The Chicago Bears have overhauled the defensive end position, and they should get plenty of production out of their new defensive end duo of former Oakland Raiders DE Lamarr Houston and former Detroit Lions DE Willie Young. Houston was the big signing after free agency started and will receive an unsurprisingly lucrative contract, and he’s one of the game’s best run-stuffing 4-3 DEs and a quality pass rusher. Young, on the other hand, signed a three-year deal worth $9 million today, per the USA Today’s Tom Pelissero, and the deal also carries $3.95 million in guaranteed money.
It’s an excellent signing for the Bears, as Young is being paid just $3 million per year to replace Corey Wootton as a starter. Julius Peppers was an easy cut this week, and the starting DE duo of Young and Houston is clearly much better than the duo of Peppers and Wootton. Houston is a better run defender and a way better pass rusher than Wootton, while Young is a much more disruptive player than the declining Peppers.
Young, 28, was one of the most underrated free agents on the market, and his sack total of three last season shouldn’t fool you. He’s a good player and pass rusher who had a good 2013 season with 47 tackles and five passes defended as well. He’s worth watching as a breakout candidate, and the Bears were able to nice a nice value signing here.