The Chicago Bears have filled a need on the defensive side of the ball with a familiar face:
#99 is back!
We have signed Aaron Lynch to a one-year deal. 🐻⬇️ pic.twitter.com/GGcGPnoHCH
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) April 1, 2019
Aaron Lynch has re-signed with the Bears on a one-year deal, the team announced on Monday. Unlike their earlier jersey-related announcement, there is no punch-line lurking around the corner.
Lynch is back to plug one of the few holes on the defense, as he returns to bolster the team’s pass-rushing depth. While in that role last year, Lynch collected three sacks, eight quarterback hits, and four tackles for loss in 13 games (he even chipped in with three starts). Not bad for a pass-rushing outside linebacker who was in on just 33.6 percent of the team’s defensive snaps.
A return to the Bears for Lynch was never counted out, even as he made visits to other teams who had pass-rusher needs. Because while the allure of re-uniting with Vic Fangio at this time last year helped bring Lynch to Chicago in the first place, the Bears didn’t have that fall-back option this time around. But still … the familiarity with the defense, the players around him, and his fit as a pass-rushing outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense (as opposed to a hand-in-the-ground edge defender in a 4-3 set) kept the Bears on his radar.
In the end, the fit was simply too good to pass up for both parties. The Bears needed a pass-rusher to round out the room, while Lynch needed a team to showcase his talents for another season. And since it’s a one-year deal, Lynch could return to the market after his age 26 season and seek a larger deal – especially if he can prove to be durable enough to get through a full 16-game season. Lynch missed the final two games of the regular season because of an elbow injury suffered in the team’s division-clinching win against the Packers in Week 15.
Financial details regarding Lynch’s deal have yet to be released, but OverTheCap.com estimates the Bears had $18,940,149 in available space prior to Lynch’s signing. That ranks as the 15th most in the league, in case you were curious about the health and well-being of the cap situation. There is still plenty of operating space for the team’s future draft picks, as well as some other necessary tinkering.