Chicago Bears: Free agency one-year prove-it deals are a must

Chicago Bears (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

There still seems to be a lot of confusion about some of the Chicago Bears offseason moves.

Many are already questioning the moves of signing one-year deals of the “failed” first-round free agents. The Chicago Bears signed a few first-round drafted players that fell out of favor with their previous teams. Artie burns, Germain Ifedi, and Barkevious Mingo. When Ryan Pace was first brought to the Chicago Bears in 2015, he signed 20 free agents and brought back two original players in Sherrick McManis and Dontae Rosario on one-year deals.

The highlighting names were Pernell Mcphee, Eddie Royal, and Antrel Rolle. One player who was signed on a one-year prove-it deal who turned that into solid contributor was Sam Acho. Acho signed a one year $825,000 contract. Acho, drafted in the fourth round by the Arizona Cardinals, played in every game for the Chicago Bears but one from 2015 to 2017. He sustained a pectoral injury that limited him to four games and was released in 2018.

Another player who earned another contract after the 2015 season was Tracey Porter. Porter signed a one year $870,000 contact in 2015 and played well enough to earn a three year $12 million contract in 2016.

Porter started 28 of the 30 games he was available in the two years he was with the Chicago Bears. He had three interceptions, two forced fumbles, and 83 tackles with the Bears. Unfortunately, Porter tried playing through a knee injury and was replaced by Prince Amukamara following the 2016 season. However, the dead contract cap was only a $600,000 signing bonus.

Other one-year prove-it deals include names like Benny Cunningham, Nick Williams, and Kevin Pierre-Louis. Cunningham and Pierre-Louis played solid in their various special team and reserve roles and were rewarded with a supplementary contract around the league. Nick Williams is on stride to earn the Chicago Bears a compensatory draft pick, which would give the Bears back-to-back years of compensatory draft capital.

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If all else fails the one-year prove-it players can be released for the very minimal dead cap. If anything else, they earn themselves another contract with the Chicago Bears, a compensatory draft pick, or make a few plays during the season that changes the outcome of a game positively.