Why Chase Young trade won't be answer to Bears' pass-rush problem
Schrock: Young trade won't be answer to Bears' pass-rush problems originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago
General manager Ryan Poles knows he still has to add an edge rusher or two to the Bears' roster before the season begins.
"We're working on it," Poles told 670 The Score's "Bernstein and Holmes" 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 are still available on the free-agent market, including Yannick Ngakoue, Leonard Floyd, Justin Houston, and Frank Clark.
As for the trade market, the Washington Commanders recently declined to exercise the fifth-year option on former No. 2 overall pick Chase Young, putting his future in the nation's capital in doubt and making him the newest trade obsession in Chicago.
Young, 24, was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2020 but tore his ACL and patellar tendon midway through the 2021 season. He played just three games in 2022 but didn't look like the Pro Bowl edge rusher from 2020. Young has just 1.5 sacks over his last 12 games and did not record a sack in 2022.
The Commanders reportedly were mulling over the possibility of trading Young during the 2023 NFL Draft, which would have allowed the acquiring team the right to exercise the fifth-year option on Young. With that deadline now passed, any team trading for Young will not only have to surrender the draft capital needed to acquire the Ohio State product but also work out a long-term extension.
Young's contract status and lack of production since returning from injury make it hard to decipher the trade cost that the Bears or any other team interested in Young would have to pay.
Jeff Okudah comp
The Detroit Lions drafted Jeff Okudah one pick after Young in the 2020 NFL Draft. After three years of injuries and minimal flashes, the Lions recently traded Okudah to the Atlanta Falcons for a fifth-round pick.
While both Young and Okudah were top-three picks who struggled with injuries early in their careers, the Falcons' deal for the corner isn't a good barometer for a potential Young deal.
The Commanders edge rusher has an entire season of near-elite production on his resume, including a Pro Bowl selection and DROY award. Okudah struggled with consistency in Detroit and never reached the star level that Young did in 2020.
It's going to cost more to acquire Young.
So, how much?
It's hard to see the Commanders engaging in trade talks for Young before the 2023 season.
Head coach Ron Rivera has a new owner and is under pressure to win this fall. However, the Commanders' best chance to win in 2023 is if Young is a healthy and productive member of one of the NFL's best defensive lines.
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A team could woo the Commanders before training camp, but that would likely cost at least two high draft picks. That's not a price the Bears would be interested in paying, especially given Young's lack of production since Year 1.
Unless the Commanders are given an offer they can't refuse this summer, Young will open the 2023 season in Washington.
The NFL trade deadline likely is the only time the Commanders will be interested in moving Young, and that will only happen if the season gets off to a rocky start.
If Young rediscovers his 2020 form during the first part of the 2023 season, a trade deadline deal for him would likely look like what the Denver Broncos got from the Miami Dolphins for Bradley Chubb.
The Dolphins sent the Broncos a first-round pick, a fourth-round pick, and running back Chase Edmonds for Chubb, who has also had trouble staying on the field in his career. The Dolphins then gave Chubb a five-year, $110 million extension.
If Young shows he has fully recovered from the knee injury, that's the type of contract he'll be looking for from the acquiring team.
So a first-round pick, a mid-round pick, and a player might be the starting point, plus a lucrative extension.
But if Young struggles or is inconsistent early in 2023, the price could land somewhere in the neighborhood of the Roquan Smith trade, which saw the Ravens send the Bears a second-round pick and fifth-round pick for Smith.
Young has become the latest trade fascination in Chicago. But as with past obsessions Tee Higgins and Mike Evans, it takes two to tango. The Commanders don't appear interested in shopping Young, and it would take a hefty price to pry them off that stance.
That's not worth it for Poles and the Bears.
The Bears' best chance to elevate their edge-rushing group lies on the free-agent market, not in trying to (likely) overpay for Young.
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