CB Marcus Cooper, Cardinals (6’2 | 192 | 27) – The Bears continued to strengthen their secondary with the signing of Cooper, a starting corner last year for the Cardinals. Cooper not only gives the Bears a potential starter or at least quality depth, but also gives them the height they have been looking for at the position for years.
A former 7th round pick by the 49ers in 2013, Cooper spent a few years with the Chiefs before being traded to the Cardinals in 2016 and earning a starting job. He had his share of problems early in the season, getting burned often on double moves and other complex routes, but Cooper’s play improved steadily as the season went on. He finished the year with 69 tackles, four interceptions, 11 pass deflections, and was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
The Cardinals wanted to keep Cooper but were low on cap space and already have a lot of money tied up in their secondary (Peterson, Mathieu). His length will come in handy against the NFC North’s tall receivers and he has good speed (4.45) for his size. More importantly, Cooper showed the ball skills to create turnovers with four interceptions. No Bear corner had more than two last season, so Cooper could be an important addition to the secondary.
Bears DC Vic Fangio has always preferred tall corners who can disrupt receivers near the line of scrimmage and Cooper has all the physical tools to fill that role. If he can also create turnovers like he did last season, then the Bears may have gotten a steal in Cooper.
Contract: $3 years, $16M ($8M guaranteed)