NFL Chicago Bears

5 Free Agent Defensive Tackles Chicago Bears Should Look At

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Chicago Bears Need Help After Losing Top-2 DTs

Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago Bears lost Henry Melton to a torn ACL just over two weeks ago, and found out today that new starting three-tech Nate Collins tore his ACL against the New Orleans Saints Sunday.

Collins, who had been the Bears most impressive defensive lineman so far this year, will be dearly missed, especially since they don't have Melton either. Now their defensive tackles are Stephen Paea -- who missed the last game with a sprained toe, but may be back against the New York Giants Thursday night -- Zach Minter and Landon Cohen. Of the three, Paea is really the only starter material there, so the Bears should look to sign someone out of free agency.

There are a decent amount of veteran defensive tackles out there, and GM Phil Emery could also explore a trade or perhaps another team's practice squad, but the fact is that they need another body at that position. With the way they're dropping this year, another injury or two at some point isn't out of the question.

All that said, there is some talent out on the streets. Five guys in particular would be intriguing additions to the roster, and would give them sufficient depth at that spot. A couple of players I'm about to mention may also be good enough to start alongside Paea this year, depending on their physical shape right now.

So, without further ado, the top-five DTs the Bears should work out and potentially sign.

Brian Neal is an NFL and NBA contributor to and senior mass communications major at Lewis University. Follow him on Twitter @brianneal23, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google+.

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5. Matt Toeaina

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Toeaina played for the Bears the last six years, starting 24 games from 2010-12. He is a guy who could come in right away and play for them as their defense is mostly the same this season. He's strong against the run, but only has two sacks in his career -- both in 2010. Another plus is that he's one of the younger guys on this list at only 28 years old.

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4. Corey Williams

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

The former Green Bay Packer and Detroit Lion has had a very productive career with 27.5 sacks, eight forced fumbles and even two interceptions in nine seasons, however, Corey Williams is coming off of knee surgery this offseason. That would be the reason he was not retained by the Lions, but with his success in the past, there's no reason not to give him a physical and offer a tryout.

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3. Spencer Johnson

Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The nine-year veteran has an impressive resume that displays consistency. Spencer Johnson has had at least two sacks in each of the last six seasons, despite only starting 20 games in the period (he was a rotational player for much of that time). He worked out with the New England Patriots last Thursday, so it's clear he's looking for a team. The Bears would be wise to offer him a look.

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2. Amobi Okoye

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Amobi Okoye has only played for the Houston Texans or Bears in his first six NFL seasons, and has racked up 16 sacks in that time. He wasn't the most impressive player on the Bears the past two years, but he didn't see the field regularly due to the fact that Melton, Toeaina, Paea, Israel Idonije and a couple others were all playing relatively well. Perhaps the Bears give him another shot now that there's a clear need at that position. After all, it wasn't so long ago that he was considered one of the better young DTs in the NFL, and he's a natural three-tech.

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1. Richard Seymour

Cary Edmondson

Yes, I know, he's old. But Richard Seymour is the most seasoned and accomplished defensive tackle on the market. According to, Seymour is open to joining a "contending" team by Week 10. He's also seeking $5 million in return. Odds are, however, that no one is going to give him that kind of offer to have him play only six-to-10 games, and maybe that'll be where the Bears can step in and get a high-quality player.

Seymour has had a fantastic career, totaling 57.5 sacks and nearly 500 tackles. If he's healthy and willing to come for a fair price, the Bears could have a great veteran on their hands. However, even though he's at No. 1 here, he may, at the same time, be the least likely candidate to be signed.


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