The Chicago Bears lost out on their top off-season target on Monday. On Monday, Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett signed a 4-year deal to remain with the Seahawks. The deal is believed to be worth $7.8 million annually. The Bears were believed to be offering $8 million per year.
When the anti-tampering window opened on Saturday, Bennett was quickly identified as the top free agent target for the Bears. In fact, on Sunday night, it was believed that the Bears were going to sign Bennett when free agency officially begins on Tuesday.
Losing out on Bennett may not be the disappointment as some Bears fans may think it is. Bennett certainly would have been an impact acquisition for the Bears on defense, especially at $8 million, but he would not have been the solution for the team’s need for a pass-rusher. Bennett compiled 8.5 sacks last season for the Seahawks and his play has been characterized as a jack of all trades but master of none.
The Bears will now move to their next target at the defensive end position.
Chances are Cincinnati Bengals free agent defensive end Michael Johnson is the plan B for the Bears. The 27-year old Johnson rated highly in his defense against the run last season in addition to his defense against the pass. Johnson also has a similar build to that of Julius Peppers when Peppers was in his prime.
The Bears can officially sign new free agents on Tuesday.