Tremaine Edmunds set to become highest-paid linebacker with new Bears deal: report

The Chicago Bears continue to make moves with the free agency window open, as they’ve reportedly agreed to a massive deal with linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, per ESPN.

The deal is said to be worth $72 million, $50 million of which is fully guaranteed, over four years. It would be the largest four-year deal for an inside linebacker in the NFL.

Chicago has loads of cap space to work with this offseason, an estimated $70 million following their trade with the Carolina Panthers to land wide receiver D.J. Moore and draft capital.

They already added to their defense with former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards joining on a three-year deal.


But Edmunds is their big-ticket free agent now after this reported deal. The Buffalo Bills’ first-round pick in 2018 has been a two-time Pro Bowler in his five seasons with the organization, and hasn’t had a single season with under 100 tackles produced.

Tremaine Edmunds #49 of the Buffalo Bills lines up during the first quarter against the New England Patriots at Highmark Stadium on January 08, 2023 in Orchard Park, New York. (Bryan Bennett/Getty Images / Getty Images)

In 2022, the 24-year-old Edmunds tallied 102 tackles (six for loss) with one sack, seven passes defended in 13 games for Buffalo. His Pro Bowl years were back-to-back in 2019 and 2020, which were just his second and third seasons in the NFL.

For his career, Edmunds has already totaled 565 tackles, 6.5 sacks, 32 tackles for loss, five interceptions and two forced fumbles in 74 games.

Bears GM Ryan Poles knows his defense needs to be better all around, and Edmunds comes in as an immediate leader at the second level.

Edwards and Edmunds will be a fun duo to watch in the Windy City, as they both produce tackles at a high rate. That’s just what the doctored ordered for a Bears team that struggled to get opponents on the turf. Chicago was ninth in the NFL in missed tackles with 747 last season.

This likely isn’t the last of Poles’ free agent spending spree, as he’s still well-equipped with salary cap to revamp his roster.

Other than the linebackers, he’s focused on the offensive line around quarterback Justin Fields, as guard Nate Davis is reportedly joining the team as well.

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