MONDAY: 9:30am: Talks are ongoing, but nothing is imminent between the two sides, Cole tweets.
THURSDAY, 2:18pm: The chances of linebacker/defensive end Willie Young taking the Bears’ current two-year offer is “50/50,” a source tells Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (via Twitter). The offer is just good enough that Young has to consider, he adds.
It’s not clear if Chicago has presented Young with its final offer, though the tone of Cole’s tweet seems to suggest that. Young, 30, would be under contract through his age-33 season with a two-year extension.
Young inked a three-year, $9MM deal with Chicago in 2014 and, so far, he has been a solid value. Last year, Pro Football Focus (subscription required) rated Young as the 24th best edge defender in the NFL out of 110 qualified players. The advanced metrics gave him roughly equally good marks for his pass rush (359 pass snaps) and run defense (173 snaps). Young has started in eight games during each of the past two seasons and has enhanced his pass-rushing profile considerably during that span. After six sacks in four years with the Lions, Young has registered 16.5 in 30 games with the Bears.
The veteran was reportedly on the trade block after being used sparingly during the first half of the 2015 season. However, Young turned it on in the second half, making 5.5 of his 6.5 sacks from Weeks 9-13. Now, even though Chicago has a strong cast of outside linebackers, the team badly wants to keep him in the fold.
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