3 Chicago Bears who have become cornerstone players for 2023

Chicago Bears (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Jack Sanborn
Chicago Bears (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Jack Sanborn has become a Chicago Bears franchise cornerstone

Prior to the regular season, one of the biggest storylines had to do with linebacker Roquan Smith, who desired a new long-term contract and at one point demanded a trade. By all accounts, Poles wasn’t going to give into Smith’s desires on both fronts. Smith was offered what Poles deemed a fair contract, and he refused.

So, the Bears moved on. Chicago, of course, ended up trading Smith to the Ravens before this year’s deadline.

In his place, it was undrafted rookie Jack Sanborn who stepped into a massive opportunity. Looking back at the preseason, the Wisconsin Badger product was one of the highlights of those exhibitions. Fans loved what they saw from Sanborn, who appeared to be a do-it-all type of linebacker.

Sure enough, that’s exactly what he’s been since taking over for Smith. In his last six games, Sanborn has totaled 59 tackles, 2.0 sacks and a fumble recovery. He has been absolutely everywhere for this Bears defense.

On a unit that has lacked a lot of talent, especially up front, Sanborn has proven he can handle being the man in the middle. He’s going to be around in Chicago for a very, very long time.