2024 Bears Free Agent Target: Josh Allen
Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

2024 Bears Free Agent Target: Josh Allen

by - Senior Writer -

With the NFL scouting Combine taking place, the NFL offseason is officially in full swing as teams begin to prepare for 2024. The only thing standing in their way is free agency, which happens to start on March 13th. That is also known as the unofficial start to the new NFL season as teams try to land new faces to help their team win.

That will again be the case for the Chicago Bears, as they entered last offseason with the most cap space and are still in the top 10 regarding financials. Chicago focussed heavily on their defense last season and even added Montez Sweat via the trade market during the season before signing him to a massive extension.

Although the main focus this season will be on the offense, in particular, the skill players don't put it past Ryan Poles to continue focusing on the defense, especially when it comes to a playmaker. Retaining Jaylon Johnson would qualify as adding a playmaker, but the Bears would like to pair someone with Sweat to take some of the pressure off of him. Josh Allen could be that answer, as he will be one of the most sought out free agents this season.

When you hear the name Josh Allen, you immediately think about the Buffalo Bills QB. This isn't the same Josh Allen, but instead, the Jacksonville Jaguars EDGE rusher who has taken the league by storm the past few seasons. The 26-year-old Allen is set to enter his sixth season in the league, and with an expected salary north of 22 million, he will be one of the most, if not the most coveted pass rusher in this year's free agent pool.

It's no secret the Bears need more pass rushing, and with the reports coming out that Chicago will be heavily in on Danielle Hunter, you can see the value Poles is putting on the pass rush this offseason. Allen is another name to watch, as he is younger than Hunter and arguably better when you look at his stats.

Allen was a menace in 2023 and wreaked havoc on opposing offenses to the point where he could've landed defensive player of the year. The fact that his name wasn't mentioned much shows you the popularity side of things, as Allen was just as good if not better than Myles Garrett, who took home the award.

Across 17 games this past season, Allen was incredible as he logged 66 total tackles, 17.5 sacks, 17 tackles-for-loss, two forced fumbles, and one interception. The sacks alone ranked him in the top three in the NFL, and should he join forces with Sweat, the Bears have the possibility of having two players capable of logging 15 or more sacks per season.

Allen is the first to come to mind when you think about the Jaguars' defense. He was the heart and soul of that defense and was a force of nature at times. Even with him knowing his time was ending last season, Allen stood in the face of adversity and went on to have his best season, which bodes well heading into a free agency period loaded with EDGE rushers and defensive difference-makers.

Allen is not only a difference maker on the defensive end but is a player that you can build your defense around. The Bears already have a guy like that in Sweat, but adding two players of their ability would instantly make this the most feared unit in the league. QBs would be running for their lives with Allen and Sweat chasing them down, and the more pressure they get, the more opportunities the secondary will have to make plays.

Always known as a pass rush specialist, Allen added another element to his game last season as he became a lot more stingy against the run. He proved he is a complete package on defense, which Matt Eberflus would love to use in various ways. His growth in his game allowed him to set career highs in tackles and tackles for a loss and saw him ranked second in the NFL in sacks. In other words, Allen reached his full potential last season, and some wonder how much more he can give you. Joining a team with a player who would provide him with some help could lead to even more production, which is scary to think about.

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