Chicago Bears Roster Review: Chris Conte


Sep 14, 2014; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Chicago Bears free safety Chris Conte (47) intercepts a pass intended for San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Anquan Boldin (81) during the first quarter at Levi

The Chicago Bears offseason is in full swing as we head toward the start of the new league year and Free Agency.  As a part of our Chicago Bears Roster Review, we’re leading off by looking at Bears Free Agents.  New GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox have some tough decisions to make as they reshape the Bears roster in hopes of a bounceback 2015 season.

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Evaluating Chris Conte’s 2014 season is easier said than done. The Bears front seven did him absolutely no favors this past season, and Conte was forced out of position.. a lot. When your defensive line and linebackers show no gap discipline, the safety is forced to try and make plays out of position. Just look at Conte’s 2012 season with the Bears, he performed well because he had a consistent front seven to help him make plays. Conte’s 2014 season started out fairly well; in week two, against the 49ers, Conte made a ridiculous diving interception. But as the season progressed, he slipped back into mediocrity. In 12 starts, Conte amassed a measly 32 solo tackles.

Some Bears fans are reluctant to forgive Conte for his play in the game that shall not be spoken of. You know which one I’m talking about. But it’s simply unfair to pass judgement. Conte has proven to be a solid free safety when he has help.

Although, I can’t see him on the roster next year.

New regime means new players. In fact, the only two safeties I can see Fox keeping are Ryan Mundy and Brock Vereen. Conte won’t command much money as a free agent, but make no mistake, he will land somewhere.

If Conte doesn’t re-sign with the Bears (Trust me, that’s what’s happening.), that would leave Brock Vereen starting at free safety. Bears fans should be excited to see how new Bears DB coach Ed Donatell develops Vereen, by the way. Donatell is one of the best coaches in the league, and he could mould Vereen into our starter of the future. But if Conte doesn’t re-sign, here are a few names to keep an eye out for as his replacement: Da’Norris Searcy, Rahim Moore, and we’re reaching here, but possibly Taylor Mays.

I’ve always felt for Chris. He, like Jay Cutler, witnessed firsthand how vicious Bears faithful can be.