There is one logical replacement for the Chicago Bears’ nose tackle.
Early Tuesday afternoon, the Chicago Bears made a surprising, but understandable announcement regarding nose tackle Eddie Goldman. Goldman made the difficult decision to opt-out of the 2020 season due to health concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Since COVID impacts those with a higher body mass index, it makes sense that offensive and defensive linemen would be the ones considering sitting out the year. Unfortunately for the Bears, Goldman is without question, one of the most underrated players on the defensive side of the ball. His absence will be felt deeply.
If they are looking for a high-quality replacement, Damon Harrison, who is still on the free-agent market, could be an attractive option.
The team could, however, choose to lean on John Jenkins, whom they signed this offseason. This will be Jenkins second stint with the Bears, having appeared in eight games during the 2017 season. Jenkins played in all 16 games last year for the Miami Dolphins and was fairly productive.
However, Harrison would be a huge upgrade and would go a long way in filling to void vacated by Goldman. He could be an expensive option, but the Bears will get a little cap relief as a result of Goldman sitting out.
They could use that on Harrison, who most recently played with the Detroit Lions, and is known as one of the league’s better run stoppers — which was Goldman’s primary responsibility on the defensive line.
In fact, Harrison has been one of, if not the best, run defender in the league for the better part of the last decade. Whether the Bears could afford him, and Harrison would be interested in a one-year deal remain to be seen. It is also no guarantee that Harrison himself will even play this year. With a newborn baby at home, he could consider opting out as well.
With all of the uncertainty around the season and who else might opt-out on the team, the Bears may stand fast for now and let things shake out a bit before making any free agent moves. But if they want to make an aggressive move to win now (and let’s face it — Ryan Pace’s job may depend on it) the most logical option would be Snacks.