The Chicago Bears’ needs at outside linebacker are no secret, so it should come as no surprise that the team has added some help:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 7, 2018
A source informs NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport that the Bears have signed Kasim Edebali. And for what it’s worth, Edebali has retweeted Rapoport’s tweet. While I’d like to count that as confirmation of the report, I suppose we can update this post when it becomes officially official. Until then, let’s talk about what Edebali brings to the table.
As a senior at Boston College, Edebali collected 9.5 sacks, 15 tackles-for-loss, three forced fumbles, and 67 tackles in a season in which he started 13 games. So he has some familiarity rushing the passer. That’s good, because Chicago’s defense could use some additional help in that capacity.
Bears GM Ryan Pace was the Saints’ Director of Player Personnel when the Saints signed Edebali as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Edebali had his best season as a pro in 2015, when he collected five sacks, a fumble recovery, and two passes defended in 16 games. Edebali split time with the Broncos (nine games) and Lions (four games) in 2017, but played more snaps on special teams (175) than he did on defense (102).
Edebali played a 4-3 defensive end with the Saints, but figures to fit in a pass-rushing outside linebacker role in Chicago. Perhaps the help of DC Vic Fangio could help him carve a niche with this team. The Bears need all the help they can get when it comes to pass-rushing linebackers, so Edebali is something of a welcomed addition.