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Chicago Bears 2020 Roster Turnover: What to do at safety?

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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 2020 season. We’ll speculate on who stays, who goes, and some potential additions we’d like to see general manager Ryan Pace make.

Detroit Lions v Chicago Bears Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix - Free agent - Clinton-Dix signed with the Chicago Bears on a one year prove it deal and I think he earned a long term contract with his play in 2019. I just don’t think it’ll with the Bears. GM Ryan Pace will probably monitor his market, but ultimately I think the 27-year old gets the bag he wanted.

Eddie Jackson - Signed through 2024 - Jackson made his second consecutive Pro Bowl, and while his numbers were down from his All Pro 2018 season, he was still very effective in coverage. Defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano elected to use Jackson up closer to the line of scrimmage this season, and opposing quarterbacks only had a passer rating of 57.6 when targeting receivers that Jackson was covering. I would like to see Jackson play more center-field, but honesty, if the Bears were able to play more aggressively on defense and get after the QB a bit more, Jackson may have had more turnovers.

Deon Bush - Free agent - Bush’s involvement on special teams increased each season he was in Chicago, but he never did enough to earn any significant reps on defense. But considering he won’t be very expensive, he knows the defense, and he is good in the third phase, I think the Bears will re-sign him.

DeAndre Houston-Carson - Free agent - DHC has proven to be a good special teamer, but he’s never been able to do anything on defense. In 4 season’s he’s only played 73 snaps on D (including 3 in 2019), so the Bears could elect to bring him back for the McManis role.

Sherrick McManis - Free agent - McManis is another player that has been around due to his 3rd phase prowess, but at 32-years old, and coming off a season ending groin injury, his best days are behind him. I could see the Bears bringing him back on a vet minimum type of deal to compete for a bottom of the roster safety spot, but allowing him to walk is just as likely.

Kentrell Brice - Signed through 2020 - The Bears added Brice on a reserve/future deal earlier this year, and if the name sounds familiar that’s because he started 10 games for the Packers in 2018. He was out of football in 2019 and will try to resurrect his career in Chicago.

2020 OUTLOOK - The Bears are going to need to find a starter to play next to Jackson, and odds are that he will come in free agency. Look for a low tier youngster that has never had a chance to play much, or for an older vet looking for a shot with a good defense. Either way, they won’t dump much cash into the position. Players like Dallas’ Jeff Heath, Houston’s Jahleel Addae or Carolina’s Tre Boston could be in the mix.

I’d have no problem if the Bears pulled the trigger on a safety in the second round of the draft if one of the top rated ones fall, but it’s more likely the Bears get a guy like Alabama’s Shyheim Carter with a later pick.

Here’s what our NFL Draft expert, Jacob Infante, had to say about Carter.

If the Bears want a versatile chess piece for their secondary, they would be smart to consider Carter in the fourth round. The Alabama standout is a smart player who diagnoses quickly and blends tackling ability with fluidity.

You rarely go wrong picking Alabama safeties, and Carter has played all over the Cimson Tide secondary. He has starting upside, but worst case scenario he’ll provide quality depth and special teams ability.

What are your thoughts of Chicago's safety situation in 2020?