Bears could look to add underrated pass rusher Dawuane Smoot
Scott Taetsch - USA Today Sports

Bears could look to add underrated pass rusher Dawuane Smoot

by - Senior Writer -

We are rapidly approaching training camp, which means Bears football is about to be in full swing for 2023. With that comes an entirely different-looking roster from a season ago and a team filled with confidence and the most anticipation this franchise has experienced in quite some time.

Still, there are parts of this roster that the Bears still must address going forward, and one of those areas continues to be the need for an EDGE rusher. Although the Bears have some in-house options, apart from Trevis Gipson, no one knows where the QB pressure will come from, as the Bears ranked dead last in sacks a season ago.

All offseason long, you have heard several big names linked to the Bears, whether through free agency or potential trades. You can see the fit that all of these guys bring to the table, but I don't see Ryan Poles making a massive move like that this late unless he feels it is a move that could put them over the top.

However, even if the Bears choose not to make a massive signing, there are some other names for the Bears to consider, including former Jacksonville Jaguar Dawuane Smoot. Although his name hasn't been linked to the Bears this offseason, Smoot is an under-the-radar signing the Bears should consider, and he could be an excellent addition to this defense.

At 28 years old, Smoot is still a young player, but he is coming off an Achilles injury, so many teams are shying away from him right now. That Achilles injury is a concern, but it also could land him right in the Bear's lap as that could drive his initial price tag down to a more reasonable price.

Entering free agency, most people expected him to land a contract of around 14 million dollars annually, but don't be surprised to see him get signed for less than 10. Achilles injuries are always tricky, and the longer he goes unsigned, the less likely he signs for what he wants. You could also see teams sign him to a one-year prove-it deal, which the Bears could do before they invest multiple years in him.

Going back the past four seasons, Smoot has been a consistent player, averaging 5.5 sacks per season. He has also added five additional tackles for a loss during that time while adding 30 more QB pressures. Even before his injury, Smoot struggled to be productive last season, which could be another reason his contract could be less than expected.

Anytime you bring in a player coming off a severe injury, there is some risk involved, and this is no different. We are not talking about a game-changing pass rusher here, but instead, someone who has been consistent and durable. This injury takes time to recover from, and his production could suffer a bit this season because of it.

However, you also have to consider the work he has put in to get back on the field, as he may be a stronger player than he was before. Ideally, Matt Eberflus and Poles would love to add a guy like Chase Young, Danielle Hunter, or Justin Houston to their defensive room, as those guys are viewed as game-changing players. As nice as it is to have guys like that, the Bears are also looking for players that fit into their system, and Smoot is someone that fits in nicely.

Smoot is not a player that would come into camp and expect to start instantly. He knows he has something to prove and is willing to work to get better. Should the Bears bring him in, Smoot is a valuable asset to have on the defensive side as he will bring some much-needed production that they lost a season ago and could play either a starter or reserve role.

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