Some Help For the Trenches: Bears to Sign DT Andrew Billings
With the high-profile free agents off the board, the Chicago Bears are left bargain-hunting for defensive linemen.
First, it was DeMarcus Walker signing to upgrade the trenches. And now, it is defensive tackle Andrew Billings joining the fun:
Billings, 28, has five years of pro ball under his belt with time spent with the Bengals (2017-19), Browns (2021), and Raiders (2022). The Baylor product has plenty of playing experience, too. Billings has been a primary starter in three of the last four seasons he has played. Last year, Billings was productive in starting 14 games, picking up 39 total tackles, adding 3 quarterback hits, and contributing 3 tackles-for-loss. From Pro Football Focus’ perspective, it all adds up to Billings being the 16th-highest-graded interior defensive lineman. Billings’ 76.5 grade from PFFwas better than players such as high-price Broncos free agent addition Zach Allen (72.7) and standout Packers defender Kenny Clark (66.4). Maybe the Bears got a steal here?
All in all, I think I like this alternative approach. Because if the Bears aren’t shopping at the top of the free agent market, I’m down for creating a rotating collection of contributors. There is value in having depth and versatility. So I fully expect the Bears to have those two things in mind as they continue targeting defensive linemen. Signing Walker and Billings appears to check those boxes.