The Chicago Bears endured a terrible 2022 season. The supporters were just happy to see the campaign end when they completed a 3-14 record with a dismal .176 win percentage. However, after the 2023 draft, they’ve certainly improved their personnel. We round up three more players they could acquire to change their fortunes for the upcoming season.
Rated as one of the best free agents among all the players out of contract in the summer of 2023, the 31-year-old wide receiver has had a career of peaks and troughs. Unfortunately for DeAndre, he’s seldom played in the post-season and even missed the Arizona Cardinals’ last venture into the playoffs through injury.
Hopkins has shown an ability to perform, notably leading the receiving touchdowns stat in the 2017 season while still turning out for the Houston Texans. Remarkably, the Texans didn’t even make it into the playoffs that year. However, it is a validation that the player can make a lot of positive play even with teammates who might not be at the elite standard, something which is of similar ilk here within the Chicago Bears roster.
The expectation would be to give Hopkins the freedom to work with Justin Fields as the latter tries to become the franchise QB legend he was selected to be. Given Hopkins’ experience working at a similar level, he could elevate the playmaker’s game if he turns up to Soldier Field. The main barrier to signing D-Hop could be interest from elsewhere, with the vegas sports odds seemingly favoring the Pats and the Titans to sign Nuk at this stage.
Chicago Bears have already acquired one WR for their roster in the form of D.J. Moore, as he joined from the Carolina Panthers. Moore was a staple of that team, add in Hopkins and this team could easily make longer and more explosive plays that previously alluded to the team.
The Edge Rusher and Defensive End, Yannick Ngakoue has been around the block since leaving the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2019. That’s led him to play for the Minnesota Vikings, the Baltimore Ravens, the Las Vegas Raiders, and most recently the Indianapolis Colts. However, nothing stuck for the player as none of the franchises saw him as a long-term option as he was passed around the country’s football teams.
Yannick has been identified by the Bears’ management as a defensive improvement to their existing department. Fans have even taken to social media to essentially nod in agreement with the move. However, the attribute standing in the way of the move seems to be… Yannick. This is because he’s reportedly set out his price and it’s between 8 and 10 million dollars. Which for the moment seems to be above what the Bears want to pay for a player who’s played at four teams in three years.
Of course, it would be easy to say that nobody wants Yannick Ngakoue as he’s moved around a bit, however, the other way to look at it is that he’s always found work. He’s a utility player who can play in almost any defensive setup and is relied upon to do a job.
Can you have enough defensive-end players? Well, when you’re the Bears and you were accused of simply not defending, then the answer is no, you can’t. Chase Young hasn’t played that much for the Washington Commanders after joining the team in 2020.
While not entirely his fault, his incredibly high injury frequency and severity is a real concern for any team chasing success. For where the Washington Commanders are, they simply can’t afford to shoulder his wages on the ‘physically unable to perform’ list for much longer. Hence why he’s now being touted as a top trade option for other teams.
This is where the Chicago Bears enter. While the fans will want instant success, that’s unlikely to happen. The team is very close to the scrap heap of the standings and needs to develop. Young needs to have his potential rekindled. Head coach Matt Eberflus will be able to coax the best out of him while simply trying to get the Bears into a winning record or at least do better than 3-14.
However, there is ambiguity as to what the Washington Commanders want in return. The Bears might have to front up excessive future draft picks or the crop of the best existing players, however, if Young can show the player he once promised to be it could be worth the trade-off.