Bears linebacker Willie Young will be staying in Chicago for the foreseeable future. According to ESPN’s Adam Caplan (via Twitter), the Bears have signed the 30-year-old to a two-year extension, which would take him through the 2018 season. The terms of the deal have yet to be reported.
Young originally joined the organization back in 2014, inking a three-year, $9MM deal. Through his first two years in Chicago, the former NC State-standout has certainly lived up to his contract. After having switched from defensive end to linebacker, Young has averaged 35 tackles and more than eight sacks a season since joining the organization. After having ruptured his achilles tendon in 2014, Young bounced back with 6.5 sacks last season. The defender was originally a seventh-round pick by the Lions in 2011, and Young ultimately spent three years in Detroit.
Young placed 24th on ProFootballFocus.com’s (subscription required) ranking of the league’s edge defenders, topping notable names like Jason Pierre-Paul, Greg Hardy, and Sheldon Richardson. Of course, the veteran only played 532 snaps last season, with the majority coming in the passing game.
As RosterResource.com shows, the Bears added a number of linebackers this offseason, including first-round pick Leonard Floyd and veterans Danny Trevathan and Jerrell Freeman. As a result, Young figures to compete with Lamarr Houston for back-up linebacker snaps.