32-Year-Old Linebacker – Free Agent
2017 Fantasy Football Outlook
In his three years with the Bears, Young has notched 24 sacks despite being a rotational player at times. He's expected to remain in a rotational role in 2017, but his ability to generate sacks makes ...
2017 ADP: –
Willie Young Contract Information:
Released by the Bears in February of 2018.
The Bears released Young (triceps) on Wednesday, Patrick Finley of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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|Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
Age is determined on September 1st of each season.
|Snap Count||Tackles||Defensive Stats||Fumbles||Kick Ret||Punt Ret|
|21||PRO BOWL||Pro Bowl|
A blank stat line is used above whenever a player was not on the field for any plays in the game that week.
Willie Young: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Young, a seven-year veteran, is entering his third season with the Bears after appearing in 15 contests, including eight starts, in 2015. Last year, he was second on the team with both 6.5 sacks and 21 quarterback pressures as a follow-up to him recording a career-high 10 sacks in 2014. The 31-year-old was signed to a two-year extension through 2018, so despite the team adding defensive pieces in the off-season, he’s expected to see plenty of time on the field as a pass rusher, and his ability to get to the quarterback gives him some IDP value.
Though Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston were the more high-profile defensive ends brought in by former GM Phil Emery last offseason, it was Young who ended up prevented the most impact on a terrible Bears defense. Despite not starting a game until the second half of the season, Young thrived as a rotational end, accruing seven sacks in his first six games and ultimately finishing with a career-high and team-leading 10 sacks to go along with a respectable total of 39 tackles. Those strong numbers may have been enough to put Young in line to assume a full-time starting role in 2015, but those hopes all came crumbling down in Week 16, when he tore the Achilles tendon in his left foot. Because Achilles injuries are one of the more troubling injuries an athlete reliant on explosion can suffer, Young’s long-term outlook was already in question, and his situation took another turn for the worse when the Bears hired Vic Fangio to take over as the defensive coordinator. With Fangio set to install a 3-4 scheme this season, Young will now have to try to come back from a serious setback while transitioning to outside linebacker, a position ill-suited for his abilities. While Young has recovered faster than expected from the Achilles tear and is available for the start of training camp -- albeit in a limited capacity in the early going -- it’s imperative that he show the new coaching staff he can play the new position effectively. Should he fail in that quest, Young’s rather cheap contract could make him at risk of being cut at the end of camp, a development that nobody would have considered as recently as last December.
Young proved to be an effective part of the Lions' defensive end rotation last season, notching 47 total tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries in 16 games. He was able to parlay that performance into a three-year deal with the Bears. Fellow offseason pickups Jared Allen and Lamarr Houston are the clear-cut top defensive ends in Chicago, but Houston's ability to slide inside and play tackle should open up a decent amount of snaps at end for Young.
Look for Young to provide depth for the Lions' defensive front four.