Chicago Bears: Deon Bush has a chance to earn starting spot

Chicago Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears brought safety Deon Bush back on a one-year deal, and he’ll have the opportunity to earn a starting spot.

When the Chicago Bears watched Ha Ha Clinton-Dix sign a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, it became apparent that the safety position was an immediate need. After all, Eddie Jackson was the lone player at the position with any experience.

Jackson is fresh off signing a four-year, $58.4 million contract extension earlier this offseason, and he was a big reason that Clinton-Dix came to Chicago in the first place. The former Green Bay Packer and Washington Redskin agreed to a one-year “prove-it” deal that forced Jackson off his natural position of free safety.

Now with HHDC gone, Jackson can return to the position he’s most comfortable playing. Still, the question remained as to what the Chicago Bears were going to do to address the safety position. After all, they are currently about $5.5 million over the 2020 salary cap, but that didn’t stop them from re-signing one of their own.

Deon Bush, who was selected in the fourth round of the 2016 NFL Draft, agreed to a one-year, $1.4M deal that will keep him in Chicago. The 26-year-old has yet to earn significant playing time during his tenure. During the 2018 season, he filled in admirably for Jackson after he went down in the NFC North clincher over Green Bay.

But he hasn’t exactly overwhelmed the box score. In 2018, Bush logged eight total tackles, one tackle for loss, a sack, and a forced fumble in 15 games, including two starts. Last season, Bush saw time in 15 games, but just five percent of the defensive snaps as both Jackson and Clinton-Dix stayed healthy. That forced Bush to get the majority of his playing time on special teams.

Coming out of the University of Miami, he tallied a combined 168 tackles, ten tackles for loss, four sacks, and four interceptions. He’s a guy that doesn’t shy away from contact either, and if given the proper playing time, he can succeed, especially playing alongside Jackson.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the Bears had an open competition for the strong safety position. Duke Shelley was taken in the sixth round of last year’s draft, primarily as a slot corner. However, he’s listed as a safety on the Bears depth chart. Add in Kentrell Brice and a potential draft pick in next month’s draft, and let’s see who wins the job.

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The Chicago Bears have done an excellent job of re-tooling their defense this offseason, releasing the inconsistent Leonard Floyd and replacing him with a proven commodity in Robert Quinn. The front seven remains strong, so any player that ultimately wins the job will be set up to excel in 2020.