Projecting Bilal Nichols next contract with Chicago Bears

Chicago Bears - Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The Chicago Bears have a new front office and coaching staff. That means making tough decisions to form the roster in their view. Current free agents will be some of the toughest decisions, particularly a player like Bilal Nichols.

Nichols was one of the Ryan Pace gems in the late rounds that turned into a quality contributor. Unfortunately, Pace got the cheaper four seasons from Nichols, and now someone else is going to have to pay him.

If the Chicago Bears decide to keep Bilal Nichols, what kind of money could he be looking at?

Recent defensive tackles around him to get contract extensions include Javon Hargrave, Dalvin Tomlinson, D.J. Reader, Grover Stewart, and A’Shawn Robinson. Below we compare how these names have stacked up since Nichols entered the NFL.

Totals Table
1Javon Hargrave201820213063110100402722.521
2Dalvin Tomlinson2018202128649310326229.511
3Bilal Nichols2018202125607769311811.024
4D.J. Reader201820212351816624156.500
5Grover Stewart201820212164856115154.510
6A’Shawn Robinson20182021175110563984.543

Nichols is right in the middle of this pack. He does not stand out in anyways but Is not far below anyone in these areas. Nichols is second in sacks, but third in tackles for loss. That gives you an idea of where he should rank in this group.

Digging a little deeper, we looked at Pro Football Focus, which uses pressures and stops. These stats add a bit more context.

Again, we are comparing each player from when Nichols entered the NFL.

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Once again we see that Nichols is near the middle of the pack. He has more pressure than Tomlinson but is lacking in run stops. The same can be said in comparison to A’Shawn Robinson.

Below you can see how each player had their most recent contract.

A’Shawn Robinson



$8.5 Average Annual Value (AAV)

$9.5M guaranteed 

Grover Stewart 



$10M AAV

$19M guaranteed

Dalvin Tomlinson



$10.5 AAV

$20.8M guaranteed

Javon Hargrave



$13M AAV

$25M guaranteed

DJ Reader



$13.25M AAV

$20M guaranteed

Overall, Nichols is going to be looking at somewhere between $8.5M and $13M per year. You can assume he will not hit the $13M, but also that the cap rising and him hitting free agency should get him over $8.5M.

You could probably nestle him right in between Robinson and Tomlinson. Based on stats it is fair to say but also based on when and where they signed deals. They signed similar two-year deals, but Tomlinson got the better end of his average annual value as well as his guaranteed money.

Next. Projecting Akiem Hicks next contract. dark

For Nichols, something like two years, $20M with $15M in guarantees should be what fans would expect Nichols to get on the open market. Now, the question becomes whether or not that is worth it to the Chicago Bears.