Bears Ink Khalil Mack Replacement to 2-Year Deal: Report

Al-Quadin Muhammad

Getty Al-Quadin Muhammad is signing with the Chicago Bears.

The Chicago Bears are adding another defensive lineman.

Former Indianapolis Colts defensive end Al-Quadin Muhammad is heading to the Windy City to play under new Bears coach Matt Eberflus, who was his defensive coordinator with the Colts from 2018-2021.

NFL insider Adam Schefter was first to report the addition of Muhammad, whose deal with the Bears is said to be a two-year, $10 million contract.

After the Bears traded one of their best defenders, Khalil Mack, to the Los Angeles Chargers on March 10, it was only a matter of time before they added another pass rusher. Muhammad should make an exciting addition to the d-line, and along with third-year linebacker Trevis Gipson and veteran Robert Quinn, the Bears could have a trio of formidable pass rushers on their hands.

ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Bears!

Quinn, Muhammad & Gipson Could Prove to Be Exciting Pass Rushing Trio

A fifth-round pick for the Bears out of Tulsa in 2020, Gipson played just 72 snaps as a rookie, and he saw his playing time increase last season, playing 489 snaps. He made the most out of his opportunities in 2021, finishing with 27 pressures, a QB hit, 16 hurries and 7.0 sacks, which was second on the team behind Quinn.

Gipson earned an 87.0 pass rush grade from Pro Football Focus, and together with Muhammad, could be a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, particularly if Eberflus chooses to start Muhammad and sub Gipson in for the soon-to-be 32-year-old Quinn, who was second in the NFL with 18.5 sacks last year.

Muhammad played 800 total snaps on defense in 2021, and he had a career year. He tallied 6.0 sacks, 23 hurries, 37 pressures and seven QB hits, earning a 64.6 overall grade from PFF.

The defensive end, who turns 27 at the end of March, has been both healthy and reliable in recent years, particularly during his time with the Colts. The New Orleans Saints selected Muhammad in Round 6 of the 2017 NFL draft, but he played sparingly as a rookie, appearing in only four games and was released after just one year. He blossomed in Indy working with Eberflus, playing in 64 games and starting 25 over the last four seasons.

Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!

Muhammad Could Also Be Insurance in Case New Bears Regime Wants to Move on From Gipson

While it’s likely Muhammad will start, as he was clearly brought in due to his familiarity with Eberflus and his 4-3 base defense, it’s also possible he’s meant to be insurance in the event Gipson doesn’t perform well in the new system the Bears head coach is set to install.

New Bears general manager Ryan Poles hasn’t kept many of the team’s defensive starters from recent years around, trading Mack, releasing veterans Danny Trevathan and Eddie Goldman and letting others like Bilal Nichols hit free agency.

Gipson is entering the third year of his four-year, $3,620,672 million rookie contract, so 2022 will be a big season for him on a number of levels. If he can acclimate to Eberflus’ defense and continue to get into the backfield, he could stick around for a while. If he struggles, Muhammad may ultimately be his replacement.

READ NEXT: Bears Poaching WR Away From Rival Packers: Report