One fundamental truth of almost any new GM when he takes over a team is he likes populating his new roster with players he’s familiar with. Players he knew from his previous job. Ryan Pace proved that in 2015 when he signed for New Orleans Saints hero Tracy Porter. That worked out pretty well for the team. At least for one season. Now his replacement Ryan Poles could have an ample opportunity to do the same.
Coming from the Kansas City Chiefs, one of the best teams in the NFL, it is not a difficult sell to think Poles may want to supplement his new roster with a talent he knows from there. The Chiefs have 25 players set to become unrestricted free agents in March. So there will be ample opportunity to snag one of them. Maybe Pro Bowl safety Tyrann Mathieu or big left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. Perhaps emerging cornerback Charvarius Ward is another possibility.
In truth, none of them are likely.
The odds are high that all will end up getting lucrative contracts when the market opens. Contracts the Bears aren’t in a position to pay. Poles said from the start that he intends to be “selective” in free agency. In other words, he will operate on a budget. Don’t go looking for star power. Look for quality depth and role players. Under those conditions, one name from Kansas City fits the profile. Defensive tackle Jarran Reed.
The Chiefs signed the former Seahawks 2nd round pick last year after a productive run in Seattle. One that saw him rack up a respectable 22 sacks in five seasons. While he only managed 2.5 sacks in Kansas City, he did have 33 QB pressures (3rd-most on the team) and added 12 hits on the quarterback. So his presence was felt by opponents even if he wasn’t always showing up on the stat sheet.
Jarran Reed was a MONSTER in Week 5. You won’t find many better DT performances this season than what he did vs. the Vikings. Game-wrecker. pic.twitter.com/1jVQyKAcp3
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 14, 2020
Jarran Reed gets his FIRST sack of the season#RollTide #BuiltByBama #chiefskingdom #LVvsKC #SNF #NFL pic.twitter.com/PQ3ssUbRi3
— Alabama Rydeouts (@MarvinBama16) November 15, 2021
Ryan Poles should see the perfect fit Reed is for the Bears
Matt Eberflus is bringing the Tampa-2 defense back to Chicago. That means a shift to a 4-3 alignment with two defensive tackles and two defensive ends. One of the most critical spots in the entire scheme is the “three-technique” defensive tackle. This is the designated interior pass rusher of the group. Somebody responsible for shooting gaps and creating havoc in the backfield. Something Reed did so well in Seattle.
Kansas City didn’t always put him in that spot. Not because they didn’t trust him but more because they already had All-Pro Chris Jones who also played it. This meant Reed often moved around the defensive line, filling multiple roles. While his versatility is valuable, he is at his best as a three-technique. With Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols both free agents next month, bringing him in to fill that void makes a ton of sense.
He would also come cheap.
Reed turned 30-years old in December and is coming off a down year in production. He made just over $5 million for the 2021 season. It is unlikely he’d command much more than that going into next season. He would represent a great bridge option at three-technique. Somebody that can hold the position down for a year or two as Ryan Poles focuses most of his current resources on helping Justin Fields and the offense. It is a move that makes sense for all parties.
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