Chicago Bears: Ryan Pace should consider trading for Xavien Howard

Chicago Bears - Syndication: USATODAY
Chicago Bears - Syndication: USATODAY /

The Chicago Bears have a position of weakness and that position is cornerback. Everyone is hopeful that Kindle Vildor pans out while Desmond Trufant can remain healthy. The thing is, those are two hopes that could easily both go in the opposite direction.

Ryan Pace had full intentions of Kyle Fuller still being on the roster this season. The first drop in salary cap in over a decade ruined those plans though. Instead, Fuller is now with Vic Fangio in Denver and the Chicago Bears are also hoping that a second-year player with multiple shoulder injuries can fill Fuller’s role.

Jaylon Johnson proved himself worthy in 2020, but still missed time at the end of the season due to a shoulder injury. He even missed the all-important playoff game versus the Saints. Would that game have had a different outcome had he played? Maybe. If I am Ryan Pace, he has to at least pick up the phone and find out what the asking price for Xavien Howard would be.

Ryan Pace needs to see if the Chicago Bears can trade for Xavien Howard

“This is not Madden” comments are coming I am sure, but these types of trades do happen in the NFL and have been more prevalent over the last few years as teams have figured out ways to draft contracts allowing guaranteed money to be moved in the trades as well. Looking at Xavien Howard’s contract, the Dolphins will not be stuck with a player not wanting to play for them due to guaranteed money. The amount of dead cap they’d have to carry is minimal.

If I am Ryan Pace, I am willing to trade away certain players to make this happen. In fact, the focal piece of my trade would likely include Allen Robinson. If Robinson is not in the plans for this team in the future, then send him packing. This also frees up enough cap space for the Chicago Bears to take on Xavien Howard’s contract. Both players will be 28 this season. Robinson turns 28 soon and Howard turned 28 in July.

Would a player swap be enough though? Probably not. Chicago Bears fans will probably think this to be true, but Xavien Howard has proven to be a better corner than Allen Robinson has been a better receiver. Howard leads the league in interceptions over the last five years with 22.

Now add in the fact that Robinson is not a lock to stay in Miami since his contract is up at the end of the year and Howard has three more years of control (granted will need an extension of some kind to keep him happy). This is why a player swap is not likely and a draft pick will likely need to be included.

Fans will not want to bring in a top-five cornerback while sending a top-10 wide receiver out the door, but honestly, this would make the Chicago Bears better. In fact, I’d argue it makes them more of a Super Bowl contender than the current roster.

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Replacing wide receiver talent is far easier than replacing cornerback talent. Not to mention, the Chicago Bears will need to replace Allen Robinson in 2022 anyway unless they plan to franchise tag him again. I will be doing a deeper dive into this situation during the week to see exactly how to make this work for both teams.