Should the Chicago Bears bring back Barkevious Mingo, or let him walk via free agency?
The Chicago Bears got a nice deal by bringing in Barkevious Mingo last offseason. On a league minimum salary, Mingo played 418 defensive snaps, and 386 special teams snaps in 2020. However, with a one-year signing, he now enters 2021 as a potential free agent.
Should the Chicago Bears bring him back based on his play, or let him walk, testing the market?
In signing Robert Quinn, they added a player who struggles against the run and does not drop into coverage. For that, they added Barkevious Mingo. Mingo had 192 run defense snaps to 191 for Robert Quinn. He dropped into coverage 68 times, while Quinn did 31. However, Quinn had over 200 more total snaps.
The Bears were able to pick and choose when Mingo saw the field and was able to get the most of his value. Quinn is coming back and we learned he is not getting better against the run and absolutely cannot drop into coverage. The Bears need a platoon player for him on run downs.
Beyond that, Mingo led the team in special teams snaps. Sherrick McManis and Deon Bush are free agents, and you are talking about key special teams members. Mingo not only adds to the defense in a vital way, but he maintains special teams. Of the three, he is clearly the most important to bring back
As noted, Mingo is great for a one-year prove-it deal on the minimum salary. If Mingo did enough that a team wants to give him around $3-5 million then the Chicago Bears should let him cash in.
Sure, he is good against the run, but as a pass rusher, he is the same as always. In 158 snaps as a pass rusher, Mingo had 15 pressures according to PFF. In two seasons prior he had 104 snaps and caused 13 pressures. He was less productive on a per-snap basis last season.
He has so few snaps in the past three seasons because in 2019 he suffered a season-ending injury. If Mingo wants to come back and play for the minimum again, that is fine. Even a slight pay upgrade is warranted.
However, they should not give him multi-years, and they should not overpay for a rotational pass rusher whose worst trait is his pass rush. They can find another hungry edge rusher who was cast aside and will be happy to defend the run and play special teams for a minimum NFL salary.