It’s been almost a week since the league year started and rosters around the league are shaking up. The Bears have been very active during the first wave of free agency and although some fans are skeptical, myself included, there is always room for optimism.
To this day, the team has added 8 free agents from other rosters around the league. With all those fresh bodies on the team, at least one of them is bound to outperform their new contract.
Here are the 8 free agents that are now Chicago Bears:
1.Mike Glennon, QB: Signed a three-year, $45 million contract.
Over the course of Glennon’s career he’s started 18 games, passed for 4,100 yards, 30 touchdowns, and 15 interceptions while completing 59.4 percent of his passes. These numbers appear to be, at the very least, average quarterback numbers. Although it cannot go without saying that Glennon was benched by Josh McCown, of all people, as well as pushed aside after 3 years in the league for Jameis Winston.
Yes, Glennon will be the starting quarterback for the Bears next year, but if the team doesn’t draft a quarterback in the first three rounds of the draft, this move is already a fail. Glennon is too unproven to completely hand the keys of the franchise to. There is room for some optimism, but it remains to be seen if Glennon is worth the cash.
2.Quintin Demps, DB: Signed a three-year, $13.5 million contract.
Yes, Quintin Demps may not be a household name, but that may be for the fact that he was more of a late-bloomer in the NFL. The 31-year-old had his best years in the NFL over the last two years with the Houston Texans. Demps had the best season of his career with 6 interceptions last year.
Entering the offseason, general manager Ryan Pace made it clear he was seeking upgrades at both corner and safety to force turnovers. Quintin Demps appears to look the part of helping the team do just that.
3.Prince Amukamara, DB: Signed a one-year, $7 million contract.
It was a surprise to me that Amukamara’s market hasn’t flourished over the least two season following his five years with the New York Giants. He was given a one-year contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars last year as well as a one-year deal her in Chicago while cornerbacks of nearly the same caliber are given massive contracts.
On the other hand, in six years in the league he only had 7 interceptions as well as missing 26 games with the Giants over five years. That’s a good reason why he hasn’t been given long-term deals by other teams due to injury concerns. For me, I truly believe Amukamara is a good cornerback. All I have to do is look at the film to see his great qualities.
All in all, Amukamara looks to compete for a starting role at a now plentiful cornerback position and he could easily end up being a steal for the Bears.
4.Marcus Cooper, DB: Signed a three-year, $16 million contract.
The 27-year-old Marcus Cooper, had a breakout year in 2016, setting career-highs in games started (13),games played (15), tackles (69) and interceptions (four). Prior to that, Cooper had 3 interceptions in his rookie year with the Kansas City Chiefs, but he didn’t do much the two years following.
A three-year contract at a reasonable price given to a 27-year-old with a high ceiling is a good contract to hand out. Cooper looks to compete with Prince Amukamara and veteran Tracy Porter on the outside in 2017.
5.Markus Wheaton, WR: Signed a two-year, $11 million contract.
In 2016, Markus Wheaton only appeared in 4 games because of a torn labrum. Aside from that, Wheaton never really found a significant role with the Steelers. Over the course of his short career, he’s compiled 107 catches and eight touchdowns.
However, Wheaton is on a short leash in Chicago. Following the 2017 season there is no guaranteed money on Wheaton’s contract so the Bears are expecting an immediate impact. With Alshon Jeffery headed to the Eagles, Wheaton will have every chance to compete at wide reciever.
6.Kendall Wright, WR: Signed a one-year, $4 million contract.
Another AFC outcast wide receiver in Kendall Wright was brought in on a “prove-it” deal. Wright, a former first round pick, had a great second year in the league with 94 catches, 1,079 yards, two touchdowns. He hasn’t had a great impact on the field since.
Giving $4 million for one year is just fine for the Bears because you never know if a change of scenery is all Wright needs.
7.Dion Sims, TE: Signed a three-year, $18 million contract.
This one doesn’t make much sense to me. The Bears overpaid the fuck out of this contract to get a tight end who hasn’t proven anything in Miami to be awarded a deal like this. I get that Zach Miller is injury prone and they are looking for insurance behind him, but this year’s draft looks to be a great draft for tight ends.
All I can say is I hope he proves himself on this deal because I’m expecting this pick-up to be a bust.
8.Tom Compton, OT: Signed an undisclosed contract.
Compton signed a deal with the Bears on Saturday, adding depth to a position of need. He’s fresh off a Super Bowl run with the Atlanta Falcons and went looking elsewhere to compete for a starting job. With returning starting tackles Charles Leno, Jr. and Bobby Massie vulnerable to losing their jobs, Compton has a good chance of competing for a starting role.
All in all I’m not completely impressed with the first wave of free agency for the Bears, but that isn’t always a bad thing. Teams like the Jaguars who annually give out big-time money contracts still end up in a bad position the next offseason while teams like the Giants have spent a lot of money and it worked out.
We won’t know how this year’s free agency class will pan out until the season begins. For now, Bears fans can only sit back and watch while the NFL draft is around the corner.