Chicago Bears: 3 free agents who would instantly improve the roster

Chicago Bears [James Gilbert/For the Times-Union]Hayden Celebrates
Chicago Bears [James Gilbert/For the Times-Union]Hayden Celebrates /
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Chicago Bears, D.J. Hayden
Chicago Bears [James Gilbert/For the Times-Union]Hayden Celebrates /

Chicago Bears Free Agent Target: D.J. Hayden, CB

If the Chicago Bears were not happy with Desmond Trufant, it means one of three things. One, he just did not do enough in training camp to impress the coaches. Two, the team is that impressed with the second-year corner, Kindle Vildor (I still have my reservations). Three, Desmond Trufant was not available enough to truly assess due to a small injury and then losing his father — something that can truly impact a person’s mental health.

Maybe, once Trufant is in the right headspace, it is possible the Chicago Bears bring him back at some point maybe before the regular season starts or more likely, after a few weeks when we see just how bad this secondary is going to be this year. If this is not the reason for moving on from Trufant, maybe, the team should look to another veteran to help strengthen the position.

Right now, Jaylon Johnson is the obvious CB1 but comes with plenty of injury concerns despite only being in his second year in the NFL. Kindle Vildor is slotted to be the CB2, but as I said, I am highly concerned with his ability to play the position at a high level for 17 games. Artie Burns, Xavier Crawford and Marqui Christian are not horrible depth pieces but adding a free agent like D. J. Hayden could help strengthen the position.

Hayden has played for three teams since the Raiders drafted him in the first round in 2013. He has never started more than 13 games and would be considered a bust after going 12th overall. He is not what you’d consider a ballhawk, but If you look at his advanced stats in 2018 and 2019, he has only allowed one touchdown while being targeted 98 times. Last year was not as great from a production standpoint, but he hardly played before going on injured reserve.

In fact, that is the biggest problem with Hayden. However, if the team was willing to take a risk and see what Desmond Trufant had to offer, at this point I’d bring in Hayden for a workout as well. If healthy, he’s an upgrade over someone like Marqui Christian (granted Christian helps more on special teams) and can even push Kindle Vildor, Artie Burns and Xavier Crawford for playing time.