Bears’ Veteran LB Arrested, Charged With Gun Possession: Report

Matt Adams

Getty New Bears LB Matthew Adams was arrested on June 23.

Chicago Bears linebacker Matthew Adams was arrested on Thursday, June 23 and charged with gun possession, according to a report by TMZ.

The Bears signed Adams to a one-year contract in April, and he is currently listed as the team’s No. 1 strongside linebacker on ESPN’s depth chart, which would make him a starter if the season began today.

Per TMZ’s report, Adams was “booked on misdemeanor unlawful use of a weapon — carrying/possessing a firearm … and was cited for having a high capacity magazine and metal piercing bullets.” TMZ reported that while Adams did have a permit for the firearm, it wasn’t registered in the state of Illinois.

The report also noted Adams was initially questioned by police “around 6:45 PM after he was spotted near a Jeep that was reported stolen. Adams allegedly claimed to have bought the car … but when cops searched the vehicle, they found a loaded handgun in the center console and an extended mag in the trunk.”

TMZ also reported the Jeep’s owner elected not to press charges, “chalking the whole thing up as a misunderstanding.”

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Adams Has Strong History With Bears HC Matt Eberflus

A seventh-round pick for the Indianapolis Colts in 2018 (221st overall), Adams spent his first four seasons in Indianapolis, playing in 58 games and starting nine. He registered 55 total tackles (six for loss), two quarterback hits and a fumble recovery, per Pro Football Reference.

He has played primarily on special teams over the last two seasons, where he carved out a solid role for himself. He played on 79% of Indy’s special teams snaps last season, and he had a memorable blocked punt that led to a touchdown for the Colts:

Adams also developed a solid enough rapport with Bears’ first-year head coach Matt Eberflus, who served as defensive coordinator for Indianapolis from 2018 to 2021, for Eberflus to add him to Chicago’s defense this offseason.

TMZ also reported Adams, 26, is set to appear in court in August of 2022. He’s the second Bears free agent to be arrested this offseason, after wide receiver Byron Pringle was charged with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license in April.

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What Does Bears’ Depth Chart Look Like Behind Adams?

It’s not great. Bears’ four-year starter Roquan Smith will be the team’s No. 1 LB, of course, and is currently listed as first on the depth chart at middle linebacker. Behind Smith are Caleb Johnson and Noah Dawkins.

Free agent acquisition Nicholas Morrow, another former Colt, is expected to start opposite Smith at weakside linebacker, with Joe Thomas, C.J. Avery and Christian Albright behind him.

Behind Adams, however, the depth is most sparse, with undrafted free agent LB Jack Sanborn the only player listed. Sanborn was a standout at the University of Wisconsin, but he’s a long shot to make the team’s 53-man roster.

Considering this lack of depth, the Bears may want to bring in another LB to compete with Sanborn, because if Adams were to get injured or become unavailable, the Bears would find themselves with a big hole in the middle of their defense..

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