After racking up offensive options for quarterback Mitch Trubisky to throw to with their first wave of free agent moves, the Chicago Bears have finally shifted their focus to the defensive side of the ball:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 15, 2018
Aaron Lynch was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the fifth round (150th overall) in the 2014 NFL Draft, which means he has some familiarity with Vic Fangio, who was his defensive coordinator back when he was a rookie. Lynch came up with six sacks in 16 games his rookie season and tacked on 6.5 more in Year 2 when he started in 13 of the 14 games he appeared in.
Unfortunately, Lynch has played in just 14 games since the start of the 2016 season and has only 2.5 sacks to show for his efforts.
Lynch is a bit of an enigma who has something of a checkered past. Injuries (most notably, a calf in 2017) and a four-game suspension (violating the NFL Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse) have kept Lynch off the field the last two seasons. He also came into camp out of shape before the start of training camp, needing to drop nearly 25 pounds to get to his 273-pound playing weight last summer.
By signing a one-year deal, perhaps the Bears are hoping Lynch can re-capture some of the magic under the tutelage of his old defensive coordinator. And after playing for four different head coaches in his four years with the 49ers, perhaps hearing a familiar voice will be good for him, as well as his new team.
From a team perspective, the Bears need able-bodied players in the mix for depth purposes. Chicago has just four edge defenders under contract for 2018.