Grading the Bears first big signings of free agency this year

For the most part, so far so good in Chicago.

Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears
Atlanta Falcons v Chicago Bears / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Kevin Byard, S, Philadelphia Eagles

Deal: 2-year, $15 million
Grade:
B+

Especially with the departure of long-time Bears safety Eddie Jackson this offseason, it always made sense to go and get a veteran safety to add to the secondary.

For as talented as the group is, they're also one of the younger groups on the team: Johnson, nickel corner Kyler Gordon, and safety Jaquan Brisker are all 24, while Tyrique Stevenson is 23.

The good news is that all of them already have plenty of NFL experience, but still, it never hurts to bring in a former All-Pro who's still playing good football.

And even though he'll be 31 when next season starts, Byard can still play. After being traded from Tennessee to Philadelphia in the middle of last season, Byard was one of the Eagles' best players – at least, according to Pro Football Focus – over the last two months of the year. He finished the year with a career-best 122 tackles, and forced four turnovers (three forced fumbles, one interception) in 10 games with Philly. With the safety market being what it is, pessimists could argue that the Bears jumped a bit early, but it's hard to complain about a two-year deal.

At the very least, he'll be a great mentor for a young group – and there's plenty of value in that.