The Chicago Bears desperately need pass-rushers – that’s a fact.
With the releases of Willie Young and Pernell McPhee, a Sam Acho re-signing, and Lamarr Houston being a free agent, the Bears technically only have Leonard Floyd as their primary edge rusher.
With the new signing of Aaron Lynch on a one-year deal, the Bears put a pass rusher who had history with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio to work.
Lynch comes with questions.
That’s undoubtedly why Ryan Pace signed him to a contract with just a single year’s worth of money.
His injury history is spotty at best and missing 18 games in the last two seasons could cause a fan to look at him and scratch their brow.
There is, on the other hand, a method to the madness.
In 2014, Lynch’s rookie season, he had one of his most productive seasons. Amassing 23 tackles, six sacks and four passes deflected, he quickly made his presence known as a rotational defender.
Only starting three games that season, his then defensive coordinator becomes his now defensive coordinator.
Certainly, Lynch is looking to get back to the form he was in during his first two years in San Francisco.
At 6-foot-six and 270 pounds, Lynch is an all-around pass rusher and extremely talented when healthy. Should he return to form, Pace will likely extend him mid-season and Lynch will get a chance to be a premier defender with the leader who developed him.
There is plenty of work ahead, but at only 25 years of age, Lynch has enough time to rewrite his history and start moving forward towards a new identity.
It should be noted that not all of the time he missed was due to injury. Lynch, unfortunately, fell out of favor with the coaching staff and was a healthy scratch for part of the season.
Former Bears cornerback Marcus Cooper went through a similar situation.
Frequently though, situations like his go one of two ways: either lose confidence and never be the same, or wreak havoc on the league and prove them all wrong.
If he is the type of competitor we hope he can be, a little cocktail of familiarity with Fangio’s defensive scheme, and a splash of vengeance could make Lynch’s performance fall into the latter category.