In the same week that the Chicago Bears lost Henry Melton to the Dallas Cowboys, the Bears will be without another familiar face on the defensive line going forward.
On Thursday, Bears free agent defensive lineman Corey Wootton signed a one-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings. Wootton was drafted by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2010 NFL Draft. Wootton started to emerge over the course of the past two seasons as an effective defensive lineman.
In 2012, Wootton tallied seven sacks while forcing two fumbles. With the Bears in 2013, Wootton recorded three sacks to go along with one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
What the Bears will miss most from Wootton departing is his versatility. Wootton possessed the ability to play on the interior and exterior of a defensive line. Despite being a defensive end by label, Wootton played most of the 2013 season on the inside of the defensive line.
The loss of Wootton only heightens the Bears need for a defensive tackle in the draft. The Bears are believed to be targeting the defensive tackle position with their first round selection and that appears to be where the team needs to most improvement.