Entering his third season with the Bears, safety Adrian Amos has come to a bit of a crossroads. After a promising rookie season, it appeared that Amos took a bit of a step backwards in 2016.
Oddly enough, Amos actually had a better year statistically in 2016 than he did in 2015. My opinion on Amos is that because we all expected to see him take a step forward in 2016 and we were let down. This let down can cause us to perceive their performance as worse than it actually was. It is human nature to allow your expectations to influence your perception of the outcome. Or simply put: when you expect better and you get the same, then you believe it’s worse than it really was.
After watching some of the 2016 season again, I do not feel that Amos took a step back, I believe what we saw was this: a player that has some physical limitations and who has been out of position for a lack of a better option.
I firmly believe that Amos is a strong safety who has been the de facto free safety for two seasons. With the move of Deiondre’ Hall to free safety, the drafting of Eddie Jackson in the fourth round in 2017 and DeAndre Houston-Carson in 2016, it appears that the Bears will finally have a chance to move Amos to his natural position.
Quintin Demps is going to provide some stiff competition however, as is incumbent strong safety Harold Jones-Quartey. Amos is going to have an uphill battle to retain a starting position in the secondary.
It is my belief that the Bears are better off in 2017 with Amos as the “swing,” or third safety, than they are with him starting. He does an excellent job against the run and covering backs and receivers close to the line of scrimmage. I could envision a sub-package where Vic Fangio utilizes a third safety in certain nickel and dime situations. This is an area where I believe that Amos could maximize his talent and be an asset for the team.
Experience: 3rd-year pro
Weight: 214 pounds
Contract and salary cap:
According to Spotrac, Amos is still on his rookie deal, which pays him a base salary of $615,000 in the third of a 4-year deal, with a fully guaranteed signing bonus of $58,070 for 2017.
Reason for improvement in 2017
As mentioned above, I believe that there are opportunities to put Amos in a better position to succeed. The Bears have finally added the necessary volume of talent to the safety position to truly force players to earn their spots. If Amos can carve out a niche close to the line of scrimmage or flat-out beat Demps, then I think Amos can become a really good, if unspectacular, player.
Reason for regression in 2017
If the Bears fail to see the limitations that Amos has and continues to roll him out at free safety, I am not sure how I see him getting better. With all of the off-season additions in the secondary, Amos would likely be the weakest link and the target of opposing quarterback’s throws. Amos is not great in space as he gets exposed for having limited athleticism. While perhaps not total regression, but surely not moving forward either.
Final roster odds
Adrian Amos is mid-round draft pick of Ryan Pace, a 2-year starter and, at least, an adequate football player. There is virtually no way that he is not on the roster in 2017. Barring injury or arrest, Amos will make the team. The only thing that I question is whether or not he retains a full-time starting role.
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