CHICAGO – The Bears have their 90-man roster set, for the most part, as they enter another phase of OTAs this week.
But as we all know, NFL rosters are fluid. Teams add and subtract players at the drop of a hat. When it comes to the last 8-10 roster spots – nothing is safe.
The good news for those guys is there aren’t many free agent options, currently, that provide teams with both fit and immediate production.
However, for the Bears, this isn’t the case. There is one free agent out there who can come in and provide production, and he also fits what the team both needs and is looking for.
That’s defensive lineman Carl Nassib.
Nassib is a former third-round pick that’s played for the Browns, Buccaneers, and Raiders over the course of his six-year career. His best years came in Tampa Bay, where he recorded a combined 63 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 25 quarterback hits, 20 tackles for loss, and three forced fumbles from 2019-2020. He was a pretty effective player in regard to his role, but was a better fit as a 4-3 EDGE compared to a 3-4 EDGE, and the Buccaneers ran -and run- a 3-4 under Todd Bowles.
Nassib’s success as a Buccaneers led to a three-year, $25.25 million deal from the Raiders, but Nassib never really found his footing.
What he did find, however, was a connection with the Bears’ current defensive line coach, Travis Smith.
Smith was the Raiders assistant defensive line coach during Nassib’s time with the team, so he knows how much value Nassib can provide as a rotational pass rusher. Nassib is also a good fit for what the team wants to do on defense. He can play the run, as well as get after the quarterback. And, he’s a versatile player who can rush from the outside and inside with his hand in the dirt or from a two-point stance.
Nassib’s also a great teammate and leader, evidenced by the Buccaneers selecting him as one of their team captains in 2019. He can come in as a cheap (probably around $2-$4 million for 2022), veteran option and push the younger guys like Dominque Robinson and Co., as well as veteran Al-Quadin Muhammad.
The Bears need affordable help along the defensive line. Nassib can provide that and so much more in regard to competition and leadership. It’s worth a shot, at the end of the day.
Featured image via Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports