Bears general manager Ryan Poles made his first move in free agency by upgrading the linebacker room. Ian Rapoport reported the Bears are on board to sign former Eagles linebacker T.J. Edwards to a 3-year contract worth $19.5 million, with $12 million in guaranteed money.

Even though he went undrafted out of Wisconsin in 2019, Edwards left a big impact on the Eagles defense. In his first two seasons, Edwards acclimated 100 tackles in 28 games played. But in the last two seasons for the Eagles, Edwards has showed what he is capable of as a linebacker.

In 2021 alone, Edwards had 130 total tackles in 16 games played. Then last season when the Eagles where going on their Super Bowl run, Edwards took his game to another level and had career high in 159 total tackles, 10 tackles for loss, quarterback hits and seven passes defensed.

Edwards also posted a 78.4 coverage grade in the regular season and post season, according to Pro Football Focus. Look at his instincts and the power he displays on this rep against the Colts last season.

How he fits

Edwards will fill the “Mike” linebacker position for the Bears in Alan Williams’ defense. The biggest question now is what will happen with Jack Sanborn — who also was an undrafted linebacker out of Wisconsin and played the “Mike” position for the Bears last season.

There is definitely a possibility that Edwards and Sanborn can play on this defense at the same time. Especially if the Bears believe Sanborn can play the “Will” linebacker spot. If not, the “Sam” backer would make sense for the Bears defense as well.

The Bears get a young, productive player who is ascending in his career. The Lake Villa product comes back to Chicago to fill an important role for the Bears defense in 2023.


Nicholas Moreano is the Bears beat reporter for CHGO Bears. He has a master's degree in Communication from DePaul University and obtained his bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Iowa.