With the release of 34 year-old Julius Peppers and the acquisition of 26 year-old Lamarr Houston, the Bears made it very clear they were going to rebuild the defense. Peppers would have made over $18 million this year, however Houston is guaranteed just $15 million over five seasons.
The Bears now have options to pursue another pass rusher in free agency and there are some guys available they could take a chance on.
Robert Ayers is a five year veteran from Denver who had a career high 5.5 sacks, along with 29 tackles last season. The Dallas Cowboys are reportedly interested in him, but with even less cap space than Chicago, that’s nothing near a guarantee they’ll try to sign him.
Israel Idonije could make a comeback to the Windy City after a one-year hiatus in Detroit. He had a down year in 2013, picking up just half a sack. He’s older at 33, but, he picked up 20.5 sacks in his last three years with Chicago. Last season’s numbers and age could allow Chicago to pick him up for pennies on the dollar.
Ziggy Hood is a sixth year man out of Missouri. He never quite lived up to his hype after the Steelers took him in the first round in 2009. At 6-3, 300 pounds, his incredible strength would be a great asset to the Bears. Chicago would have to compete with Jacksonville, who’s interested in his services.