Bears Insider

Bears' Edwards signing great low-cost move to raise defense's floor

Bears Insider
TJ Edwards

Bears general manager Ryan Poles' first move of the NFL's legal negotiating window is one that makes perfect sense.

Linebacker T.J. Edwards agreed to sign a three-year, $19.5 million contract with the Bears, sources confirmed to NBC Sports Chicago. NFL Media's Ian Rapoport was the first to report the move. The deal comes with $12 million guaranteed.

In Edwards, a Lake Villa native, the Bears get a good off-ball linebacker who wore the green dot for the Philadelphia Eagles as their MIKE linebacker. Expect him to slot into the same role with the Bears.

For a Bears defense that struggled mightily with missed tackles in 2022, Edwards is a much-needed addition. Last season Edwards notched 159 tackles (99 solo) with 10 tackles for loss, two sacks, and seven passes broken up while being a key cog in the middle of one of the best defenses in the NFL.

Edwards was one of six players to record 120-plus total tackles, 10-plus tackles for loss, and five-plus pass breakups.

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Signing Edwards gives the Bears the crucial play-caller for the middle of head coach Matt Eberflus' defense. At an annual value of $6.65 million, the signing of Edwards shouldn't preclude the Bears from being heavily involved in the bidding for linebacker Bobby Okereke, who played for Eberflus in Indianapolis, to fill the WILL linebacker spot.

Edwards is a great value signing from disciplined Poles. Edwards will automatically raise the floor of the Bears' defense.

But a lot more work is done.

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