Austin Fuglestad

Writer for The Bears Brawl, contributor on The Bears Brawl Podcast and Host of The Halas Hall Brawl.

All the right moves

There is a lot of speculation as to what the Bears should do with key defensive free agents Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan. These two players have been extremely important for the Bears last season, but keeping both will be a challenge.

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Info to Know

Before getting into the solution of this issue, there are a few things that need to be considered. The first and most obvious thing is the salary cap for the Bears this season. With the addition of Khalil Mack and a few others last season, the Bears do not have a lot of money to work with. Adrian Amos is asking North of 8.5 million per year over a 4 plus year deal. This type of contract would put him in the top 10 in terms of salary for the safety position. On the other hand, Bryce Callahan will not be as expensive as Amos. Unfortunately for Bryce, he suffered another injury in his career causing him to miss the rest of the season. Callahan has not completed an entire season his whole career. Because this is a business, Callahan’s injury issues will save the Bears

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money when trying to sign him back. Based off the current salaries for the Cornerback position and Callahan’s injury issues, the Bears should be looking to sign him back for anywhere between 5-7 million per year. Which would be a great contract for the Bears because of Callahan’s talent (for reference, Amukamora makes 9 million per year). Another thing to consider is paying Eddie Jackson in two years when his rookie contract is up. To do this, the Bears need to start saving money now. Already an All-Pro in his second year, Eddie Jackson is a must-sign once his contract is up after the 2020-2021 season (will probably ask for 12-13 million per year). Luckily, Massie’s new contract allows some wiggle room for the Bears this offseason when figuring out who to sign and who to draft. I have figured out a solution for the Bears, with all this considered, that will be their best option for the future.

The Solution

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This solution is something that will help the Bears not only for next season, but for presumably the next 3-4 years. Starting with Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan: Sign Callahan to a 5-7 million dollar per year contract for 4 years. Once Callahan is locked up, let Amos test the market. Assuming Amos gets the deal he wants, he will sign with another team (wish him the best of luck wherever he signs). Now the Bears have a safety spot open with some money to spend. Next, the Bears should sign a veteran safety from the abundance of free agent safeties this offseason. Someone who would be cheap or would take a pay cut to be on a contending team. Some guys I have my eye on would be Haha Clinton-Dix and Tyrann Matthieu. Haha should not be very expensive and Tyrann stated he would take a pay-cut to join a contending team. The ideal contract for the veteran safety would be a one-year deal costing 4-7 million. Why a one-year deal? Here’s why. Pace would enter the draft with the smallest amount of needs out of any NFL team. I would imagine Pace would use his first pick, the 85th pick in the draft, to draft a safety with incredible upside and who he can develop into another Eddie Jackson. A few keys to look out for would be Darnell Savage Jr., Mike Edwards, Amani Hooker, and Johnathan Abram. Now, we have a star rookie safety who has an ENTIRE year to learn from one of the best defenses, and secondaries, in the NFL. After next season, the Bears can let their veteran safety they signed to a one-year deal go and still have their rookie, who now has a year of experience under his belt, on his rookie contract for the next three years. All of this boils down to one goal- signing Eddie Jackson after the 2020-2021 season. Having your starting safety on their rookie contract (assuming he works out) will be huge in signing Eddie Jackson to the big long-term deal he deserves.

All in all, there’s a lot that goes into making these decisions. Unfortunately, it’s a business and tough decisions need to be made. After doing some research and taking time to think, I have come up with a solution that will keep the Bears contenders for many years to come.