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Willie Young | Defensive Lineman

Team: Chicago Bears
Age / DOB:  (29) / 9/19/1985
Ht / Wt:  6'4' / 251
College: North Carolina State
Contract: view contract details

Latest News

Recent News

The Chicago Tribune's Rich Campbell confirms Bears OLB Willie Young is on the roster bubble.
Young is coming back from a Week 16 torn Achilles' and trying to adjust to a 3-4 defense after spending his entire career in a 4-3. The scheme change is what's hurting him. Young led the Bears with 10 sacks last season, but Chicago is getting OLB Lamarr Houston back from injury and signed OLB Pernell McPhee. As long as Young is healthy, he'd be a hot name should he be part of final cuts. Aug 26 - 9:03 AM

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Player News


Willie Young is listed as a third-team outside linebacker on the Bears' initial training camp depth chart.

The switch from a 4-3 to a 3-4 isn't going well for Young, and he may be on the trade block in Chicago following an impressive 10-sack season. Despite blowing out his Achilles' in Week 16, Young avoided active/PUP to open camp. There would be no shortage of interested teams should he hit the market.
Aug 12 - 3:39 PM

Bears OLB Willie Young avoided the active/PUP list to begin training camp.

Only eight months removed from tearing his Achilles', it is something of a surprise Young avoided the PUP. Young has yet to participate in any team drills, but he should be good to go soon. A standout at 4-3 defensive end last season, Young will be asked to move to outside linebacker in the Bears' new 3-4 scheme.
Aug 1 - 8:26 AM

Coach John Fox said OLB Willie Young (Achilles') is "week-to-week."

Young blew out his Achilles' in Week 16. He was one of the lone defenders to show up on gameday for the Bears last season, leading the team with 10 sacks and playing above-average run defense as a 4-3 end. He'll now be asked to play in a two-point stance as a 3-4 edge rusher. Young may start camp on PUP.
Jun 3 - 1:12 PM

Bears LE Willie Young tore his left Achilles' tendon during Sunday's Week 16 loss to the Lions.

Young will need surgery to repair the tendon. It's a frustrating end to a breakout season for the ex-Lion, who signed a three-year deal with the Bears in March. Young leads the team with 10 sacks and has been stout in run defense.
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 09:22:00 PM

Bears DE Willie Young left Sunday's Week 16 game against the Lions with an Achilles' injury.

Young went down on a non-contact play and had to be carted off. The ex-Lion is likely done for the season.
Sun, Dec 21, 2014 02:48:00 PM

Bears signed DE Willie Young, formerly of the Lions, to a three-year, $9 million contract.

Young get $3.95 million guaranteed. Renovating the defensive line was GM Phil Emery's focus heading into free agency, and he's replaced DEs Julius Peppers and Corey Wootton with Lamarr Houston and Young. 28-year-old Young amassed 48 quarterback hurries last season. He should play a lot of left end.
Thu, Mar 13, 2014 11:42:00 AM

Free agent DE Willie Young is visiting the Jaguars.

The Lions were high on Young the past few seasons, but he registered just six sacks across his last 46 games. He started 15 games mostly at left end last season and generated an impressive 48 hurries, which was third-most among 4-3 ends. Disruption is production. Young could flourish under coach Gus Bradley.
Tue, Mar 11, 2014 06:43:00 PM

Lions coach Jim Schwartz benched DE Willie Young for his personal foul in Thursday's preseason game against the Patriots.

The Lions somehow committed five personal fouls in the exhibition tilt, living up to their bad reputation. "We didn’t want any more personal fouls," Schwartz said succinctly afterward. Increased discipline will be a must if the Lions are to bounce-back from their disastrous 2012 in any meaningful way.
Fri, Aug 23, 2013 08:37:00 AM

Lions DE Willie Young's one-year deal is worth $1.5 million.

That's $500,000 less than the second-round level Young was tendered at as a restricted free agent. It's a sneaky tactic by the Lions, though Young could have forced his way to the open market by calling the Lions' bluff and refusing to sign for less than his tender amount. The deal includes a $300,000 signing bonus. Young will compete for a starting job in camp, and should have the inside track on lining up opposite Jason Jones.
Tue, Apr 16, 2013 06:07:00 PM

Lions re-signed restricted free agent DE Willie Young to a one-year contract.

Young was tendered at the second-round level ($2.023 million), but has signed for something less than the tender amount. Young didn't draw any interest on the restricted market, while the Lions have since signed DL Jason Jones. Defensive end remains a trouble spot for Detroit. Jones is better suited for the interior on passing downs, and Young has three sacks in 32 career games.
Mon, Apr 15, 2013 11:10:00 AM

Lions extended restricted free agent DE Willie Young a second-round tender.

With Cliff Avril and Lawrence Jackson on the free agent market and Kyle Vanden Bosch run out of MoTown, 27-year-old Young is currently the best defensive end on the Lions' roster. Expect that to change dramatically before Week 1.
Tue, Mar 12, 2013 02:22:00 PM

Lions DE Willie Young smashed his middle finger so bad in Week 11 that he considered having it amputated.

We typically don't post information like this, but it's an excuse to talk about Young, who was deemed Detroit's "biggest breakout of this year's preseason." Head coach Jim Schwartz gave his third-year player a lot of love, and some thought Young could be the fallback plan to pending free agent Cliff Avril. Young has played in roughly 25-33 percent of the defensive snaps this season and has amassed a whopping seven tackles with zero sacks. The Lions don't have an heir apparent to Avril on the current roster.
Sat, Dec 8, 2012 01:25:00 PM

Lions DE Willie Young has been the team's "biggest breakout of the preseason."

Young has recovered a fumble, forced a sack, blocked a punt and intercepted a pass, following up an impressive offseason and training camp. "Let's not put him in the Hall of Fame yet," quipped coach Jim Schwartz while acknowledging that Young "makes a lot of plays." While the Lions still have "every intention" of locking up franchise player Cliff Avril, Young is emerging as a fine fallback plan.
Thu, Aug 30, 2012 04:21:00 PM

Coach Jim Schwartz says DE Willie Young was one of the "most consistent players" during the first week of Lions camp.

Young split first-team reps at left end before Cliff Avril reported on Sunday. "We expect a lot from him," Schwartz said. "He's made plays for us, he's come a long way. ... (He needs to) keep grinding that attitude." Efficient as a situational pass-rusher last season, Young could grease the skids for Avril's departure in 2013 free agency if he's similarly productive this year.
Tue, Aug 7, 2012 08:39:00 AM

Depth Charts

Skill Players
QB1Jay Cutler
2Jimmy Clausen
3David Fales
4Shane Carden
RB1Matt Forte
2Jacquizz Rodgers
3Jeremy Langford
4Ka'Deem Carey
5Senorise Perry
GLB1Matt Forte
2Jacquizz Rodgers
3RB1Matt Forte
2Jacquizz Rodgers
WR11Alshon Jeffery
2Marquess Wilson
3Marc Mariani
4Cameron Meredith
5Ify Umodu
WR21Eddie Royal
2Kevin White
3Josh Bellamy
4Rashad Lawrence
5A.J. Cruz
WR31Marquess Wilson
TE1Martellus Bennett
2Dante Rosario
3Zach Miller
4Bear Pascoe
5Blake Annen
K1Robbie Gould