Donnie Zelaya

The Bears Brawl Chief Editor and Senior Writer

The Hero’s Journey is an age old formula in storytelling where an individual is called upon to assist a community facing an overwhelming obstacle. Typically, there is a reward that centers on fame, fortune, and the possibility of everlasting glory. Should the hero accept the invitation, the lives of everyone involved in this quest take on mythical and legendary characteristics that will be passed on for decades and even centuries to come.

The Chicago Bears are not in need of one particular hero to help vault them over the top in the eyes of the Vegas odds makers and solidify them as a contender, but rather a few complimentary players who can provide a needed boost towards a historic Super Bowl run.

Through the draft and free agency, Ryan Pace has revived a franchise long synonymous with a winning tradition and championships (c’mon, we all count the pre-Super Bowl titles right?); ushering in a new era with a young, innovative and charismatic head coach in Matt Nagy, who brought a modern and complex NFL offense that keeps opposing defenses on their heels and has the entire Bears roster wondering when he may call their number to be a part of the ever evolving system. He has also revitalized the culture at Halas Hall into a place where simply put, “guys are having fun”. This sentiment was echoed by Buster Skrine, Mike Davis, and Cordarrelle Patterson in each of their respective free agent signee introductory interviews on the Bears’ website. Whether it be the “Club Dub” phenomena of last season, the resurgence of the “Monsters of the Midway” defense or the “Be You” mantra espoused by Nagy to the entire team. The Bears are winning; having fun while winning, and catching the eye of players and coaches across the NFL in the process. While they have a majority of the key players in place, here are a few options that would fit nicely into the group Ryan Pace has assembled:

UPDATE: Signed Colts 2-year 24 million

Justin Houston (OLB) – While this is a no-brainer in the minds of many a Bear fan, it comes with a few conditions. One, the price must be able to fit within Pace’s comfort level and still leave the club flexibility to make any last minute or in season acquisitions. At this juncture a 1 year/7 million deal or 2/12 million with some incentive escalators should give the Bears a leg up on any other suitors. Houston doesn’t need to start and can be the situational rusher the Bears need that doesn’t result in a big drop in talent from Khalil Mack and Leonard Floyd. Chuck Pagano would be frothing at the mouth creating a defensive scheme featuring all three on the field at the same time.

Source: John Grieshop/Getty Images North America

Shane Ray (OLB) – Should Houston choose to sign elsewhere, Shane Ray, should he check out medically and get a vote of confidence from Pace, Nagy, and George McCaskey, would make a solid consolation prize.  He displayed the physical tools at Missouri that helped make him a 1st round draft choice of the Broncos in 2014. His combination of speed, power, and bend would make him a dangerous weapon in Pagano’s “organized chaos” attack he plans on unleashing this season. A one year prove it deal in the range of 3-4 million could get this done.

Source: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images North America

Derrick Morgan (OLB) – This is my dark horse candidate that not many, if anyone, is mentioning. He attempted to play through knee and shoulder injuries last season in Tennessee which resulted in his worst statistical season. Previous to that he managed to record 7.5 sacks in 2017 and 9 in 2016. This also came while playing a limited number of snaps – 66% in 2017 and 71% in 2016. Again, this is all contingent on his medicals checking out. While his age (33) goes against the Pace initiative to build a younger roster, he brings a veteran presence that is also a solid locker room guy.