The 2020 season exposed the Chicago Bears’ lack of depth, so it’s only fitting they’ve used this offseason to work around the edges and bolster some soft spots.
And if their latest hosting of a free agent leads to a signing, it could be another one for their depth pile:
Former Broncos’ LB Brandon Marshall worked out today for the Bears, per source. He also recently worked out for the 49ers.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 14, 2021
ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets the Bears had free agent linebacker Brandon Marshall in for a tryout on Monday. To be clear, we’re talking about the player who has seven years of pro experience at inside linebacker. In other words, we are *NOT* making reference to Brandon Marshall, the retired wide receiver who played in Chicago from 2012-14. Just so we’re clear. They’re two different guys, who play different positions. But both spent time in Denver, so that’s a happy coincidence. Anyway…
Marshall, the 31-year-old linebacker, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2018. That’s when he made 11 appearances (7 starts) in his sixth (and final) year with the Broncos. At the peak of his powers, Marshall was a solid inside linebacker in Denver. He was a starting inside linebacker on Denver’s Super Bowl winning team, playing alongside current Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan. Marshall posted 100+ tackle seasons in 2014, 2015, and 2017, but injuries cut down his time in Denver. And after missing time in 2016 and 2018 due to injuries, the Broncos declined the 2019 option on Marshall’s contract making him a free agent. And while Marshall signed with the Raiders in March 2019, he didn’t make the Week 1 roster. But just because he isn’t a top tier starter doesn’t mean he couldn’t be valuable in the right setting.
Bringing in Marshall would make for some nice inside linebacker depth for the Bears. Potentially adding someone with 63 games of regular season starting experience could help round out a room that hasn’t had great depth since 2019. Don’t get me wrong. Adding Christian Jones earlier in the offseason helps matters. And as I am known to say, there is no such thing as having too much depth. Remember, the Bears put Manti Te’o in the starting lineup for last year’s playoff game against the Saints. Meaning that in-house options such as Joel Iyiegbuniwe and Josh Woods were passed over for a player who spent most of the year as a street free agent. So it should come as no surprise to see the Bears kicking the tires on possible help.