Should the Chicago Bears re-sign Cornelius Lucas or let him walk in free agency?
The Chicago Bears relied on Cornelius Lucas to start eight games for them in 2019, including the final five games. Now, he is entering free agency. Did the Bears see enough in that time to give him a contract, or are they better off finding someone else?
Beyond playing 457 snaps at right tackle, he added 50 snaps as a sixth lineman. He also played 61 special teams snaps last season. He played about 200 fewer snaps than Massie and Coward, but gave up fewer pressures overall on a snap-by-snap basis, per PFF.
When it came down to it, he was a fine replacement player, and the Bears are not in a position where they can let depth walk out the door. Especially when they showed they could play in the NFL.
Lucas is 28, has played for four teams, and last season, he played 33% of the snaps in his entire career. He is a journeyman backup tackle. He may have come in and held his own over the final fives games of the season, but he also did not make a huge difference.
The offense was not better because he was inserted into the lineup. His run blocking was not as strong as his pass blocking, and he did still allow 12 pressures.
The most the Bears should offer Lucas is the minimum salary to compete for a roster spot in camp. This should not stop them from drafting depth and starter options at right tackle.