The Bears are bringing back defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr., a source confirmed to the Sun-Times on Sunday morning.
He’ll make up to $11.5 million on a three-year deal, per NFL Network. The deal gives Edwards a chance to replicate the best season of his career and allows the Bears some salary cap flexibility entering the start of the league year Wednesday.
As was the case with kicker Cairo Santos’ extension Thursday, the contract is technically a five-year deal, a source said. The last two years are voidable for salary cap purposes.
Last year, Edwards showed flashes of dominance— but was involved in two separate scandals. In January, he was suspended for the first two games of 2021 for violating the NFL’s ban on performance-enhancing drugs. He’ll be able to play preseason games and practice.
In December, he was charged with misdemeanor assault after an incident with a woman at the Bears team hotel the night before they played the Panthers in October. His representatives denied any wrongdoing.
The 27-year-old Edwards, a one-time second-round pick of the Raiders, posted a career-high four sacks in 15 games for the Bears last season. He spent the first three years of his career playing alongside Khalil Mack with the Raiders, then one with the Giants and one with the Saints. The Bears signed him less than a week before the start of the season in September.