Mike Danna

Getty Mike Danna is currently a free agent, and the Chicago Bears could sign them if they wanted to.

Mike Danna isn’t a name that’s instantly recognizable, but the former Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher may be the best available option for the Chicago Bears to pair with defensive end Montez Sweat.

After trading defensive back L’Jarius Sneed to the Tennessee Titans, the Chiefs have the money to re-sign Danna, but if the Bears make a better offer, they could get a young pass rusher coming off a career year.

Alex Ballentine of Bleacher Report believes Danna is one player the Bears should attempt to bring to Chicago.

“He would be a strong addition to a defensive line that needs an edge-setter for early downs, but might employ a pass-rushing specialist to get him off the field,” Ballentine wrote about Danna on March 30. “The Bears could pair him with Montez Sweat. Their defensive line is still under construction and it would address another need before the draft.”

Mike Danna Would Make a Ton of Sense for the Chicago Bears

Some free agents the Bears could still sign:

▪️Trait Tart DT he’s only 27 would add depth at 3-tech or nose.
▪️ Tyler Boyd WR has 31 career TDs.
▪️ Mike Danna only 26 had 6.5 sacks 24 pressures 50 tack last year.
▪️ Hunter Renfrow WR 1,038 yards 9 TDs in 2021. #Bears #DaBears

A fifth-round pick for Kansas City in 2020, Danna was primarily used in a reserve role over his first three seasons. That changed last year, when he started 16 games for the Chiefs.

The 6-foot-2, 257-pound Danna finished with career-highs in tackles (50), tackles for loss (7), quarterback hits (13) and sacks (6.5). He played 74% of Kansas City’s defensive snaps last year, a season that culminated in a second straight Super Bowl win for the Chiefs.

Danna has connections in the Windy City, too. Bears general manager Ryan Poles was in Kansas City serving as assistant director of player personnel in 2020 and was part of the group who brought the defensive lineman into the NFL.

With the best edge rushers already taken in free agency, Danna could be an affordable addition with a huge potential upside.

PFF has him projected to sign a three-year, $24.75 million contract with $14.75 million guaranteed ($8.25 million per year). The Bears currently have just under $22.5 million in cap space, per Over the Cap, and they’re always looking to enhance their pass rush.

“We got to make sure that we have somebody opposite of Sweat,” Bears head coach Matt Eberflus said at the scouting combine in February, via 247 Sports. “We can never have enough of those guys because they affect the game the most.”

Bears Have Several Attractive Options at Edge in Upcoming Draft

This year’s draft is also stocked with talent at edge rusher. Florida State’s Jared Verse, Alabama’s Dallas Turner and UCLA’s Laiatu Latu could all be options for the Bears at No. 9, or potentially later in Round 1.

Chop Robinson out of Penn State, Bralen Trice out of Washington and Chris Braswell, another Alabama standout, are also possibilities at pass rusher for Chicago.

Both Verse and Turner are particularly strong candidates. “Other defensive players might have more upside than Verse, but he appears NFL-ready now,” Adam Jahns of The Athletic wrote on March 25. “His strength and violent style make him a perfect complement to Sweat. And that should start on day one.”

“Turner is versatile and would give Eberflus multiple options to use him. Pairing Turner with Sweat … would be quite the boost to the front four,” Jahn’s colleague Kevin Fishbain noted in the same piece.

It’ll be interesting to see who Chicago finds to pair with Sweat on the D-line. If the Bears find the right guy, their defense should be a top 5 unit in the NFL.

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