The Chicago Bears could use more production from their pass rush, what team couldn't? After placing Lance Louis on injured reserve and releasing defensive tackle Amobi Okoye and signing offensive guard Andre Gurode, the Bears still have a roster spot open on the 53.
Jason Babin was released by the Philadelphia Eagles today not even two years after the Bears made a play to try and sign the pass rushing DE. Babin was placed on waivers, which means the Bears would have to find a way to land Babin through a waiver claim AND pay the rest of his contract he has due over the next three seasons.
The Bears had serious interest in Babin during the 2011 free agency period but eventually lost out to the Eagles. Babin would not even have to come in and be an immediate starter next to Julius Peppers, though he would be enticing in that role.
The Bears have been strong at defensive end this year with third year defensive end Corey Wootton stepping up his game tremendously. Julius Peppers is still playing at a high level and veteran DE Israel Idonije is playing better than last year. The only disappointment has been Shea McClellin who after a hot start has completely tapered off in his production.
Babin has 5.5 sacks on the season, but according to ProFootballFocus Babin still has some value to make a run at. Plus the Bears could use an injection of energy along the defensive line.
Peppers has been fighting a nagging injury all season and Babin would help to lessen Peppers snaps for the playoffs. Having two defensive ends in the 30-year-old plus range in Peppers and Idonije also means the Bears could use that depth to rest the veterans and have the defense in top condition for the stretch run.
While there will definitely be a market for Babin, likely in the waiver wire department this development is something to keep an eye on. An additional pass rusher would only make this defense all the more ferocious for the stretch run.