Former Chicago Bears edge rusher Charles Snowden has found a new home.
Per the NFL’s November 8 waiver wire, Snowden has been signed to the practice squad of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Bears inked Snowden as an undrafted free agent after the conclusion of the 2021 draft, and he spent the majority of the year on Chicago’s practice squad, eventually getting elevated to the active roster for two games. Many draft experts and analysts were surprised Snowden went undrafted — some had him going as high as Round 3 or 4.
“That does add a little something, give you a little chip on your shoulder but I mean I wouldn’t say it kind of consumes me,” Snowden said last year after he wasn’t chosen in the draft, via Sports Illustrated. “Like I always want to be the best at everything I do no matter what no matter what the situation is and so that definitely added a little bit of fuel to the fire.”
Charles Snowden Was a Beast at Virginia
Snowden put up solid numbers at the University of Virginia, where he amassed 190 tackles (30.5 for loss), 15.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries and two interceptions in 45 games played.
His production over three seasons with the Cavaliers (he left tied for the all-time lead in sacks) left many scratching their heads as to why he didn’t get drafted.
Walter Football posited that his draft stock may have been hurt due to an injury to his right ankle that ended his season in November of 2020. It was an injury Snowden said lingered into his rookie season with the Bears.
“It probably wasn’t until week seven, week eight of the season where I finally felt like 95% back myself with the ankle and especially as an edge rusher, where you have to kind of bend and put your ankles in awkward situations,” Snowden told Mark Carman of Da Windy City Podcast heading into the 2022 season. “It definitely was tough at first, but it’s definitely feeling 100 percent now.”
Snowden will get to work with a familiar face in Tampa Bay, as former Bears defensive end Akiem Hicks is currently starting on the Bucs defensive line.
Snowden Didn’t Fit in Bears’ New Defensive Scheme
When the Bears hired new head coach Matt Eberflus in January, he switched the defense over from a 3-4 to a 4-3, which required linebackers like Snowden and Trevis Gipson to no longer play with their hand in the dirt. Snowden played in a base 3-4 defense at Virginia, so he should fit in much better in Todd Bowles’ 3-4 system down in Tampa.
The 6-foot-7 Snowden also added muscle this offseason, getting up to 261 pounds, a 16-pound increase from the 245 he weighed last season. The weight gain didn’t help him stick around in Chicago, but the Buccaneers must have liked what they saw.
Young pass rushers like Gipson and fifth-round rookie Dominique Robinson gained favor in Eberflus’s defense, and the Bears also decided to roll with undrafted free agent Kingsley Jonathan over Snowden, who was a casualty due to his lack of scheme fit.