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3 ideal Larry Ogunjobi landing spots after Chicago Bears deal falls through

Jason Burgos

Talented former Cincinnati Bengals defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is now back on the free-agent market, just days after agreeing to a deal with the Chicago Bears.

On Friday, The Athletic: Chicago senior writer Adam Jahns broke the news that Ogunjobi’s situation with the Bears had taken an unexpected change, and plans to join the NFC North team had been terminated.

“The Bears are not signing DT Larry Ogunjobi because of a failed physical” Jahns tweeted. The 27-year-old had reportedly agreed to a three-year, $40.5 million deal before failing the exam. NBC Sports Edge is reporting that certain foot issues with Ogunjobi raised concerns with the medical staff and forced the cancellation of the deal.

Ogunjobi sustained a right foot injury in the team’s playoff win against the Las Vegas Raiders and it knocked him out of their run to Super Bowl LVI. Despite the health issues, the 2017 third-round pick is a talent who seems on a career upswing and has a lot to offer a team in need of run stoppers with the ability to rush the quarterback.

With that in mind, here are three possible landing spots now that Ogunjobi is a free agent once again.

Larry Ogunjobi helps putrid Los Angeles Chargers run defense

Larry Ogunjobi
Credit: USA Today Network

Last season, the Los Angeles Chargers were in the bottom five for rushing yards, touchdowns, yards per carry, and runs of 20-yards or more by opponents. Suffice to say, they could use some serious help on their defensive line in 2022.

The 6-foot-4, 305-pound Ogunjobi has shown the upside to be a multifaceted threat in the middle of the defensive front. Outside of his rookie season, he has racked up 45 or more tackles each year and had 5.5 or more sacks in three of his five years in Cincinnati.

The team recently added tackle Austin Johnson in free agency, but with over $30 million still in cap space, adding more proven players to a poor defensive line is a necessity for the Chargers.

Detroit Lions get a needed defensive line anchor

Larry Ogunjobi
Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Similar to the Chargers, the Detroit Lions were terrible in stopping the run last season. However, they didn’t fare much better in stopping the pass either. Ogunjobi would offer a player that could help in two areas of need in one sizable package.

While the Lions need to do all they can to improve their secondary play in 2022, the New Jersey native can give a boost to their run defense while also helping the secondary as a pass rusher who is only getting better. Last season, he racked up a career-high seven sacks. Assuming he can address the issues with his foot, Ogunjobi and Alim McNeill could form a dynamic combo in the middle of the Detroit D-line.

  • Larry Ogunjobi stats (2021): 49 tackles, 7 sacks, 16 QB hits

Not to mention, the Lions still have over $22 million left to spend in free agency.

Ogunjobi fills Austin Johnson’s shoes with New York Giants

Larry Ogunjobi
Credit: USA Today Network

Before the New York Giants can even ponder the idea of taking a flier on Ogunjobi, they will need to clear some more cap space by way of cut or trades to players like Saquon Barkley or James Bradberry. When that happens the idea of Ogunjobi being added to their defensive line seems like a must. Especially if he comes at a discounted rate because of his foot problems.

Ogunjobi being combined with Leonard Williams would return the team to the solid combo they had with Williams and Austin Johnson last season. Johnson moved on and signed with the Chargers in free agency leaving a hole the Giants surely need to fill. Ogunjobi would also be a talent upgrade over the team’s former DT.