Chicago Bears: Interesting position battles to watch this offseason

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Bears, Matt Nagy
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears have some interesting position battles coming up this season.

The Chicago Bears general manager Ryan Pace had an interview with Mike Florio from NBC Sports recently. What most Chicago Bear fans were looking to hear from that interview would have been the quarterback competition between Mitch Trubisky and Nick Foles.

The intriguing part of the discussion was the other competition that is being overlooked a bit. Ryan Pace brought up how Artie Burns, Kevin Toliver II, and rookie cornerback Jaylon Johnson will all be battling for the second cornerback position opposite of Kyle Fuller.

A lot of Chicago Bear fans are expecting Jaylon Johnson to win the battle early, but it won’t just be given to him. Johnson will have to battle Artie Burns, who had an outstanding rookie season but regressed every year after that.

The thing about Burns and the Pittsburg Steelers is that they haven’t had a clear cut shutdown number one cornerback during Artie Burns’ tenure with the Steelers unless you count Joe Haden signing with the team back in 2017 to a three-year $27 million contract.

Haden, according to PFF, allowed a 98 passer rating and six touchdowns the year before being cut. Haden also had a 61.3 overall grade with a 60.0 coverage grade the year before becoming a Steeler. Artie Burns had higher scores during his worst year as a Steeler last year. Burns plays a lot like Kyle Fuller and hasn’t been given a chance to bounce back like Kyle Fuller did when the Chicago Bears benched him.

Kevin Toliver II has not become the undrafted gem most Chicago Bear fans have wanted, but he is an outstanding tackling corner. Toliver II had a run defense grade of 68.2 last year and a 76.5 in 2018, according to PFF.