Chicago Bears Have Every Reason To Target Reported Trade Candidate

One of the first positions the Chicago Bears tried to fix this off-season was their interior pass rush on defense. It looked like they’d succeeded when they agreed to a deal with free agent Larry Ogunjobi. Then he failed his physical. GM Ryan Poles was forced to pivot to Justin Jones instead. While the former Los Angeles Chargers veteran is a decent player, his interior pass rush ability isn’t what anybody would call upper tier. The Bears weren’t able to find any options in the draft, either.

As things stand, they may have to make do with what they have for 2022. That is unless another option comes around they can snag. The trade market might be one area Poles can explore if the price is right. A notable name began surfacing in NFL circles right before the draft last month. According to Ben Standig of The Athletic, the Washington Commanders have hit a crossroads with defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne. He wants a new contract, but they’re not in the best position to give him one.

“The Athletic began hearing weeks ago, from multiple NFL teams and other sources, that the Commanders quietly let other teams know Payne is available for a trade. Considering the team’s salary-cap situation — current (quarterback Carson Wentz), developing (receiver Terry McLaurin) and future (linemen Montez Sweat, Chase Young) — it would be wise for Washington at least explore a world without Payne at this juncture, or strongly consider selecting a defensive tackle somewhere in the early rounds.”

Da’Ron Payne would be an instant upgrade for the Chicago Bears.

Most consider him a top nose tackle in the NFL, but he showed how dangerous he could be as an interior pass rusher last season. He finished with 4.5 sacks and 47 pressures on the quarterback. The latter was good enough to rank in the top 15 among interior defensive linemen in the league. So he would be a boost in multiple ways. Together, he and Jones could form an excellent run-stuffing interior with pass rush upside.

As always, it comes down to compensation. It isn’t certain what Washington wants in return for Da’Ron Payne. One can imagine they’re seeking a Day 2 draft pick. The trickier part is the money. He’ll want a big extension, as his reported unhappiness confirms. An educated guess is he seeks something similar to star Tampa Bay Buccaneers nose tackle Vita Vea’s deal of four years at $71 million. That is a large chunk of change.

Are the Chicago Bears prepared to pay him that? It depends on how much of a need they still feel defensive tackle is. If their faith in the current depth chart is shaky, the move could be worth it, especially since they are projected to have over $90 million in cap space next off-season.

Post Views: 10,672

Chicago Bears Have Every Reason To Target Reported Trade Candidate