Aaron Lynch is headed to Jacksonville after two seasons with the Chicago Bears. The outside linebacker and sometimes-defensive end signed a one-year deal with the Jaguars, the team announced via their Twitter page.
Lynch has been in the league for six seasons, spending his first four years with the San Francisco 49ers before heading to Chicago in 2018. He played in 29 games for the Bears, starting three. Serving primarily as a role player who would provide the team with an outside pass rush when Khalil Mack or other starters were on the bench, Lynch had a solid season in 2018. He had three sacks, four tackles for loss and an interception that year, but last season was a different story.
Aaron Lynch Had Issues With Penalties in 2019
Lynch had a problem with penalties in 2019. He had four neutral zone infractions and two offsides penalties while playing in just 23% of the team’s snaps on defense. Bears defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano called him out for it at one point during the season.
“He needs some earplugs, I don’t know,” Pagano half-joked when he was asked about Lynch’s penalties last year. “No, again, he’d be the first one to tell you that he’s going in there, obviously his role is what his role is. It’s not intentional, we know that. He doesn’t want to do that, but he gets out there and most of the time he’s out here — he’ll take some first and second in run situation snaps off the guys — but a lot of times he’s in on third down and he’s there to rush the passer and go get the quarterback on the ground. With that comes the hard count and all this other stuff. It’s something we’ll focus on in the offseason to clean up.”
Lynch will now head to Jacksonville, and should be a nice veteran depth piece for a team in major rebuild. Of course, it seems as though the Jags are in perpetual rebuild mode, but should the team decide to part ways with star pass rusher Yannick Ngakoue, Lynch could prove to be a valuable piece, provided he stays healthy and gets the penalties under control.
Lynch turned 27 in March, so he has plenty of productive years left, but his health moving forward should be a slight concern for the Jags. He had shoulder and elbow issues throughout his two seasons with the Bears, and he also suffered a concussion in 2018. He dealt with a back injury in his time with the 49ers, along with a calf injury that resulted in him missing half of the 2017 season. He was also suspended for four games in 2016 after violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Lynch had a solid start to his career, however. He had 12.5 sacks in his first two seasons with the 49ers, who drafted him in the fifth round in 2014, and he has 20 sacks in his career.