The Chicago Bears have already made a couple of moves this week at defensive end, signing Lamarr Houston and releasing Julius Peppers, but they made another one on Thursday as they reportedly signed Willie Young to a 3-year contract worth $9 million.
The deal, which was broken by Tom Pelissero of USA Today, will feature $3.95 million worth of guaranteed money for the 28-year old Young, and also includes a $2 million signing bonus.
Young played for the Detroit Lions for the past four seasons, and had the best year of his career in 2013. Starting in 15 games for Detroit, Young had 47 combined tackles and three sacks to go along with five passes defended, all career highs. Two of those defended passes came against the Bears in the Lions' 21-19 win over the Monsters of the Midway at Soldier Field on November 10th.
With a thin class of defensive end help coming through the NFL Draft, and with slim pickings on the free agency board as well, GM Phil Emery is having to get creative as he tries to restructure a line that struggled all season long last season, both in terms of getting to the quarterback and in terms of stopping the run. Young should be able to help with both of those things, and his contract allows the Bears some flexibility to keep addressing other needs.