The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent DT Mike Pennel to a one-year deal, according to his agent Andy Simms.
Pennel originally signed with the Green Bay Packers in 2014 as an undrafted free agent. He spent his first three years in Green Bay playing on a rotational basis on the defensive line. Pennel then spent two years (2017 and 2018) with the Jets, exceeding 300 snaps both years. He spent 2019 and 2020 in Kansas City with 205 and 371 snaps, respectively. He has played along the defensive line in the last two Super Bowls for the Chiefs.
Pennel has served predominantly in a nose tackle role for most of his career. He has aligned in the A Gap (between center and guard) or B Gap (between guard and tackle) for the large majority of his career snaps. He has held up well in the run game but does not provide much pressure against the pass, which may be more of a product of his position than anything.
This signing begs the question of when Bears fans will see Eddie Goldman, who was a "no show" at minicamp. Pennel is a signing that points to filling a need at nose tackle, where the Bears already have Goldman projected to start. Goldman, Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols, Mario Edwards Jr., Angelo Blackson, and Khyiris Tonga are all projected to be rostered, making this a peculiar signing. While Pennel has been a solid nose tackle in his career, one can't help but wonder what this could potentially mean for Eddie Goldman.