Chicago Bears Trade Jon Bostic to the Patriots
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports
The trade of Jared Allen got most of the attention yesterday, but the Bears made another deal a few hours later and picked up another 6th round pick when they sent ILB Jon Bostic to the New England Patriots. Bostic, a former 2nd round pick in 2013, has yet to play this season due to nagging back and ankle injuries and has been a disappointment during his short Bears career. Perhaps his best moments as a Bear came during the preseason of his rookie year when he had a monster hit on a Chargers receiver and also a pick-six in the next game. Bostic started seventeen games for the Bears at three different linebacker positions over his first two years in the league, but never lived up to the potential he flashed during that first preseason.
As the 50th overall pick in the 2013 draft, Bostic was expected to come in and be the Bears next great middle linebacker but struggled badly against the run as a rookie with a -14.0 grade from Pro Football Focus. Bostic graded out as the 34th ranked ILB out of 38 players who played at least half of their team’s defensive snaps at ILB. The Bears moved Bostic around during his second season, trying him on both the weak and strong side. Bostic improved significantly against the run (+4.5 grade) and led the Bears in tackles but struggled with pass coverage responsibilities at OLB. Overall it was a much better season with a -1 overall grade from PFF which was good for 16th out of 32 ILBs. During his time with the Bears, Bostic recorded 140 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception.
On paper Bostic seemed like a good fit for Vic Fangio’s 3-4 scheme. His size (6’1 | 245) and athleticism (4.61 40-time, 6.99 3-cone) were comparable to Fangio’s ILBs in San Francisco, but Bostic couldn’t get healthy enough to see the field this year. Fangio does require his ILBs to cover backs and tight ends and that may never have been a good fit for Bostic based on his struggles in coverage in 2014. Now we’ll never know.
I’m surprised the Bears were able to recoup anything of value for Bostic as I thought he was in danger of getting cut this preseason. Bostic has talent, but may never have been a good fit for Fangio’s scheme and moving him before his value dropped any farther was probably a smart move. Though I won’t be surprised if Bill Belichick and the Patriots do a better job of utilizing Bostic’s talents.
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