Be sure to check out the full 2015 Roster Turnover Story Stream as I work my way through every position group for the Chicago Bears.
Chris Conte - free agent - Even though I'm not as down on Conte as some, I do think it's time to move on from him. He struggled through injuries in 2014 and when considering his history in Chicago, I could see him and the team just wanting to go different directions.
Conte left 7 of the 12 games he played in because of injuries. He had at least two concussions, a bad back, an eye injury, and a bum shoulder. In the 12 games he appeared in, Pro Football Focus only had him down for 474 snaps out of a possible 787 (60%). When he was on the field he did play much better than in 2013 however. PFF gave him a -3.0 grade last year and a -15.2 in 2013, but the Bears need better play on their back end.
Ryan Mundy - signed through 2015 - The Bears signed Mundy last off season to replace Major Wright and Mundy was an improvement. Mundy didn't necessarily play bad in 2014 for the Bears, but the Bears could use an upgrade from him as well. PFF had Mundy as the best Bears' safety last year with a +1.8 overall and he was Chicago's leading tackler with 103.
Mundy's contract isn't outrageous, so if the Bears do find a better safety, Mundy should stick around for depth in 2015.
Brock Vereen - signed through 2017 - Vereen played all over the secondary in college, but he was primarily a safety for the Bears last year. The new coaching regime may see Vereen in more of a nickel role, but time will tell. As a rookie Vereen played in all 16 games, while seeing action in 13 games on defense, with 4 starts at safety. PFF had him down with a -1.2 overall for the season, but his last 3 games of the year, all starts, he had a +3.0.
Danny McCray - free agent - McCray was signed as a special teamer because of his ties to the old special teams coach, so I don't think he'll return to the Bears in 2015. Perhaps he'll join Joe DeCamillis in Denver.
Anthony Walters - signed through 2016 - The Bears brought Walters in late last season to help solidify the revolving door of special team safeties on the bottom of Chicago's depth chart. He'll probably be in camp, since he is under contract, but he'll have to fight for his place on the final 53 man roster.
2015 OUTLOOK - The Bears should draft a safety at some point and hopefully GM Ryan Pace will have better luck finding a football player at the position than did his two predecessors. I do like the upside of Vereen, but until John Fox and Vic Fangio get to see him in pads, it's hard to know where they envision him playing.
Draft experts aren't very high on this safety class, but there are some players in free agency that could help out the Bears. Free agent Denver Broncos' Rahim Moore and Quinton Carter may be candidates to rejoin their old coach Fox in Chicago.
Buffalo's Da'Norris Searcy, Baltimore's Darian Stewart, the Jets' Dawan Landry and the Giants' Stevie Brown are all viable veteran options the Bears could add.
The free safety atop CBSSports.com's draft board (their 61st overall prospect) is Cody Prewitt of Ole Miss. At 6'2", he has the length teams like in the secondary and he could be available in the 2nd or 3rd round.
The NFL Network's Mike Mayock recently revealed his top 5 at safety and they are Landon Collins of Alabama, Shaq Thompson of Washington, Derron Smith of Fresno State, Jaquiski Tartt of Samford and Ibraheim Campbell of Northwestern.
Collins will probably be the first true safety off the board and Thompson is considered a linebacker by some scouts. Tartt had a real good showing at the Senior Bowl which moved him up a lot of draft boards.
What are your thoughts of the safety position for the Bears in 2015?