Jon Bostic wasn’t ready for the playing time the Bears gave him at MLB last year. That was expected, but what worries me is that he didn’t show any sings of getting better as the season went on. Bostic was only on the field for 4 plays in the most important game of the season against the Packers in week 17. Not a good sign. I think the Bears will address the position in the draft but if a good vet is available for the right price, then I think Emery would at least consider it. The offense is ready to win now and Emery needs to find a way to put at least a league-average defense on the field.
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Paul Posluszny – Jags (9.5M): He’s a step or two slow for a 4-3 MLB, but he’s a tackling machine (126 in 2013) and the ability to tackle was something last year’s Bears defense was definitely missing. If released, Pos won’t get anywhere near the 9.5 M he’s scheduled to receive from the Jags, but he still may be out of Bears price range. It’s worth a call from Emery to find out.
Corner isn’t the Bears most pressing need with Jennings & Frey under contract and plenty of affordable vets on the market, but it doesn’t hurt to dream. Here are a few options that would upgrade the Bears defensive backfield.
CB Derek Cox – Chargers (4.25M): The Chargers would like to keep Cox, but they are already 1.8 M over the cap so it’s going to be a challenge. Cox has the size (6’1,188) to replace Tillman in the secondary and battle against the NFC North’s taller receivers. The 27-year old, former 3rd pick struggled in 2013, but showed plenty of potential in 2011 & 2012 and would be a welcome addition to the Bears mini defensive backfield.
CB Kyle Arrington – Patriots (3.63M): Why would the Pats release a 27-yr old CB with a top-20 grade from PFF? Well for one, the Pats only have a little over 5 M in cap room and 14 free agents including a better CB (Talib), a starting DT (Cox), a starting ILB (Spikes) and their most productive WR (Edelman). Secondly, Arrington is probably the 3rd best CB on their roster behind Talib (UFA) and Dennard, and third Arrington is a bit injury prone. Whatever the reason, if Arrington is released the Bears should be interested. With 4 receiver sets becoming commonplace, teams need as many competent corners as they can find and Aarington would be an immediate upgrade over Isaiah Frey.
CB Cary Williams – Eagles (6.25M): Struggled in his first year in Philly, but was very solid for the Ravens in 2012 and during their surprise Super Bowl run. Williams has the size that the Bears secondary needs (6’1, 185) and is tough against the run. He’s a tall, experienced CB that might come at a significant discount if the market breaks in the Bears favor.
Chris Conte is the only safety on the Bears roster. What else is there to say?
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Louis Delmas – Lions (5.5M): Anytime you can get better while hurting a rival, then you should at least look into it right? Delmas is injury-prone; He’s missed 13 games in the last 3 years, but played all 16 in 2013. When healthy, Delmas is a Pro Bowl caliber safety. He is a play-maker in coverage and will make an occasional big-hit against the run. It seems like Delmas has been a Lion for awhile, but he’s only 26 and would be a good investment for the Bears at a position that has been a weak spot since Mike Brown retired.
Michael Griffin – Titans (6.2M): With only 6 M under the cap and 15 free agents, the Titans are going to have to make some tough decisions. RB Chris Johnson is getting the most attention as a possible cut, but losing Griffin would be a big blow to their defense. He is solid against both the run and pass and is only 29. He’s the type of leader in the defensive backfield that the Bears should be looking for if they let Tillman walk.