Trevis Gipson

Titans To Sign OLB Trevis Gipson

Before the Bears decided to waive Trevis Gipson, the young pass rusher came up in trade discussions. But he went unclaimed on waivers. After passing through to free agency, Gipson will have a new home.

The Titans are signing the fourth-year edge defender, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com tweets. Gipson spent three seasons with the Bears, joining the team as a fifth-round pick back in 2020.

Tennessee, which lost pass rusher DeMarcus Walker to Chicago in free agency, has Harold Landry coming back from a full-season absence stemming from a late-summer ACL tear. After releasing Bud Dupree, the Titans have Arden Key in place as their top complementary outside linebacker. Rashad Weaver is going into his third NFL season, and rookie UDFA Caleb Murphy rounded out Tennessee’s OLB group when the team set its initial 53-man roster. Gipson, 26, will join this quartet.

Making 19 starts over the past two seasons, Gipson produced 10 sacks in that span. Khalil Mack‘s foot injury in 2021 opened the door for Gipson to be the Bears’ top Robert Quinn complementary piece. As Quinn broke Richard Dent’s single-season franchise sack record that season, Gipson tallied seven sacks and forced five fumbles. This helped Sean Desai‘s defense rank sixth in yards allowed. In Year 1 as a defensive end in Matt Eberflus‘ scheme, Gipson’s numbers dipped. The Bears, who traded Mack in March 2022 and then dealt Quinn before the deadline, received just three sacks from Gipson in his age-25 season.

But Gipson totaled a career-best 11 QB hits in 2022. In Tennessee, the 6-foot-4 defender will return to a 3-4 scheme — under DC Shane Bowen — and will be given a chance to carve out a role as a backup in the again-Landry-led OLB corps. The Titans’ roster now sits at 53 players.

Bears Set Initial Roster, Waive DE Trevis Gipson

The Bears have been slowly trimming down their squad over the past few days, and the front office has now officially landed on their initial roster. The Bears announced the following moves, some of which were previously reported:

Placed on IR:

Released:

Waived:

Waived/injured:

The moves actually reduce Chicago’s roster to 52 players, so additions are certainly coming.

Trevis Gipson is a bit of a surprise cut after the former fifth-round pick got into 33 games (19 starts) for the Bears over the past two years. The defensive lineman showed some pass-rushing prowess during his rookie season, compiling seven sacks, seven tackles for loss, and seven QB hits. His numbers took a bit of a step back in 2022, with the Tulsa product finishing with only three sacks. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter), the Bears worked on a trade for Gipson and had “teams involved” in the bidding but couldn’t come to terms before today’s roster deadline.

Trestan Ebner was another Bears draft pick that got into 17 games last season. The 2022 sixth-round pick ended up getting 26 touches on offense, collecting 62 yards from scrimmage while coughing up two fumbles. Ebner also returned 10 kickoffs for Chicago last season. The running back has been in concussion protocol since the early parts of the preseason, and there’s a chance he reverts to the Bears’ injured reserve if he goes unclaimed.

Bears Grant DE Trevis Gipson Permission To Seek Trade

The Bears drafted Trevis Gipson as an outside linebacker for the 3-4 defensive scheme they ran under former defensive coordinator Sean Desai. After seeing him struggle to reach the same production in the system of new defensive coordinator Alan Williams last year, Chicago has allowed Gipson to seek a preferable trade destination, per Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

Gipson was a strong fit for the 3-4 system ran by Desai. After spending a year learning the system and only appearing in seven games, not an uncommon occurrence for a fifth-round rookie, Gipson responded with a strong sophomore season. In Desai’s defense in 2021, Gipson put up sevens across the board for sacks, tackles for loss, and quarterback hits. He also added five forced fumbles in his nine starts for the Bears.

The team converted to a cover-2 style of a 4-3 defensive scheme under Williams, forcing Gipson to change his role. In this new role, Gipson struggled to find the same success he saw under Desai. In ten starts, he still added some contributions in the form of four tackles for loss and three passes defensed, but he struggled to finish, only collecting three sacks while racking up 11 quarterback hits.

While he was still providing pressure, the analytics didn’t agree with him in 2022. After ranking as the 33rd best edge defender in the league in 2021, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required), he graded out all the way down at 111th out of 119 graded players in 2022.

Heading into a contract year, Gipson has been viewed as expendable with many labeling him as a potential cap casualty. Allowing him to pursue a trade partner may allow Chicago to take Gipson off the books while returning something in draft capital, as well.

In a new location, Gipson will likely be seeking a return to the 3-4 type of defensive scheme that he thrived in. There are several teams with that type of system that could be looking to add some depth and experience off the edge in the form of Gipson. Unfortunately for Gipson and the Bears, though, knowing that he may be a cap casualty, those team may wait for Gipson to become available at the roster cut deadline.

On the flip side, Gipson has had a great camp and preseason. He has delivered electric performances week after week and, take it for what it’s worth in the preseason, he’s made an exceptionally strong case for a roster spot. If Gipson performs his way into remaining on the Bears’ roster, those aforementioned teams will be forced to cough up something in order to obtain Gipson.

There are a couple ways this could play out. If a team likes Gipson enough, they may see the potential options that could play out and opt to get ahead of it by ensuring they get him on the roster by trading for him. Teams may wait it out and bid for him if he gets cut. Or, as mentioned above, they may wait it out just to end up trading for him anyway. Either way, Gipson should have some options at finding a better situation for himself in 2023.

NFC North Rumors: Campbell, Bears, Addison, Cook

When the Lions made Iowa linebacker Jack Campbell the first off-ball linebacker taken in the 2023 NFL Draft at No. 18 overall, the assumption by many was that he would be starting as a rookie next to Alex Anzalone and Malcolm Rodriguez in Detroit. According to Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press, those assumptions may have been a bit premature.

Lions linebackers coach Kelvin Sheppard asserted earlier this month that, in Detroit, they intend to start the best players. Aside from Anzalone and Rodriguez, Derrick Barnes is the team’s top returning linebacker. He was third in the position room in tackles and started four games for the Lions last year.

Sheppard would very much like Campbell to slot in as a starting linebacker, but he made it clear that Barnes is not going to go away quietly. While Rodriguez deals with a leg injury, Barnes has worked with the first team alongside Anzalone this spring. If Campbell is going to break the starting lineup in Week 1, he’s going to have to show that he can outperform Barnes. Until then, he is going to have to continue in his rookie development.

Here are a few other rumors from the NFC North, starting with a position battle out in the Windy City:

  • The Bears finished last in the league last year in team sacks with 20 total for the season. Their prospects in 2023 may not be much brighter. According to Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times, Dominique Robinson and Trevis Gipson will be competing for a starting spot at defensive end this summer. Robinson had 1.5 sacks in the season opener last year but failed to register another for the rest of the season. Gipson racked up two sacks in Week 2 of 2022 but only had one the rest of the year. As of right now, one of those two will be starting next season. Chicago would either like to see improvement in their production this year or would like to sign another end to provide more competition.
  • Vikings first-round pick Jordan Addison‘s rookie development has been put on hold a bit as he deals with a minor injury, according to ESPN’s Kevin Seifert. Head coach Kevin O’Connell said that he expects Addison to be fully recovered by training camp. In the meantime, Addison has reportedly been “asking great questions” and been “phenomenal in meetings” as he continues to learn.
  • While former Vikings running back Dalvin Cook‘s free agency has been the story as of late, he has experienced some recent legal victories, according to Mike Florio of NBC Sports. Back in November of 2021, Gracelyn Trimble sued Cook for injuries from alleged assault, battery, and false imprisonment. Cook filed a counterclaim against Trimble accusing her and her lawyers of invasion of privacy and defamation. While both cases are still pending, Cook’s complaint will go to trial, which could lead to positive outcomes for both cases.

Bears Finalize Draft Class Deals

The Bears completed a quick effort to have their 2020 draft class signed by the time their rookies were to report to training camp. All seven of Chicago’s draftees are now signed, with the group either inking deals Tuesday or seeing the team reveal an agreement is in place.

Second-round tight end Cole Kmet and Round 2 cornerback Jaylon Johnson highlight the group, which also included linebacker Trevis Gipson, cornerback Kindle Vildor, wide receiver Darnell Mooney and tackles Arlington Hambright and Lachavious Simmons. Kmet, Johnson and Simmons signed their deals Tuesday.

This marked the second of two Bears drafts lacking a first-round pick because of 2018’s Khalil Mack trade. Chicago, however, gained a second-rounder in that deal and selected Kmet. The Bears took Hambright with a pick obtained in the deal with the Raiders as well.

The first tight end selected this year, Kmet will be expected to step in as Chicago’s starter fairly soon. The team has experienced issues filling this job in recent years. Dion Sims, 2017 second-rounder Adam Shaheen and Trey Burton failed to become the franchise’s long-sought-after answer here. The Bears did sign Jimmy Graham, but the soon-to-be 34-year-old tight end struggled for much of his Packers tenure.

A Utah product, Johnson can be expected to compete for the Bears’ starting cornerback job opposite Kyle Fuller. Chicago released Prince Amukamara this offseason. The Bears also traded up for Mooney in Round 5, doing so just before signing Ted Ginn Jr. to serve as a stopgap option. Chicago also cut Taylor Gabriel this offseason.

Here is the Bears’ draft class:

2-43: Cole Kmet, TE (Notre Dame)
2-50: Jaylon Johnson, CB (Utah)
5-155: Trevis Gipson, LB (Tulsa)
5-163: Kindle Vildor, CB (Georgia Southern)
5-173: Darnell Mooney, WR (Tulane)
7-226: Arlington Hambright, T (Colorado)
7-227: Lachavious Simmons, T (Tennessee State)