Does Chase Young trade, Carl Lawson narrow potential Bears options?

The Bears failed to meet one of their most pressing needs in the 2023 NFL Draft.

With no choice between No. 10 and No. 53, the Bears watched as teams gobbled up all the high-level pass runners, forcing general manager Ryan Poles to leave that task for another day.

The Bears still have just under a million euros of salary cap space. There are several veteran top runners still on the market for the Poles to get going by the start of training camp. Yannick Ngakoue and Justin Houston are the two best options, but any additional talent for rushing passes will be welcome at Halas Hall.

The best chance for the Bears to increase their toothless passing rush is in the free agent market. But are there other options?

The Washington Commanders recently declined to pick the fifth-year option on former Pro Bowl rusher Chase Young.

Washington has already granted lucrative long-term extensions to defensive tackles Jonathan Allen and Daron Payne. Young and Montez Sweat will be free agents next offseason, and COs can’t afford to keep just one.

ESPN’s Dan Graziano reported that either Sweat or Young could be traded during the draft. This does not happen.

Any trade for Young probably should have happened before the May 2 deadline, as any team acquiring Young would want to take their option for 2024. With that no longer a possibility, it seems likely that Young and Sweat will play out the season. in DC Either Young or Sweat will be extended after the season, and the other will walk.

Young had just 1.5 sacks in his last 12 games and didn’t beat the quarterback in the three games he played last season after returning from a torn ACL and a damaged patellar tendon. According to reports, Young’s long-term knee health is not considered an issue.

As long as Young is healthy and productive in 2023, he will get a good payday from someone after the season is over.

Could he or Sweat be traded before the start of the season or perhaps at the deadline? It is possible but unlikely. Commanders coach Ron Rivera faces a lot of pressure to make the playoffs this fall. Trader Sweat or Young would be detrimental to this cause.

Even if Commanders start slow, they won’t sell low on Young or Sweat. Any deal would likely have executive Bradley Chubb (first-round pick, player and other draft capital). It’s probably too rich for the Bears.

The Bears are expected to have a 1 million salary cap next offseason, according to OverTheCap. If the COs pick Sweat over Young, the Poles could target the Ohio State product in free agency. But Young likely won’t be in the cards for the Bears in 2023.

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This brings us to Gate #2.

It’s long been speculated that the New York Jets would either fire Carl Lawson or ask him to rework his contract, especially given Aaron Rodgers’ gigantic contract.

However, Rodgers restructured his contract upon his arrival in New York, pushing almost all of his cap to 2024. As it stands Thursday, the Jets still have a $1 million cap with the base salary of a million Lawson.

Even before the Jets completed the trade with Rodgers, head coach Robert Saleh made it clear he doesn’t plan on Lawson playing anywhere other than East Rutherford in 2023.

“I will speak for [GM Joe Douglas] on this one,” Saleh told reporters at the NFL league’s annual meeting. “You know, pass-rushers, they don’t grow on trees, and Carl has a commodity in this league which is gold, so he’ll be here as long as he can walk and play and rush the passer and the affect as he does. He will be there.

The trade for Rodgers, 39, was a winning move for the Jets. If the Jets are going to get through a loaded AFC, they need to have the pass-rusher depth to harass Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen.

The 27-year-old Lawson would be a perfect fit for the defense of Bears head coach Matt Eberflus, but there’s no reason to think the Jets will cut him just yet.

The Poles will add a rusher or two before training camp. Ngakoue, Houston, Frank Clark and Leonard Floyd are all options.

The Bears should have their pick of the free agent range. This should be enough for the 2023 season.

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