A Free Agency Blunder: Al-Quadin Muhammad

When it comes to roster discussions, Chicago Bears supporters tend to concentrate primarily on offense. Given that it is among the worst in the NFL, that is only natural. When a unit performs so poorly, changes are felt to be necessary. Sam Mustipher is officially being benched at center, so it would seem that head coach Matt Eberflus got the memo. However, the offense is not the only factor in this matter. On the defensive side, there are also some unanswered questions.

No one irritates me more than Al-Quadin Muhammad. To reunite with Eberflus, Chicago signed the seasoned defensive end in free agency. Years were spent working together in Indianapolis. The coach undoubtedly hoped Muhammad could grow into a positive influence for their new 4-3 formation. That has not happened. Dominique Robinson, a rookie, has 1.5 sacks on less snaps. True pass situations are where he truly stands out. Robinson has four pressures in 32 snaps and a victory percentage of 14.8. Muhammad has one pressure in 34 snaps.

For weeks, they’ve struggled to pressure the quarterback. Robert Quinn doesn’t resemble the athlete he was the previous year at all. Even though Trevis Gipson, who has 14 pressures and two sacks, is their most effective rusher, he still still receives a fraction of Muhammad’s snaps. The only reason the coaches can give for this choice is that he might be their greatest defensive end at stopping the run. But even that raises some doubts because, despite only taking half as many snaps, Robinson has the same number of stops without a gain (5) and only three fewer tackles.

It’s difficult not to see this as coach bias from a distance. Eberflus worked on Muhammad for years. He might want to seriously consider giving his understudy an opportunity to build on his Colts success. However, that isn’t his main duty. He must select the best players to play. Robinson is doing it right now. A youth movement has already been adopted by the Chicago Bears defense. Why not take it all the way?
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