The Bear Goggles On Countdown to Kickoff series is now underway for the second season in a row. With 21 days to go until the Bears’ season kicks off, we will highlight the Bears’ player that is wearing number 21, Quintin Demps.
Demps was not with the Bears in 2016. Instead, he was the starting strong safety for the Houston Texans. Demps has been in the NFL since 2008 and played with four teams before coming to Chicago. Last year, he was a leader for the Texans defense and had a productive season.
Demps had six interceptions in 13 games. Those six picks were just two shy of what the Bears defense as a whole in all of 2016.
Demps played in 13 games registering 55 total tackles with 38 solo and 17 assisted. He forced one fumble. Demps was involved in just over 700 defensive snaps in 2016.
He was not brought back by the Texans who allowed him to enter free agency. The Bears signed Demps to a three-year $13.5 million deal this past March.
Barring an injury, you can pencil Demps at the starting strong safety spot in 2017. There isn’t anyone else capable of pushing him out of the starting role right now, so he is Chicago’s best option. Demps has a history of being able to generate turnovers, and that is exactly what the Bears need after a dismal season getting turnovers in 2016.
Another thing that Demps can bring to the Bears, especially the defense, is leadership. The Bears need leadership on this team, and he should be able to provide that.
The problem with Demps is that he isn’t getting any younger and has lost a step or two. Hopefully, the Bears will be able to get a good future replacement for him in 2018. But Chicago doesn’t need to worry about that now. Right now, Demps is the guy at the strong safety spot. Demps will be one of the best players in the secondary for the Bears this season. He will make the secondary instantly better.
One thing that Demps has struggled with during his career is his ability to stay healthy. Since coming into the league in 2008, Demps has played 16 games in a season just three times. Last year he played in just 13 games. Will Demps be able to hold up to the rigors of 16 game schedule? What will Chicago do if he gets injured and is forced to miss some time?
Demps’ having of being an injury risk is his biggest drawback.
Future With the Bears
Chicago signed Demps to a three-year contract this past offseason. Perhaps knowing that Demps might be near the end of his career, the Bears built an “out” into the deal. Essentially, the contract, in its first year, will pay Demps $4,906,250. Should they let him go next offseason, they have just $666,667 in dead cap space. If they were to let him go at the end of the 2018 season, they would suffer a $333,334 cap hit.
The loss, in terms of dollars, should they let him go would not be terribly significant.
Demps’ future with the Bears depends greatly on how healthy he can be in 2017. If he makes it through most or all the year, he will come back for the 2018 season. If he misses a significant number of games, the Bears will look for his replacement and let him walk. They don’t have time to deal with players who are perpetually injured.
Let’s hope Demps isn’t.