Former Packers defensive tackle Mike Pennel signs with Bears

Mike Pennel (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
Mike Pennel (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images) /

Former Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs defensive tackle Mike Pennel is returning to the NFC North.

According to Pennel’s agent Andy Simms, he is signing a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears.

It’s a good move for the Bears and one that would’ve made a lot of sense for the Packers. Pennel is a solid run defender and helped the Chiefs win a Super Bowl after spending the first three seasons of his career in Green Bay.

An undrafted free agent in 2014, Pennel has become a good defensive tackle and is particularly strong against the run, an area the Packers have struggled with in recent years.

Depth is also a concern for the Packers along the defensive line, so bringing in a veteran like Pennel would’ve made sense and also would’ve been an affordable move.

Instead, they’ll play against Pennel twice a season as he joins Green Bay’s division rivals.

The Bears signing Pennel makes sense given Eddie Goldman’s uncertain future with the team. Goldman didn’t attend Chicago’s mandatory minicamp, raising questions about whether he’ll miss any of the regular season. For the Bears, Pennel can help fill that need if Goldman doesn’t play.

There are still a number of experienced defensive tackles available in free agency. Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst needs to seriously consider adding a veteran at the position to line up alongside Kenny Clark and Kingsley Keke. Relying on Dean Lowry and Tyler Lancaster to play a significant number of snaps is far from ideal.

There have been some missed opportunities for the Packers at times this offseason as they’ve missed out on signing some players who could really help them at positions of need.

A month away from training camp, defensive line depth remains a concern. Pennel could’ve helped, but he now joins the division-rival Bears.