Bears To Sign LB Tremaine Edmunds

Mar 17: According to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2, Edmunds’s new deal has a guaranteed amount of $36.8MM at signing that is composed of a $9.75MM signing bonus, his 2023 base salary of $2.4MM, his 2024 base salary of $14.9MM, and a 2023 roster bonus of $9.75MM. The remaining $13.2MM of guaranteed money is composed of $8.2MM of his $14.9MM 2025 base salary that will be due on the third league day of 2024 and a $5MM roster bonus due on the fifth league day of 2024.

Mar 13: The top off-ball linebacker is off the board. The Bears have entered the mix and will sign Tremaine Edmunds, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

After passing on a monster Roquan Smith extension, GM Ryan Poles will pay up big for Edmunds. The ex-Bills linebacker scored a four-year, $72MM deal, Adam Schefter of tweets. He secured $50MM guaranteed, Schefter adds, noting this is the biggest four-year deal given to an off-ball ‘backer.

This contract checks in just behind Smith’s in Baltimore but also falls just below — AAV-wise, that is — the pacts given to Shaquille Leonard and Fred Warner in 2021. For guarantees, however, Edmunds will only trail Smith, who secured $60MM in total guarantees from the Ravens.

Edmunds, a 2018 first-round pick, spent the first five seasons of his career in Buffalo, compiling at least 100 tackles in each of those campaigns and earning a pair of Pro Bowl nods. He continued being productive in 2022, finishing with 102 tackles in 13 games while finishing as Pro Football Focus’ fifth-best linebacker among 81 qualifiers. He also earned the best coverage score at his position.

Despite his production, it didn’t sound like Edmunds was long for Buffalo. While the organization obviously made an attempt to re-sign the linebacker, it sounds like they’re confident pairing a cheaper off-ball linebacker to play alongside strongside LB Matt Milano, including in-house options like Tyrel Dodson and/or Terrel Bernard. Plus, it sounds like both the Bills and Edmunds were anticipating a deal that would ultimately be too pricey for the organization. Edmunds was far and away the best available free agent at his position, joining a grouping that includes Zach Cunningham, Lavonte David, Deion Jones, Denzel Perryman, and Germaine Pratt. Edmunds indicated that he was a flight risk when he discussed his impending free agency last month.

“I’m gonna let the process take shape,” Edmunds said in February. “Like, you know, they’ve been good to me, so I definitely say ‘thank you’ to the Bills for everything that they’ve done for me these last five years, but like I said, man, I’m…in the backseat.”

The Bears were willing to pony up, with the front office stealing another headline following a busy start to the offseason. Besides trading the number-one pick for a haul that included a pair of firsts and wideout D.J. Moore, the organization also signed linebacker T.J. Edwards to a three-year pact worth $19.5MM and guard Nate Davis to a three-year, $30MM deal.


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