Chicago Bears: Keep watching these rising 2021 free agents

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Chicago Bears, Mario Edwards
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4. Defensive End Mario Edwards

The Bears took on a low-risk signing when they brought in defensive end Mario Edwards on a 1-year deal, and he has been well-worth every penny. In a season with plenty of reason to be stressed or upset, Edwards has given fans something positive to watch week-in and week-out.

With Bilal Nichols having to take over the nose tackle spot, Edwards has stepped in as the main rotational end behind Roy Robertson-Harris and has been nothing short of exceptional. He’s been great against the run and also an effective pass rusher, and at only 26 years old, the Bears would be foolish to let him walk this offseason.

Chicago has to keep in mind that Akiem Hicks appears to have a real injury risk now, being hurt a few times in the last couple of years. Adding Edwards for the foreseeable future is a must at this point.

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In 2020, Edwards has already tied a career-high in tackles for a loss (4) while also coming up with 2.0 sacks. He’s been this effective while playing just 21 percent of snaps this season, as well. The Bears will have a lot of decisions next year in regards to their own players, but Edwards should be one they keep around for a while.