Friday afternoon news dumps are pretty commonplace in the NFL. But it's always a bonus when the breaking news is positive in nature, as was the case for the Chicago Bears this afternoon. The team announced that they've extended Defensive Tackle Eddie Goldman to the tune of a 4-year, $42M dollar deal.
That's a whole lot of cash, especially when adding in $25M in guarantees. It's the kind of contract a team pays out to one of their key cornerstones on the roster, which is apparently what the Bears regard Goldman as. As a point of context, Goldman's $10.5M average annual salary is fourth highest in the NFL among 3-4 defensive tackles, trailing only Jurrell Casey, Ndamukong Suh and Brandon Williams.
His $25M in guarantees is the third highest of 3-4 defensive tackles. This is no small contract. Chicago is clearly in a giving mood this summer after passing a 6-year, $141M contract to recently acquired DE Khalil Mack.
So how did Eddie Goldman get to this point? He's started 32 of 36 games played in his three years in the league and quietly has become one of the better interior defenders in the game. It's not too much of a surprise to those who dug into his college tape prior to the 2015 NFL Draft.
Here's a look back at Goldman's 2015 NFL Draft report:
For what the Bears are paying Goldman, it's clear they expect to see him cash in on some of his untapped pass rush prowess. Part of Goldman's restrictions to this point have been with his usage, as Pro Football Focus' Mike Renner pointed out this afternoon.
I'm here to bring good news, Bears fans. I think Goldman can be more of a player who can, as Mike phrases it, affect the pass game.
In looking over Goldman's report, there are several clues to suggest that this can be a more effective 3-down defender.
- Clean arm sweep to clear hands.
- Has a strong bull rush, capable of getting on top of interior OL out of stance.
- Has a strong reaction time off the snap.
- Surprising burst in steps 2-3...
With this much skin in the game, Chicago needs Goldman to be a pocket collapsing presence in addition to the ace run defender he's developed into in his time with the Bears. The potential has been there since his Florida State days, but it's also peeking through his limited rush reps.
This is a great little move by Eddie Goldman, one that plays right into his strengths as a player. A hard, 2-step stem into the B-gap is met with a slide his opponent at Left Guard. Goldman, predominantly a power player, is given an unusually large amount of space to work with as the Center slides opposite in anticipation of assisting with a quicker defender, #90 Jon Bullard.
Goldman's second step is immediately transitioning into a left handed club and a high swim with the right, a move that offers a glimpse into Goldman's torso mobility. His swim is effective because he's able to "get skinny" and diminish himself for any potential counter strike with the hands of the guard.
This has been one of Goldman's most effective rush moves as a penetration player during his NFL tenure.
After Goldman is done rushing to the bank to deposit his check, it will be time for him to reward the Bears' confidence in him as a cornerstone by rushing into opposing backfields with greater frequency in 2018.