Super Bowl-Winning DT Named Top Trade Target for Bears After Draft

Rakeem Nunez-Roches

Getty DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches has been mentioned as a possibility for the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears don’t have many glaring needs on their roster, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for general manager Ryan Poles to add a few players to the defensive line in the coming months. Depth at defensive tackle, specifically, is an issue.

Could Poles reunite with a player he once helped draft back in 2015, when he worked for the Kansas City Chiefs?

In his May 5 article, Alex Shapiro of NBC Sports listed former Chiefs, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and current New York Giants defensive tackle Rakeem Nunez-Roches as an affordable and realistic option for Chicago.

“Nunez-Roches … has plenty of experience with 118 games and 42 starts to his name, and brings positional versatility to the table with snaps at NT, DT and DE,” Shapiro wrote, adding: “Poles has also played a key role in picking Nunez-Roches before. Poles was Kansas City’s director of college scouting when the Chiefs selected Nunez-Roches.”

Where Would DT Rakeem Nunez-Roches Fit in Bears’ Depth Chart?

The Bears could use some help for second-year DTs Gervon Dexter and Zacch Pickens, and Nunez-Roches would be an affordable addition. He’d likely help fill the role vacated by last year’s starter, Justin Jones, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals this offseason and would likely serve as a rotational depth piece behind Dexter.

Trouble is, he’s already under contract with the Giants.

A sixth-round pick for Kansas City in 2015, Nunez-Roches spent his first three NFL seasons with the Chiefs before getting released after the 2017 season.

The veteran DT landed in Tampa Bay after that. He played in 68 games in his five seasons with the Buccaneers, starting 22. During Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl-winning campaign in 2020, he appeared in 16 games (11 starts) and played 45% of the unit’s defensive snaps that year.

Nunez-Roches joined his third team after signing with the Giants last offseason.

In 16 games (four starts) for the New York in 2023, Nunez-Roches finished with 26 total tackles (one for loss), a quarterback hit, 0.5 sacks and a pass defensed. He’s not going to fill the stat sheet, but he could provide solid depth.

Bears May Not Want to Trade for a DT & Go Free Agency Route Instead

Nunez-Roches just finished the first year of his three-year, $12 million contract with the Giants. He’d be an affordable addition, to be sure, but if the Bears were interested in him, it would likely take a Day 3 pick to add him.

It’s possible Poles won’t want to shell out any draft capital to address the lack of depth at DT — the Bears GM could very well sign a free agent, although the pickings are slim.

Poles believes the improvements Chicago has made to its roster, including the additions of quarterback Caleb Williams and wide receiver Keenan Allen, will make the Bears more attractive in the eyes of currently available free agents.

“In my time at Kansas City as things really started to ramp up we found that more guys really really wanted to be there which is always a good indication that you’re doing things the right way,” Poles said on April 26.

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