NFL free agency is just around the corner, and teams will be throwing money at players faster than Cody Parkey can miss a field goal. The Bears should not be nearly as aggressive as they were last year, when we saw Ryan Pace go out and sign a plethora of toys for Matt Nagy to play with; rather this year will be more of a fine-tuning than a total revamp of the team.
Before the Ryan Pace and the Bears can dive into free agency, they need to make decisions on some of their own guys set hit to the market. Adrian Amos is set to become a free agent if the Bears do not sign him to an extension. There is a mixed consensus on this debate thus far, but I ultimately land on the side of re-signing him. Let’s take a deeper look into Amos as a player and come away with why the Bears should re-sign him.
What makes Amos worth re-signing?
I’ll start with his age. Amos is only 25, although he will turn 26 in April. He is still very young and arguably has his best ball ahead of him. Young, stud safeties are not easy to come by in the NFL and when you find one, it’s a good idea to lock him up.
An easy way to measure a players’ value is simply how much he is on the field for you. Amos was on the field for 97.7 percent of the defensive snaps this past season, the most on the team. That stat sums up Amos pretty well; he’s a durable guy that does not come off the field. He has only missed four games in his four-year career after the Bears selected him in the fifth round back in 2015 out of Penn State. Safety has been a revolving door for the Bears since the days of Mike Brown and Amos is a guy that has finally brought some stability to the spot.
What makes Amos a very solid player on the field is that he is rarely caught out of position. While he may not show up in every single highlight reel for the Bears, he surely will not be on a highlight reel of an opposing team. He also does not miss tackles as he only had nine on the season and a handful of those came in the Miami game where the Bears as a whole essentially forgot how to tackle.
He is one of the faster safeties in the game and is able to fly from sideline to sideline to help in run support and with short crossing routes. On top of that, when he does get there, he lets the ballcarrier know he’s there and that he’s going to be there all day. Just ask Jerick McKinnon:
Adrian Amos monster hit on Jerick Mckinnon pic.twitter.com/9pQdY2KL7s
— NFL Update (@MySportsUpdate) October 10, 2017
Or Cole Beasley:
— Bears SPORTalk (@SPORTalkBears) September 26, 2016
Or Stefon Diggs:
#Bears — 4th down situation. CHI “cuts” the backside WR in a tight split (allows the safety to drive/jump the shallow crossing route). Physical hit from Adrian Amos to get off the field. @NFLMatchup pic.twitter.com/paKUNJkMJc
— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) January 1, 2019
You get the point: Amos lays the wood and sets the tone on defense for the Bears. Physicality is something that new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano will be preaching and Amos is the epitome of that.
Why fix something that isn’t broken?
Amos and Eddie Jackson formed one of the best duos at the safety position this past season. They obviously play well together and the communication between the two is outstanding. They also compliment each other very nicely as Jackson sits back in that center field type role often times due to his ball-hawking ability while Amos slides down into the box and provides a more physical presence. This is a very young duo that can be the best safety tandem in the league for years to come.
Okay, so if not Amos, then who?
Landon Collins is a stud that can possibly end up available this March. We all know that Collins would clearly be an upgrade over Amos, but it would not be by a huge margin. When you add in the money Collins is likely looking for, would it really be worth grabbing him? He essentially brings the same thing to the table as Amos does, which is a very physical safety who is not the best in coverage.
Aside from 2016 when he picked off five passes, he does not have more than 2 in a year and did not have one this past season in 12 games. Since they both entered the league in 2015, they have the same amount of forced fumbles with three. Again, I understand Collins would be an upgrade, but would the upgrade be enough to make the money Collins demand enough? I am not so sure. They can use that money elsewhere to provide depth in other positions.
After Collins, the remaining top safeties to be available are free safeties for the most part. Tyrann Mathieu is a versatile guy who can essentially line up anywhere, but similarly to Collins, he will be looking for huge money as he only signed a one-year deal last season with the Texans. He will most likely be looking for something long-term and I would rather see the Bears use their remaining cap space on some quality depth than going for one big name.
Overall, I think Amos is the best option the Bears have given his play and the contract he will demand. Collins is the only player I would absolutely take over Amos, but I think he is going to be looking for way too much money. The Bears defense was the best in the league this past season and the safety position played a big role in that. They will definitely be forced to make Eddie Jackson one of the highest-paid safeties next season, so I think signing Amos to an affordable contract now is the best move.
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