Bears linked to veteran pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue
Robert Scheer - USA Today Sports

Bears linked to veteran pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue

by - Senior Writer -

With the Bears set to begin Training Camp at the end of the week, the NFL season is almost here. Coming off an offseason filled with a dramatic facelift for this team, the expectations heading into 2023 are higher than they have been in quite some time.

Even with all the positives come the negatives, as the Bears are still looking to add an EDGE rusher to improve their pass rush this season. Guys like Trevis Gipson and TJ Edwards will improve that this season, but it will take more than them for this team to put up respectable sack numbers in 2023.

While there are still plenty of EDGE rushers available, only a few of them are considered difference makers, and those are the ones the Bears need to target. They still have more than 30 million dollars in cap space to spend, and fortunately, the Bears continue to be linked to one of the best, if not the best, EDGE rusher left on the market in Yannick Ngakoue as he remains a free agent.

At this point, there has to be something preventing teams from adding Ngakoue to their team, as there is no reason he should still be a free agent. Whether it is the annual money he wants or the years he is asking, something isn't right, as he is more than worthy of signing a contract with someone. However, the longer he goes un-signed, the easier it could be for the Bears to land him, as they could get him much cheaper than anyone initially expected.

Many people have written the Bears off his list regarding possible destinations, as he has expressed his desire to play for a contender. However, with no contenders calling or asking him to join their team, Ngakoue may have to take whatever deal he can get if he wants to play in 2023. Chicago may not be considered a playoff team by most, but they could make a push for a wild card spot this season which could change the thought process of Ngakoue and his potential landing spots.

With training camps opening across the country this season, Ngakoue is having a change of heart as he realizes that he may not land with the initially desired playoff team he was looking for.

He said this on the Jim Rome Show when asked about his current off-season situation.

“Any team in the NFL is an ideal landing spot for me," he said. “It’s a blessing to be able to work any job in the NFL. You know what I mean? To be able to go and practice with a team, to be able to go do a walkthrough, to be able to go do film study, it’s a blessing. It doesn’t matter what organization. “Everybody wants a home. “Everybody wants to be able to just play football and not really worry about the business side of things.”

That quote is a complete 180 from where he stood earlier in the season, but it is also good news for the Bears, as they now have just as good of a chance to get him as anyone else does. While Chicago may not have great odds, their odds of getting him are better than where they were, so you have to believe the Bears will continue monitoring the situation.

If Ryan Poles are adamant about adding an EDGE rusher before the start of camp or shortly after, Ngakoue makes a ton of sense for this team. He still has yet to turn 30 and will always find ways to get after the QB. Coming to Chicago will not only give Ngakoue the playing time he is looking for, but he could very easily end up with double-digit sacks in 2023, which will go a long way for the Bears and their defense.

Asking for a three or four-year deal from anyone at this point may be out of the question, but don't be surprised to see the Bears offer him two years at $18-$20 million if they decide to make a run at him. They could also tie in a third-year option if the production is there as they try to revamp their struggling pass rush to improve the defense.

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