Bears secure linebacker Tremaine Edmunds on four-year, $72million free agent deal

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The Chicago Bears have signed Tremaine Edmunds to the largest four-year contract ever given to an inside linebacker.

His new contract is worth up to $72million over the next four years, with $50m guaranteed.

Edmunds, 24, was a first round pick by the Buffalo Bills back in 2018, before going on to make the Pro Bowl in 2019 and 2020.

His number the past two seasons have been nearly identical to his Pro Bowl years, eclipsing 100 total tackles for the fifth straight campaign despite playing a career-low 13 games in 2022.

A giant for his position at middle-linebacker, the six-foot-five Edmunds has tallied 6.5 sacks, 35 pass break-ups, 32 tackles for loss and five interceptions in his 74 career regular season games.

While Edmunds is undoubtedly a premier player at his position, it is curious to see the franchise invest so heavily at middle linebacker after trading away former top-10 draft pick Roquan Smith to the Baltimore Ravens at the deadline for a second-round pick and a fifth-round pick.

Smith, who is a year older at 25, proceeded to sign a five-year deal worth up to $100m, making him the highest-paid middle-linebacker in league history, although at an average annual value not far away from Edmunds' new contract.