Nickell Robey-Coleman has been a starting slot cornerback since being drafted in 2013. After four years with the Buffalo Bills, he spent four with the Los Angeles Rams. Last year, he was with the Philadephia Eagles. After signing a one-year deal, he once again enters free agency in 2021. The Chicago Bears have a need at slot cornerback and are likely to move on from Buster Skrine. Would Nickell Robey-Coleman fit the Bears?
Projected Contract for Nickell Robey-Coleman
Last season Nickell Robey-Coleman played on a one-year, $1.1 million deal. This offseason, he is not expected to see much more. Over the cap had him valued at slightly less than that while Pro Football Focus is optimistic that he will get $2 million in free agency.
Nonetheless, the Chicago Bears are going to save over $3 million letting Skrine go, so they could save a million in the process of moving onto Robey Coleman. At the low price, is he worth a shot?
Chicago Bears should sign Nickell Robey-Coleman in NFL free agency
Last season was a down year for Robey-Coleman he allowed 1.43 yards per snap. Buster Skrine allowed 1.65 yards per snap last season. Robey-Coleman at his worst was better Skrine last year. Beyond that, Nickell Robey-Coleman has a track record of good play.
He was respected as one of the better coverage slot corners in the NFL in his last couple of seasons with the Rams. He is already going to come in cheaper than Skrine, and if he is an upgrade that is great. Still, he has a chance to be a steal if he can get back to his value. In a Bears defense with a talented secondary, he could regain his footing. For how cheap he is, why not?
Chicago Bears should pass on Nickell Robey-Coleman in NFL free agency
The biggest issue with Nickell Robey-Coleman last season was tackling. He allowed 217 of his 397 yards allowed to come after the catch according to PFF. Skrine allowed 192 of his 539 yards after the catch. Skrine also had a 5.4 run stop rate to 1.1 of Nickell Robey-Coleman last season.
Nickell Robey-Coleman might be an upgrade in coverage, but they do lose a more physical presence in the box. Beyond that, we are not sure that he will get back to 2019 play. His best play came in a Wade Phillips defense which happens for a lot of players in the NFL. Last season, he was picked on in Philadelphia, and the team is not looking to bring him back.
Beyond that, the Bears drafted Duke Shelley and Kindle Vildor. Neither stepped up last season, but if they can save $3 million for Skrine they should take all of that and invest it elsewhere. The low cost is because he comes with risk, and the Bears need to spend on other positions.