When the New York Jets let Buster Skrine walk in free agency and signed Brian Poole, it appeared as though they made the right decision. The Chicago Bears had the less slot cornerback in the past two seasons. Poole sat out the last couple of games with an injury, but so did Skrine.
With Skrine being on the more likely cap casualties of the Chicago Bears offseason, the team will have to find a slot cornerback. Do they attempt to sign Brian Poole?
The projection for Brian Poole contract in NFL free agency
Pro Football Focus has Poole inline to make about $6 million per year. For a three year deal, he would see $18 million. Over the cap confirms this with a $5.268M market value. Should the Chicago Bears look to sign Poole for $5-$6 million?
Chicago Bears should sign Brian Poole in free agency
As noted, no one can deny this is an upgrade. Last season Poole allowed 1.11 yards per snap in coverage, per PFF. Skrine had 1.65 yards per snap allowed. Skrine was targeted every 5.4 snaps and Poole was targeted every 6.6 snaps.
Poole was not being picked up like Skrine was. Poole also had a higher run stop rate and more pressures and blitzes. Considering the Bears will save $3 million letting Skrine go, the upgrade to Poole is just about $2-$3 million overall. It does make sense to add the Jets old slot corner, even though the last time it did not go well.
Chicago Bears pass on signing Brian Poole in free agency
As noted, the Bears have been down the slot corner from New York road. Skrine came out of New York with a history of concussions that showed up in Chicago as well. Poole has consistently missed a few games due to injury but missed seven games last season with a knee injury.
Poole will be 29, which is the same age that Skrine was when he signed. It is time to go younger In the slot, and look for a more trustworthy option from a health perspective. Are they going to just give up on Duke Shelley after a few bad games? They have been drafting to replace Skrine, and should not spend up to replace him.