clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chicago Bears 2016 Roster Turnover: Who will start alongside Adrian Amos at safety?

New, comments

In this 13 part series we'll take an in depth look at each position group for the Chicago Bears with an eye towards the 2016 season. We'll speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential additions we'd like to see general manager Ryan Pace make.

Mike McGinnis/Getty Images

Adrian Amos - signed through 2018 - I find it interesting that the Bears list Amos as a only "free" safety on their roster. Perhaps they view his skill set as more of a center-field type, or maybe it's just a clerical error. Amos wasn't expected to be a major contributor on defense after being a 5th round pick out of Penn State, but he won a starting job early and never looked back while starting all 16 games as a rookie. He didn't have many flashy plays, but he was solid with 67 tackles, 1 sack and 2 passes defended. I was most impressed with his fearlessness in coming up to play the run.

While I hope Amos is the long-term answer at safety for the Bears, it's hard to know for sure after only his rookie year. I like the potential I saw, but now we'll see what he does as he preps as a professional for the first time. If he can take a jump in play with the experience and confidence he gained in 2015, he could be in for a big season.

Antrel Rolle - signed through 2017 - The Bears have already paid Rolle his guaranteed money, so if they decide to cut him, there will no dead money to worry about. He does have a minimal roster bonus coming up, but I can't see that being a deciding factor on if they decide to part ways before it's due.

If the Bears feel they have a better option to start at safety alongside Amos, then I think they release Rolle and save $2.7 million, but until they know for sure, there's no reason to part ways with the 33 year old veteran.

Harold Jones-Quartey - signed through 2017 - I thought Jones-Quartey looked like a different player when he started late in the season over his early action. He was decisive in coming up to hit, his angels were more precise and he just seemed like he learned something from that early stint.

I would really love for the Amos / Jones-Quartey pairing to be legit, but I just haven't seen enough of HJQ to know what he'll be.

Demontre Hurst - signed through 2016 - Hurst is a decent special teamer and he can provide safety/nickle depth, but the Bears will still try and upgrade. Hurst will be around this offseason hoping to impress, but his spot is up for grabs.

Anthony Jefferson - signed through 2017 - The Bears thought enough of Jefferson to put him on IR after breaking his arm in the preseason finale. They could have worked out an injury settlement, but they ultimately thought that keeping the UDFA from UCLA around Halas Hall was the best thing to do.

Ryan Mundy - free agent - Mundy missed all of last season with a hip injury (that the Bears originally called day to day) after starting all 16 games for the Bears in 2014. At 31 and coming off an injury, I can't see anyone offering him any more than a 1 year veteran minimum type deal. I could see the Bears bringing him back for some just-in-case depth.

Sherrod Martin - free agent - Martin sporadically played on defense last year, but he did rack up 178 snaps in 11 games on special teams. Like Mundy, Martin is also 31, and the best he could hope for is a 1 year deal. I doubt the Bears bring him back.

Chris Prosinski - free agent - Prosinski actually made 5 starts at safety last year, while appearing in 13 games. He's the youngest (28) of the FA safeties, and he played the 2nd most 3rd phase snaps among all Bear DBs last season (259). I could see Chicago bringing him back to compete for a back up spot.

2016 OUTLOOK - I would love for the Bears to have two reliable safeties patrolling the back end of their secondary. I hope Amos can grow into one of them, but I'm not seeing the other guy on the roster. Rolle has probably lost a step and he didn't look that good last season when he played and the young guys are just unproven.

The Bears will have some free agent options if they want to spend at the position. Our own Sam Householder took a look at Rams free agent Rodney McLeod right here and he spotlighted Cleveland's Tashaun Gipson right here. Ex-Chargers' Pro Bowler Eric Weddle is out there, but at 31, is he worth the risk?

If the Bears decide the best player available in the draft is a safety, here are some guys that may interest GM Ryan Pace. USC's Su'a Cravens is a SS/LB hybrid type player that could be available on day 2. Out draft guy EJ Snyder profiled him right here. EJ also scouted Florida State's CB/FS Jalen Ramsey right here, but unfortunately Ramsey will be gone before the Bears pick at 11. He also broke down some film of Duke's Jeremy Cash (click here) who will probably be a 2nd rounder and 4th-5th round prospect Jayron Kearse of Clemson (click here).

If you're looking for a later round prospect, perhaps Boston College's Justin Simmons (6'2", 202), who had a sold week of practice at the East West Shrine Game could be had on the final day.

What are your thoughts on the safety spot for the Bears in 2016?