Chicago Bears: 5 free agents Ryan Pace missed on in 2020

Chicago Bears (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Vonn Bell
Chicago Bears (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

Vonn Bell, Strong Safety

For a strong safety as good as Vonn Bell, his contract was a steal. After playing as a force at strong safety for the New Orleans Saints, Bell tested free agency. He signed with the Cincinnati Bengals to a 3-year contract worth $18 million. Bell is only a $5 million cap hit this season.

The Bears are at their strongest when they have Eddie Jackson playing in his natural position at free safety. Last season, that wasn’t the case as HaHa Clinton-Dix was the free safety, and Jackson was forced to strong safety.

Pace brought in veteran safety Gipson who can play both strong and free safety, but adding a hard-hitting box-safety like Bell would have been awesome for the Bears and would have been a true replacement for Adrian Amos, who left in 2018.

Bell isn’t exactly the ball-hawk Gipson is, but Pro Football Focus graded out Bell as the highest-graded run-defending safety in the NFL last season. Pairing him with Jackson would have been a perfect fit, but Gipson is a great cheap option they got.