Chicago Bears: Who is the 2nd Starting Safety?

Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports /
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GM Ryan Pace has made impressive strides in adding talent to the Bears roster this off-season but there are still plenty of questions marks on both sides of the ball for the Bears. I’ll be breaking down some of biggest remaining questions for the 2016 Chicago Bears.

2.) Who is the Bears 2nd Starting Safety?

The Bears have had below average safeties since the says of Mike Brown (a long time ago!), but got lucky in the 5th round of last year’s draft with the pick of Adrian Amos from Penn St. GM Ryan Pace found a potential long-term starter at the position in Amos.

He didn’t make a lot of big plays, but started all 16 games as a rookie and didn’t make many mistakes which is a huge improvement over what the Bears have had at safety the last decade. Amos looks like a keeper, with the ability to be strong in both run support and pass coverage.

The Bears may have found one long-term starter at safety but still have a big hole on the roster across from him. GM Ryan Pace tried to fix it last off-season by signing veteran Antrel Rolle, who ended up being pretty much worthless and was released after this year’s draft.

There were probably eight to ten above-average starting safeties available in free agency this offseason, but the Bears weren’t rumored to be interested in any of them for some reason. The only logical explanation for their lack of interest in free agent safeties is that they think they have a starting caliber safety on the roster. Personally, I disagree, but let’s look at who the potential options are to start across from Amos.

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports /

Harold Jones-Quartey – The Bears signed the undrafted rookie Jones-Quartey off the Cardinals practice squad and the DII (Findlay College) prospect was forced into the lineup earlier than expected, starting four games and appearing in 13 games overall.

HJQ had a brutal start in his first game, but improved steadily as the season went on and showed an impressive knack for being around the ball and his hyper-aggressiveness was a welcome change from Antrel Rolle’s lackadaisical play last season.  HJQ is as raw as can be and wasn’t ready to be a starter last year, but he attacks the run with a passion and has NFL athleticism (4.60, 40″ vert, 11″ broad jump, 6.78 3-cone). With some coaching HJQ could possibly develop into a play-making strong safety.

Next: More Safety Options