NFL free agency recap: Chicago Bears sign QB Brett Rypien, OL Matt Pryor

Rypien has appeared in 10 NFL games, making 4 starts

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Brett Rypien warms up before a game against the San Francisco 49ers, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023, in Seattle. The 49ers won 31-13.

It’s a new year. It is in the NFL, at least.

The league’s new year began at 3 p.m. Wednesday, which marked the official opening of free agency. Deals that were negotiated during the early negotiating period over the previous two days can now become official, as well as any trades that were agreed upon.

Several Bears deals became official Wednesday. The team announced it has signed running back D’Andre Swift to a three-year contract and tight end Gerald Everett to a two-year contract. The Bears also signed safety Jonathan Owens to a two-year contract, offensive lineman Matt Pryor to a one-year deal and quarterback Brett Rypien to a one-year contract. All of these deals are pending a successful physical.

Swift’s three-year deal reportedly is worth $24.5 million. Everett’s two-year contract is worth $12 million and can jump up to $14 million with incentives. Owens is married to Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.

According to, general manager Ryan Poles and the Bears still have about $56 million in available salary cap space for the 2024 season.

Bears sign QB Brett Rypien

Rypien, 27, has played for four other teams since entering the league as an undrafted rookie in 2019.

He spent four years with the Denver Broncos from 2019-22. He appeared in eight games with the Broncos, making three starts. In 2023, he played for the Rams, Seahawks and Jets at various times. He appeared in only two games (both with the Rams), making one start.

He briefly worked with new Bears offensive coordinator Shane Waldron while on the Seahawks’ practice squad for about a month in November and December.

In total, Rypien has appeared in 10 NFL games during his career and is 2-2 in his four starts. He has completed 58% of his passes for 950 yards with four touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He joins a Bears quarterback group that includes Justin Fields and backup Tyson Bagent. Fields’ status remains up in the air as the Bears zero in on potentially drafting a quarterback with the top pick in April’s draft.

Bears sign offensive lineman Matt Pryor

Pryor, 29, played with the San Francisco 49ers last season. He appeared in 15 games, playing primarily on special teams. He was inactive during San Francisco’s playoff run.

Before that, Pryor played for the Philadelphia Eagles and the Indianapolis Colts. He overlapped with Matt Eberflus for one season in Indianapolis in 2021. Drafted by the Eagles with a sixth-round pick in 2018, Pryor has appeared in 75 NFL regular-season games, making 24 starts. He has experience at numerous positions on the offensive line, including both guard and tackle.

He will likely be a depth piece for a Bears offensive line that features Darnell Wright and Braxton Jones at the two starting tackle spots. Backup tackle Larry Borom remains under contract in 2024 as well. Teven Jenkins and Nate Davis appear to be firmly in place at the starting guard spots. The Bears also recently traded for interior lineman Ryan Bates, who will likely be the starting center.

Bears sign linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga

The Bears have agreed to a deal with former Los Angeles Chargers linebacker and special teamer Amen Ogbongbemiga, according to a report from the NFL Network. The deal reportedly is a one-year, $2.1 million contract, which guarantees $1.1 million and can max out at $2.5 million with incentives.

Ogbongbemiga appeared in 47 games over three seasons with the Chargers. He started only two games on defense during that time, but he was a big-time contributor on special teams. Last season, he played 69% of special teams snaps for the Chargers.

The Nigeria native went to high school in Canada and later played at Oklahoma State. After he went undrafted in 2021, the Calgary Stampeders made him the eighth overall pick in the 2021 Canadian Football League draft. Ogbongbemiga elected to sign with the Chargers as an undrafted rookie instead.

Sean Hammond

Sean Hammond

Sean is the Chicago Bears beat reporter for the Shaw Local News Network. He has covered the Bears since 2020. Prior to writing about the Bears, he covered high school sports for the Northwest Herald and contributed to Friday Night Drive. Sean joined Shaw Media in 2016.