The Chicago Bears have a lot of needs to address over the next few weeks, but they apparently got the ball rolling on a high note as they reportedly grabbed one of the most versatile players available on the market.
According to numerous reports, the team has agreed to terms with defensive end Pernell McPhee.
The contract will reportedly be for five years and $40 million, but the deal can’t officially be signed or announced until the new NFL league year begins on Tuesday afternoon.
McPhee, a 26-year old who has played the last four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, can play both defensive end and outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense, meaning that he is an ideal fit for the Bears’ new defensive system under coordinator Vic Fangio and head coach John Fox.
According to stats compiled by Pro Football Focus, McPhee is a player that should add plenty to the mix for the Bears. Last season, he was ranked as the third-best defensive pass rusher in the NFL with a +23.1 grade, and he is also a solid run defender at +3.2.
The Bears struggled against the run last season, but having a healthy Lamarr Houston playing in a 3-4 defense could help in that regard, and adding McPhee will help out immeasurably in the transition to the new defense.