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Buy, Sell, or Keep: the Matt Eberflus Effect In Chicago

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Matt Eberflus is IN as the 17th head coach of the Chicago Bears. What does this mean for the Bears’ roster and scheme?


It has been a long time coming, and it’s finally here — the Chicago Bears get their guy. Matt Eberflus has been hired after an impressive four-year performance as the Indianapolis Colts’ defensive coordinator. Over the span of the Eberflus era in Indianapolis, his defense achieved three top 10 overall performances.

Eberflus has been turning heads as a sharp defensive mind, dating all the way back to his success in college. He led a defense at The University of Missouri that featured Sean Weatherspoon, Evander “Ziggy” Hood, and Aldon Smith.

Eberflus made the leap to the NFL in 2009 as the linebackers coach for the Cleveland Browns and the Dallas Cowboys which led to his eventual hire in Indy.

Scheme Change

Naturally, when a new coach is brought in, they bring their own schemes and philosophies. Matt Eberflus runs a 4-3 Tampa 2 style defense, compared to the 3-4 front the Bears have been running. Dave Borgonzi and James Rowe — who were on staff in Indy — are also following Eberflus to Chicago to help with this defensive transition.

Chicago is also bringing in former Green Bay Packers QB coach Luke Getsy as their new offensive coordinator to pair with Justin Fields and David Montgomery. Getsy has worked with Aaron Rodgers over the past three years, helping to contribute to the MVP’s success. This should be a massive upgrade from Matt Nagy’s putrid offensive system.

Roster Turnover

When changing schemes, teams very often go through some kind of roster turnover. Chicago will be no exception. The Bears’ roster has some talent, but that talent might not be a fit for this new scheme. Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn have been fantastic over their careers, but they are both over 30 and come with high price tags.

The Bears could save $5 million in cap space if they let Quinn go and another $6 million if they release Mack. Quinn is coming off his best season since 2013 with 18.5 sacks, which could help keep him in Chicago for now.

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If the Bears do move on from either Mack, Quinn, both, or just want to bolster their roster, they will have some options on and off their current roster. The most likely on-roster candidate would be Trevis Gipson. Gipson played in a similar defensive system in college and had seven sacks for the Bears this past season. I can instantly point to two pending free agents that would have an instant impact on this new Bears defense.

The first would be middle linebacker, Anthony Walker, who played for Eberflus and Borgonzi in Indianapolis. Walker signed a one-year deal with Cleveland but it is hard to see him passing up this opportunity. Walker would be an excellent fit next to Roquan Smith while helping the on-field acclimation of this new defense.

The other intriguing option would be Colts defensive end, Al-Quadin Muhammad. Muhammad’s six-sack performance in 2021 was the best of his career.

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IDP Dynasty Implications

Trevis Gipson, Edge, 24 years old: Buy

Gipson flashed when injuries gave him an opportunity to see the field last season. While at the University of Tulsa, Gipson lived in the backfield, playing a 4-3 defensive end. He’s not very expensive and there is a realistic path to snaps, so he’s absolutely a “buy” for me.

Khalil Mack, Edge, 32 years old: Sell

Mack is 100% a sell. His tackle production never translated to Chicago from Oakland. That alone would mean he would need sack numbers in the mid to upper teens to be a reliable option. At this point, I would try to get any value I could from someone still believing in the value of his name.

Roquan Smith, ILB, 24 years old: Sell/Keep

Smith has been one of the premier options for IDP managers since he entered the league in 2018. That should absolutely remain the case moving forward. Smith should slide right into the Darius Leonard role of this defense and continue to produce at an LB1 level.

Even with the potential additions to the linebacker room, Smith should thrive in his new role and rarely leave the field in 2022. He is only a “sell” because his value is so high at the moment. If you can get a good haul for him that improves your team, go for it. If you can not get an attractive offer, hold and reap the benefits of having a high-end LB1 on your roster.

Robert Quinn, Edge, 31 years old: Sell/Keep

There are two distinct reasons Quinn is a sell. One, he is coming off his best season in eight years, which is unlikely to be repeated. Two, he may no longer be in favor for this Bears defense. If you can manage to pluck some value from an aging asset, by all means, pull the trigger. If not, you may want to hold and see if Quinn can catch lightning in a bottle twice.


Thank you for taking the time to read my article about the Matt Eberflus Effect in Chicago. You can read more of my work on my IDP Guys author page. Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @FFshep9 and @IDPGuys (we have offense too) and please check out our website at idpguys.org.

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