The Chicago Bears might be stuck with Eddie Jackson in 2024. The team can afford to cover the final year of his contract despite him looking like a lock to become a salary cap casualty. Chicago is on the hook for $18 million, but if they cut Jackson they can save $12 million. Even after signing Montez Sweat to a monster contract, the Bears are currently projected to have the eighth-highest salary cap. That could obviously change if the team signs Jaylon Johnson to a contract extension, but moving on from Cody Whitehair (an absolute must) should help soften the blow a bit.
The safety free-agent market is arguably worse than the center position. Keeping Eddie Jackson despite his inability to play a full season would be smart, but Ryan Poles needs to find some serious competition to replace him.
The Chicago Bears draft back-to-back Georgia Bulldogs
Ryan Poles adds Javon Bullard to the roster by selecting him in the third round (75th). Bullard should have the most success as a free safety as opposed to a strong safety. He has the ability to play in both man and zone coverage. He is a little undersized at 5'11" and 185 pounds. If he can put on an additional 10 to 15 pounds, that would likely be ideal for his future. Bullard has proven he has a nose for the football. In three years at Georgia, he has four interceptions and didn't give up a single touchdown this year. Allowing him to sit behind Jackson and learn seems ideal.