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CA News 2024

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1 undrafted free agent who will make the Bears’ 2024 roster

The Chicago Bears have been the dominant team in the NFL all offseason. They had the Nos. 1 and 9 selections in the recently completed NFL Draft and they selected USC quarterback Caleb Williams with the No. 1 pick. He is expected to be the team’s QB1 this season and great things are expected. They also added wide receiver Rome Odunze from Washington as one of the team’s top targets.

The draft came after the Bears signed free agent wide receiver Keenan Allen from the Los Angeles Chargers. Allen has been one of the best receivers in the league, and the combination of Odunze, Allen and holdover DJ Moore should give Chicago one of the best receiving trios in the league.

But landing a veteran free agent and drafting potential stars wasn’t the only thing general manager Ryan Poles was responsible for this offseason. In addition to drafting five rookies, the Poles signed 14 rookie free agents.

While it’s not likely that most of these players will make the team’s final roster, there should be a chance for one or more players to make the team. One of those players is Oregon State linebacker John McCartan.

1 undrafted free agent who will make the Bears’ 2024 roster

The Bears made significant strides on defense last year, and that area became a strength for head coach Matt Eberflus toward the end of the season. However, the Bears will need to continue making progress in this area during the 2024 season. While Williams and Odunze will likely help the Bears build a dangerous offense, having a defense that can shut down or at least slow down opponents will take the pressure off the offensive demands of the team’s young stars.

Linebacker John McCartan, Oregon State

The Bears hope McCartan can showcase his talent in minicamp and later training camp this summer. McCartan weighs 6-5 and 243 pounds, and he clearly has the kind of size and strength that will help him make plays at the next level.

McCartan had a solid season with the Beavers last year, with 47 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, 1 interception, 1 forced fumble and 1 pass defended.

He has made steady progress over the past two years. He was unable to play in 2021 due to a hamstring tear, but he responded with 34 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 1.0 sack and 3 passes defensed in 2022.

McCartan hasn’t become a star in his career thus far, but his production got him noticed by the Bears. He can add depth to the current defensive unit and should provide the ability to make key plays when his number is called.

In addition to inviting McCartan to minicamp, the Bears also signed offensive lineman Donny Ventrelli from North Dakota, linebacker Brian Abraham from Yale, cornerback Leon Jones from Arkansas State, linebacker Paul Moala from Georgia Tech, wide receiver Marcus Rogers from Troy, offensive lineman Stonehill’s David Satkowski, Weber State offensive lineman Noah Atagi and Western Kentucky quarterback Austin Reed.

Several of these players should be given a chance to make the team. However, if McCartan has a solid performance in minicamp and training camp, he could play a supporting role for Chicago’s defense.