The Chicago Bears are still in the market for another veteran pass rusher with about two months to go until training camp, but there is one notable free agent with a “significant” market who could help them address their biggest need.
According to Matt Lombardo of Heavy Sports, former Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Justin Houston drawing “significant interest” from multiple teams on the free agent market and is currently weighing his options for the 2023 season. Lombardo also listed Chicago as one of the four potential best fits for the four-time Pro Bowler next year.
” [Linebackers]T.J. Edwards’ and Tremaine Edmunds’ arrivals significantly bolster Chicago’s talent in the front-seven, but Houston would give the Bears’ pass-rush real teeth,” Lombardo wrote. “Houston is a disruptive force, who finished last season 28th in the league in pass-rush win rate, and 20th in pressure rate, could arrive in the Windy City and immediately push for a starting role.”
Bears ‘Looking at Everything’ for Pass-Rush Options
The Bears have been transparent about their desire to sign an experienced pass rusher in the wake of them not adding a single one in the 2023 NFL draft last month. While Chicago did add quality run defenders to their defensive end room in DeMarcus Walker and Rasheem Green, they could still use someone with a consistent track record as a pass rusher to bolster their ranks after finishing dead-last with 20 sacks in 2022.
“We’re working on it, we don’t stop working and looking at different avenues to bring players in,” Bears general manager Ryan Poles said May 12 on 670 The Score. “There are some options, potentially trade options. There’s also some guys on the street still that can potentially come in and help us. We’re kind of looking at everything right now, maybe something will happen sooner rather than later.”
Houston has multiple ties to the Bears’ current staff. For one, he has experience working with head coach Matt Eberflus from when they were both in Indianapolis together in 2019 and 2020, racking up 19 sacks, 21 tackles for loss and 30 quarterback hits over two seasons with the Colts. Poles was also in Kansas City for Houston’s first eight seasons in the league, indicating he has a good sense for the player and person.