Bears 'looking at everything,' including trades, for pass-rush help

Poles: Bears 'looking at' trades, free agents for pass-rush help originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago

Bears general manager Ryan Poles made it clear during his post-draft press conference that the 2023 roster was far from complete.

"Camp’s a long ways away," Poles said when asked if he was OK going into training camp with the Bears' current crop of edge rushers. "We’ll stay on our toes and if something presents itself we’ll be able to do that. We’ll be able to do it financially as well."

On Friday, Poles went on 670 The Score's "Bernstein and Holmes" show and gave an update on where his search for a much-needed pass rusher stands.

"We're working on it," Poles said when asked if he would sign a veteran edge rusher. "We don't stop working and looking at different avenues to bring players in. There are some options, potentially trade options. There’s also some guys on the street still that could potentially come in and help us. We're kind of looking at everything right now.

"Maybe something will happen sooner rather than later."

Several veteran edge rushers remain on the free-agent market, including Yannick Ngakoue, Justin Houston, Leonard Floyd, and Frank Clark.

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There has also been a lot of buzz surrounding the Washington Commanders' pass-rush duo of Chase Young and Montez Sweat.

The Commanders declined to pick up Young's fifth-year option, which means he will be a free agent after the 2023 season. Washington already is paying defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne big bucks, so it's unlikely they will be able to extend both Sweat and Young after the season.

While Young and Sweat's futures in D.C. are unknown, it seems doubtful that the Commanders would part with either before the season starts. Head coach Ron Rivera is under a lot of pressure to win in 2023, and a healthy and whole defensive line is his best chance at an unlikely playoff berth.

The only way to pry Young or Sweat away from the Commanders before the season starts would be to offer a trade package they can't turn down. That would almost certainly include one of the Bears' two 2024 first-round picks. That's a non-starter until Young proves he is healthy and effective after tearing his ACL and rupturing his patellar tendon in 2021.

Poles entered the offseason knowing he couldn't fix every hole on the Bears' roster. He bolstered the interior of the defensive line during the draft but was unable to address the edge-rushing situation.

Adding a veteran like Ngakoue or Houston would at least give the Bears' pass rush more teeth, but the bigger moves will come next offseason.

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