Mackensie Alexander has started to ascend into a quality slot cornerback in the NFL. After a four-year stint to start his career with the Minnesota Vikings, Alexander was onto Cincinnati for a year in 2020. Now, he enters free agency after a successful season with the Bengals. The Chicago Bears are expected to move on from Buster Skrine, and it brings up the question of whether they would be interested in signing Mackensie Alexander in free agency.
Projected Contract for Mackensie Alexander in NFL Free Agency
Over the Cap has Mackensie Alexander valued at about $3.5 million. Pro Football Focus agrees and thinks that he will be seeing closer to $3 million on an open market. Nonetheless, they are in the same range. The Chicago Bears are going to free up about $3 million by moving on from Skrine. Could they make up the difference and give Alexander the $3 million?
Chicago Bears should sign Mackensie Alexander in NFL free agency
The Bears secondary is so close to being elite and the only thing holding it back is slot cornerback. Before getting injured, Buster Skrine was heavily attacked and it often left the Bears defense vulnerable in 2020. If they can sure up the slot, they have a back end that no team will want to throw on.
Alexander is a clear upgrade and has been better than Skrine for most of his career. Per PFF, Alexander allowed 1.3 yards per snap last season, while Skrine was at 1.6. For his career, Alexander has an 89 passer rating allowed against. For comparison, Skrine is at 101 allowed.
Beyond that, Alexander is a stud at sticking his nose in the run game. He was top ten in run stops and pass stops, showing a well around, physical player. While Brian Poole is an upgrade in coverage, and Hilton is better in the box, Alexander brings the combination of each to a strong well-rounded game.
Of all the slot corners on the market, he may be the best bang for your buck.
Chicago Bears should pass on Mackensie Alexander
Alexander sticks his nose in the run game, but often misses, or only takes chips that slow his man down. He has a history of missed tackles, and while you can argue it is great that he is in so many plays, his size is still an issue.
Beyond that, the question will come down to money. Slot corner is a need, but necessarily a position that they should pay up for. It is a deeper position in free agency, and the team has Kindle Vildor and Duke Shelley as in-house options to step up.
While Alexander may be one of the better slot players available, the question is going to be whether they can save a couple of million dollars and find a similar player, such as Poole, or Hilton who were mentioned.