Former Chicago Bears linebacker Jeremiah Attaochu has found a new home.
The veteran defender, who was a second-round draft pick for the then-San Diego Chargers in 2014 (50th overall), spent the 2021 season in the Windy City before getting released in the 2022 offseason. Now, Attaochu is reuniting with the Los Angeles Chargers, where more than one familiar face awaits him. A nine-year NFL veteran, Attaochu spent his first four seasons with the Chargers before heading to New York, where he played for the Jets for a lone season in 2018.
The 29-year-old linebacker landed with the Denver Broncos in 2019 and 2020, where he worked with current Chargers coach Brandon Staley, who served as Denver’s outside linebackers coach at the time. Staley also held the same role in Chicago from 2017 to 2018.
In addition to reuniting with Staley, Attaochu will also get to reconnect with former Bears All-Pro pass rusher Khalil Mack, who Chicago traded to L.A. in March of 2022.
Jeremiah Attaochu’s Time With Bears Was Cut Short Due to Injury
Attaochu initially signed a two-year contract with the Bears in 2021, but he wound up playing a total of five games for them last season. He tore his pectoral muscle in the Bears’ Week 5 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders, and it forced him to miss his entire 2021 campaign. The veteran defender finished with just two tackles in his five games with the Bears. He landed with the Baltimore Ravens briefly this season, playing in just one game, but was ultimately released.
Attaochu’s deal with Chicago was worth $5.5 million with just under $3 million guaranteed, according to Over the Cap, and after the veteran LB got his guaranteed money last year, new Bears general manager Ryan Poles decided to let him walk while bringing in younger talent.
Now, pending a physical, Attaochu will have another opportunity with the 4-3 Chargers, who are pushing to become contenders in a loaded AFC.
Ryan Poles, Bears Aiming to Get Younger on Defense
At the start of the 2021 season, the Bears had the oldest roster in the NFL, with players averaging 27.0 years of age. Poles has made multiple moves with the clear aim of getting younger on both sides of the ball, which has included letting players like Mack and Attaochu walk.
The first-year GM also drastically re-vamped the team’s roster. Of all the players on Chicago’s initial 53-man roster in September, only 19 were left over from the previous regime, per Shaw Media’s Sean Hammond. That 53-man total included 15 rookies, the most on any NFL team.
At the start of the 2022 regular season, the Bears were ranked 23rd out of 32 teams in average age, and with Robert Quinn now traded to the Philadelphia Eagles and a full slate of draft picks in 2023, they will only likely get younger.
“I value the locker room and what it means and the culture,” Poles said about trading Quinn. “And it sucks to mess with that, to be completely honest with you. But, my job is to do what’s best for this organization, not only now but in the future. I felt like that was the best move for us to make.”