Markus Golden to the Steelers Might Put the Edge Defender Market Into Motion for the Bears
When Ryan Poles was candidly addressing his team’s need to add pass-rushing help and hinting it could happen soon, I was holding out hope that something was on the horizon. After all, Poles’ transparent comments on topics in the past have been followed by actions backing up the words. But 12 days after teasing that help could be on the way, nothing has come to fruition.
Perhaps things will change soon. A notable free-agent edge defender is coming off the board. And while he might not have been on the Bears’ radar, Markus Golden reportedly reaching a one-year deal with the Steelers is noteworthy:
Golden, 32, is just one year removed from a season in which he recorded 11 sacks, 19 quarterback hits, and 10 tackles-for-loss. And even though Golden came up with just 2.5 sacks and 7 TFLs in 17 games for the Cardinals in 2022, the 20 QB hits make him stand out to me.
No, it isn’t a splashy signing. In fact, this is more of a move by Pittsburgh to address depth concerns with a starting-caliber player. It isn’t the biggest thing the Steelers could do at this point of the offseason. But it is the type of move that good teams make to round out their roster. And it is one I’d like to see the Bears follow in their own way. This defense needs an impact defensive lineman. More specifically, it could use defensive end help.
As of now, the DE depth chart features Trevis Gipson, DeMarcus Walker, Dominique Robinson, and Rasheem Green. This group has several solid rotational pieces on the roster. However, the group lacks a butt-kicking game-wrecker. Those guys don’t grow on trees. And, unfortunately, one isn’t just popping up out of nowhere at this time of year. Even still … it doesn’t mean the Bears can’t make a move to be marginally better at the position. Winning at the margins is still a prosperous move. Chicago’s front office should consider taking it if the possibility presents itself. But they shouldn’t force something that isn’t a fit. Jamming a square peg into a round hole does nothing to keep positive offseason momentum rolling. But I think this front office knows that. Hence, it hasn’t jumped into the market and addressed needs in a manner that might otherwise be seen as careless.
Don’t get me wrong. It is a tad bit frustrating that a need that has been evident since the regular season was ongoing is still a need as we prepare to flip the calendar from May to June. But the Bears were never going to solve all their roster questions this offseason. That they successfully plugged holes as many spots as they did is a testament to the work Poles and his front office have put in to this point of the offseason. Nevertheless, there is still work to do. And maybe we’ll see Poles get back to it sooner and not later.
Again, the Steelers-Golden transaction isn’t a game-changer. However, this might be the move that gets things moving again in the edge defender and defensive end market. Sometimes, all you need is a little nudge. Maybe this is it.