Should Aquib Talib Replace Prince Amukamara?


If the Bears move on from Prince Amukamara, who could replace him?

The Chicago Bears and GM Ryan Pace are making every effort to sign Kyle Fuller, as they should. Fuller had a tremendous season in 2017 and proved why he was a first round talent when he was drafted in 2014.

But let’s assume Fuller signs. The Bears still have a large question, what should they do at the other cornerback spot?

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Prince Amukamara was solid last season, but he isn’t a game changer and the Bears feel they can do better than Prince lining up opposite Fuller. Assuming they do move on from Prince and there has been zero indication that they will make any effort to re-sign him, who should they target?

Looking internally, there isn’t anything there. Marcus Cooper is still on the roster but showed no reason last year to remain on he team. Bryce Callahan is an RFA and it would be in the Bears best interest to keep him but he’s not a CB2, his best role is in the slot. Cre’von LeBlanc, to this point, is nothing more than a rotational CB.

The Bears also can’t wait to address the position in the draft because you never need quite know how the draft will play out.

If the Bears are going to replace Prince, it will have to be via free agency. Trumaine Johnson would be pricey but is the top corner on the market, however, the Oakland Raiders and San Francisco 49ers seem to be the front runners. If the Bears can’t land Johnson, here is one other idea that could fortify the secondary:

Aquib Talib.

Odds are, your first reaction was, “No!” but hear me out.

First the negatives, Talib is 32 and has gotten in trouble in the past. His age is a factor, especially for a team that is trying to get younger, but he’s still playing at a high level and at some point, the Bears will have to try and bring in marquee talent from free agency, not just the draft. Talib is still under contract with Denver, but the Broncos are ready to move on. There are rumors that the Broncos might release him, but the Bears shouldn’t wait to sign him, the smarter play is to trade for him.

You might say that makes no sense, but it does. If the Bears trade a sixth or seventh round pick for Talib, they are giving up nothing more than a lottery ticket. Rarely do teams find talent that late and Pace hasn’t found any. His talent in drafting has been in rounds 2, 4, and 5. You also lock Talib in on a contract that’s short term and hasn’t virtually no guaranteed money. Talib will be motivated to play well and keep his nose clean. He’s going to want one more decent payday, so the Bears can use that to their advantage.

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If the Bears don’t trade for Talib, the Bears are suddenly in competition with other teams, teams coming off better seasons that Talib may choose over Chicago. Not only that, Talib would have a new contract with more guaranteed money. It’s worth it in my eyes to lock him in at a low risk short-term deal at a very affordable $11 million in 2018. All it would cost you is a lottery ticket draft choice.

Finally, the Bears can use some of their draft capital and select a cornerback. Perhaps they can use one of their fourth round picks. The idea here is to take a developmental corner that can sit behind Talib for a year or two while that player is groomed for the position.

If the Bears entered 2018 with Fuller, Talib, Callahan, LeBlanc, and a rookie corner, that’s  solid secondary and one that has youth for your future and talent to help you win now.

Talib may not be a name that has been on the radar for Chicago to target, but it would be wise for Ryan Pace to kick the tires on the idea and give John Elway a call.