Adrian Amos Jr. - Free agent - Let me get this out of the way immediately, I like Adrian Amos and I think he’s a good football player. But I don’t think he’s going to return to the Chicago Bears. They tried to get a contract extension done with him a year ago, and that never materialized. My guess is Amos or his people — with him coming off the “elite” Pro Football Focus stuff — wanted elite safety money, and the Bears held firm in their offer.
Amos is sound player, he rarely makes mistakes, he’s a big hitter, and he’s a hard worker, but that doesn’t make him deserving of an average salary around $8-$10 million a year, which is the ballpark that “elite” safeties reside in.
My guess is the Bears let Amos test the market, and if he can’t find a salary to his liking, they’ll have something on the table for him if he comes back quick enough. But don’t rule out him wanting to go home to Baltimore if the Ravens offer him something close to what the Bears are. Also, don’t rule out the Bears moving on to a better player in free agency if Amos drags his feet.
Eddie Jackson - Signed trough 2020 - Jackson took the leap in play that many thought he would after his stellar rookie season and he made his first All-Pro team. His instincts, athleticism, and intelligence make him a tough player to scheme around. I’m looking forward to seeing his continued ascension through the record books. His 5 defensive touchdowns (in just 2 years) is already ranked fourth all-time behind Charles Tillman (9), Mike Brown (7), and Lance Briggs (6).
Deon Bush - Signed through 2019 - Vic Fangio was a fan of Bush’s, but with Fangio gone I wonder if the Bears will be willing to slot Bush in next to Jackson if Amos leaves. I think Bush is fine as a backup, but I hope the Bears can do better as a starter in 2019.
DeAndre Houston-Carson - Restricted free agent - DHC earns his money as a special teamer, but last year he played a career high 46 snaps on defense. He tied for the Bears lead in special teams tackles with 6 last year, plus he had a forced fumble. In 2017 he had 10 solo tackles and 2 forced fumbles in the third phase. I think he returns for another year.
2019 OUTLOOK - I’m a little surprised that the Bears don’t have any safeties in on reserve/futures deals, although Jonathon Mincy did get some safety reps last offseason. I’d imagine they’ll add a couple before OTAs get going. Drafting a safety seems likely as well.
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for my next T Formation Conversation Podcast (dropping tonight or tomorrow) where I’ll be joined by our lead draft analyst, EJ Snyder, to talk about some draft options for the Bears.
If Amos does leave in free agency, a guy like Tyrann Mathieu would be an intriguing target and at least one Bear has already started the recruiting process.
Mathieu (5’9”, 185) isn’t a true strong safety, but in this day and age of the NFL, having two safeties that can cover and take the ball away is a good thing. He’s also a guy that can come down and match-up against slot receivers giving a defensive coordinator options. He’s on record saying he’d like to return to the Houston Texans, but he’s also on record in saying that wining a championship is more important than money.
The safety market will have some good players looking for contracts, so we’ll have to see how it all shakes out next month when free agency begins.