10 Chicago Bears with the most to prove this season, we’ve reached number seven on our list. The first three Bears we profiled were Kindle Vildor, Braxton Jones and Velus Jones. For our next selection, we find ourselves back on the defensive side of the ball.
7. Trevis Gipson
Trevis Gipson enters the final year of his rookie contract, and he is playing for an extension this season in Chicago. Gipson, originally a fifth-round pick, saw limited action his rookie year but then had a great sophomore campaign tallying 7 sacks. Last season, his third, Gipson saw 150 additional snaps on defense, but saw his sack total drop from 7 to 3. If Gipson’s contract is extended after this year, he’s going to need to put it all together.
Gipson’s sack numbers are interesting and will be something to watch this season. When you look inside Gipson’s sack numbers, you’ll see something interesting. With Gipson’s sacks in 2021, he also brought 17 QB pressures. Twenty-seven players had 16 to 18 QB pressures in 2021, Gipson tied with Chris Wormley for the most sacks with seven. What you’ll find in this group is that the average sack total of someone with that amount of pressures, is closer to 3.5 than 7.
Fast forward to 2022, Gipson had 3 sacks off 18 pressures. 26 players had between 17 and 19 pressures in 2022. Javon Hargrave had the most sacks out of this group with 11. This particular group averaged a bit over 5 sacks.
Pressure rates give us an idea of who is consistently getting to the quarterback. Sacks can, sometimes, be a fluke stat if things go right. In 2021, Gipson’s sack rate was much higher than his pressure rate should have indicated, but in 2022 his sack total was lower than expected.
What does this mean for Gipson in 2023? He needs to improve his pressure rate if he’s going to push past the 7 sacks he had in 2021, which, based on these pressure numbers, seems more of a fluke total than what is reflected in his pressure rate. Not to mention that Gipson’s pressure per snap significantly decreased in 2022 because he was on the field significantly more.
The edge room in Chicago is, without question, the weakest position group on the roster. There are still concerns that the Bears won’t be able to bring a pass rush against opposing QBs and, if that’s the case, the improved linebacker and secondary groups will eventually get exposed if the quarterback has too much time to throw.
The Bears will need one of their edges to step up and consistently bring pressure to opposing QBs. Gipson has as good of a chance to be that guy as any. He will receive opportunities again this year, and if he makes the most out of them, Ryan Poles could commit to extending Gipson and keeping him in Chicago.
But if Gipson doesn’t improve, if we see a similar pressure rate in 2023 that we saw in 2021 and 2022, Gipson’s numbers are not going to be of someone worth extending and keeping on the roster, especially when you know that edge is going to be arguably Ryan Poles’ top priority during the 2024 offseason.
That makes 2023 a huge season for Gipson in Chicago. Edges are hard to find, so if Gipson has similar productivity to what he did in previous seasons, he will certainly find himself on an NFL roster in 2024, but you can make a safe bet that the roster will not be the Chicago Bears.