This is a trade that someone should make—and the Bears make as much sense as anyone.
If you want to know how confident the Chiefs feel about giving Khalen Saunders more reps this season, just look at the recent acquisitions of Danny Shelton and Matt Dickerson. Together with Taylor Stallworth, the Chiefs have certainly made the interior d-line a crowded space on the roster given the presence of Turk Wharton, Derrick Nnadi, and Chris Jones already.
That’s not to say that Saunders cannot beat out the newer faces or that he’s on the outside looking in. But Saunders’ injury history has done him no favors and it’s not as if he’s demanded more reps when he is healthy. That’s frustrating because Saunders’ potential was exciting when the Chiefs first drafted him as a small-school prospect out of Western Illinois in the third round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
With only one year to go on his rookie deal, Saunders might be better served with a change of scenery and a clearer path to playing time—something Chicago could give him. The Bears are transitioning to a 4-3 front and lost Eddie Goldman, Akiem Hicks, and Bilal Nichols in free agency. The Bears did sign former Chargers DL Justin Jones, but don’t forget about the Larry Ogunjobi deal that fell through. There are younger players here, including Khyiris Tonga, but there’s little depth.
For a guy who was once called the Aaron Donald of the FCS, a team like the Bears could really give him room to grow with regular rotational snaps.