Aaron Lynch was one of the better under-the-radar pick-ups the Bears had in 2018. And even though collecting just three sacks in 13 games hasn’t yet led to a new deal, there has been considerable interest in the free-agent pass-rusher.
As we touched upon in yesterday’s Bullets, Lynch has visited with the Colts, Raiders, and Seahawks. But Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune believes a return to the Bears cannot be ruled out: “I believe the Bears would like to re-sign the outside linebacker. I would not be surprised if the Broncos and coach Vic Fangio have interest in him as well,” Biggs wrote as part of this week’s Tribune mailbag. “One source suggested Lynch was seeking $5 million per season before the start of free agency. He might not get that. We’ll have to see where the market goes for him, but he’s definitely got interest.”
The Bears still have a need to fill at pass-rushing outside linebacker with Lynch and Sam Acho being off the depth chart, which leaves Isaiah Irving as the next man up behind Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd. And with the Bears being in a contention window, it would be wise to bulk up at that position and make it a well-rounded strength. But with OverTheCap.com estimating that the Bears have just $17,309,550 remaining in salary cap space entering today, a $5 million price tag might not be what the Bears are looking to spend.
Then again, Chicago might be better off letting Lynch walk:
A few teams getting into a bidding war for Aaron Lynch is great news for the 2020 comp pick crowd.
— Scott Krinch (@scottiekrinch) March 20, 2019
If Lynch were to get a big enough deal in his next free agent contract from another team, his departure could help the Bears’ get a compensatory pick in the 2020 draft – so long as they don’t sign a free agent whose arrival will mess with the formula. The fine folks at OverTheCap.com do a bang-up job explaining the formula, and you can check out their projections for picks here.
Lynch was a solid contributor and his strong play (despite limited snaps) has led to a developing market of at least three interested teams (plus the Bears). But if Lynch was to leave, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. In fact, one could argue that it would be more beneficial for the bigger picture if the team allowed him to walk away. I’ll allow you folks to debate that among yourselves.