Tracy Porter - Signed through 2019 - Porter played decent football in 2015, but last year not so much. There was some talk that he played through an injury all season long, so maybe he’s able to bounce back for the 2017 season. Regardless, at 30 years old, I don’t think the Chicago Bears should count on him being a starter next year.
Most of his guaranteed money was paid in 2016, so if the Bears do cut him they’ll save about $3.5 million.
Bryce Callahan - Exclusive rights free agent - When he’s been on the field and healthy, he flashes some skills that make you believe he may develop. He missed 5 games in 2016, but his ability to play nickle and outside corner is nice. Since he’s as ERFA, I believe the Bears will bring him back.
Cre’Von LeBlanc - Signed through 2018, then is a restricted free agent - LeBlanc and Callahan are similar players. Both had some injury issues last year, both are under 6’ tall, but both can play outside and in the slot, and both will need to come into camp ready to prove they belong.
Kyle Fuller - Signed through 2017 - Technically the Bears could exercise the 5th year option on Fuller and keep him through 2018, but that’s doubtful. He showed promise as a rookie playing in the Mel Tucker zone based defense, he even looked promising playing more man to man in Vic Fangio’s D during the 2015 season. But then he couldn’t get healthy last year. I know some fans are hoping for a move to safety for the former 1st round draft pick, but he’s probably not physical enough.
Cutting him makes no sense from a financial standpoint, so if he can’t win a starting job, he’ll be relegated to special teams.
Johnthan Banks - Free agent - The Bears added Banks late last season and rehabbed him until he was ready to play (he started the last 2 games). Fangio mentioned him by name as a guy they were excited to see, so maybe then bring him back if the price is right. At 6’2”, he has good size, plus the former 2nd round pick has plenty of starting experience in the NFL with 37 starts his first three years.
Deiondre' Hall - Signed through 2019 - Hall has great length for the position, as evidenced by this spider graph from MockDraftable.com.
The Bears would obviously love their 2016 4th round draft pick Hall, to win a starting corner job this offseason, but I hope they don’t expect that to happen.
Sherrick McManis - Signed through 2017 - McManis’ primary job is as a special teamer and he’s very good at his job. I see no reason he can’t be the 5th CB on the roster again.
Demontre Hurst - Restricted free agent - I think the Bears like Hurst’s special teams ability and his versatility (CB/S/NB). It wouldn’t surprise me to see him return and fight for a back up role.
Brandon Boykin - Free agent - How many of you guys even remember the Bears signed Boykin last year? He spent all of 2016 on IR and I doubt he returns.
Jacoby Glenn - Signed a reserve/futures deal - He bounced up and down from the practice squad last year, so he’ll need to take his game to another level to earn a spot on the 2017 final 53.
De'Vante Bausby - Signed a reserve/futures deal - In the little we’ve seen Bausby play, he hasn’t done much to endear himself to the coaches. Since he’s signed, he’ll be around for a little while, but if he’s on the 2017 active roster, then something has probably gone wrong.
Rashaad Reynolds - Signed a reserve/futures deal - Reynolds hasn’t played in an NFL game through three seasons as a pro. He couldn’t break through with the Jaguars or Lions, so he’ll have an uphill climb with the Bears.
2017 OUTLOOK - In my opinion, the Bears could use new starters at all 4 defensive back positions. The last 2 years they’ve added plenty of youngsters at defensive back, so maybe someone steps up, but they need some rock solid starters. This is a solid draft for corner help, with 15 CBs being ranked in CBS Sports top 100 prospects, but the Bears need to find a step-in starter via free agency.
A.J. Bouye of the Texans, the Rams’ Trumaine Johnson, Logan Ryan of the Patriots or Stephon Gilmore of the Bills would all be welcome additions to Chicago’s defense.
What I said about the safety position, I’ll say about the corners; Bears’ GM Ryan Pace must address the cornerback position and if he has to overpay to do so, then so be it. Chicago can not trot out the same group of non-playmaking corners for Vic Fangio’s defense in 2017.