With some of the most cap space in the NFL for a second straight offseason, the Chicago Bears will inevitably go shopping to bolster their roster.
How big of a fish will the Bears try and catch? ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports the Bears want to sign a blue-chip edge rusher to the roster.
"The sense I get here in Vegas is that Danielle Hunter will be hard for the Vikings to keep," Fowler recently wrote. "He will have a very strong market, he turned 29 in October, and several teams had interest at the trade deadline. Chicago could look to add a pass-rusher to complement Montez Sweat in free agency and is very high on Hunter. The Jacksonville Jaguars are another team to watch, though they have to figure out Josh Allen's future."
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The Bears have already added a blue-chip edge rusher in Montez Sweat. Ahead of last season's trade deadline, the Bears swapped their second-round pick in this season's NFL draft with the Washington Commanders for Sweat.
He made a massive, immediate impact on the Bears. He became the first player in NFL history to lead two teams in sacks by the end of the season. He recorded six with the Commanders before posting another 6.5 with the Bears in the back half of the season.
Sweat is an elite-edge rusher. But the Bears don't have another high-caliber pass rusher opposite of Sweat. Some think the Bears might use the No. 9 pick in the NFL draft to take an edge rusher. Guys like Alabama's Dallas Turner and UCLA's Laiatu Latu will surely be available at that pick.
But Hunter, 29, has played phenomenal seasons in the NFL, entirely with the Vikings. In that time, he's earned four Pro Bowl nods and has recorded double-digit sacks in five seasons of his career, including the last two. Last season, Hunter finished fifth in the NFL in sacks, recording a sterling 16.5 sacks.
Will the Bears lock up Hunter opposite of Sweat? Or, will they look to the draft to find an edge rusher? Hunter is an enticing option, and would make a phenomenal piece opposite of Sweat.