What a difference a year makes.
Last year at this time, there were rumors of the Bears signing WR Allen Robinson, WR Chris Conley, TE Trey Burton and more. General manager Ryan Pace did one hell of a job and the results spoke for themselves in 2018.
The Bears finished with a 12-4 record and won the NFC North for the first time since 2010.
After the Khalil Mack trade, the Bears’ cap situation became a lot tighter though. According to Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune, the Bears No. 1 focus this free agency will be to bring back both S Adrian Amos and CB Bryce Callahan.
The Chicago Bears are expected to try to keep Bryce Callahan and Adrian Amos when the new league year begins. (Via Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune)
— Daniel Greenberg (@ChiSportUpdates) March 3, 2019
Who knows what else the Bears have planned. There will be much less going on compared to last offseason, but will the Bears make a few surprise moves? If I know Ryan Pace like I think I do…that answer is yes.
Obviously, a lot of that depends on what Amos and Callahan do.
Four players that helped the Bears’ biggest rival dominate them for years will be on the open market when free agency officially begins. It’s not crazy to think that these players could help the Bears take the next step in 2019.
— Cream City Central (@CreamCityCtral) February 25, 2019
It’s no suprise the Packers are looking to “shake things up” after failing to make the playoffs over the last two seasons with one of the greatest QBs of All-Time. Trading Clinton-Dix at the trade deadline was still the wrong move, but if the Packers were unwilling to resign the former Alabama star, its a move that makes some sense.
As for Cobb and Matthews, there last few seasons have been filled with injuries and lack of production. Considering both players are getting older it’s not too surprising, but would any of these guys be able to contribute to a winning football team in 2019?
I’ll examine that here.
The only reason the Bears would even be interested in Clinton-Dix is if Amos signed elsewhere. Hell, the Bears may look at the Honey Badger before trying to bring in Clinton-Dix. I talked about why Clinton-Dix would make sense for the Bears on a recent episode of the Monsters of the Microphone podcast.
Eddie Jackson wouldn’t complain about adding Clinton-Dix. The two played together at Alabama. The problem is Ha Ha’s play over the last two seasons caused the Packers to give up on him after five seasons. Consistently missing assignments is not something that’s going to keep you around in the NFL.
In 2018, with the Packers and Redskins, Clinton-Dix recorded 172 total tackles and three interceptions. While his stats may not be the best, Clinton-Dix does have dependability and durability on his side.
Since entering the league in 2014, he has yet to miss a game.
If the Bears are unable to resign Amos, then Clinton-Dix becomes a real option. Even as an average safety, Clinton-Dix’s availability and ability to stay on the field makes him an option for the Bears.
I know, I know – I hate Matthews as much as the next guy, but he could help the Bears add depth, which is something teams that want to contend for a Super Bowl title need to have. It’s also unlikely that the Bears bring back Aaron Lynch, so there are a few spots open for players that have an act for getting to the quarterback.
The sexy option for the Bears at the moment is Terrell Suggs. There have been rumors that the Bears new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano would love to reunite with Suggs. However, it’s unknown at this time if Suggs would be willing to take a cheaper contract to sign with the Bears.
If there Bears are unable to land Suggs, Matthews will be on the open market.
Matthews played a full 16 games for the Packers in 2018 for the first time since the 2015 season. One would think Matthews is much older than 32-years-old, but that’s because he’s been around the league for a long, long time.
When he wants to, Matthews can still play at a high level in the NFL. Still, he has not reached double-digit sacks since the 2014 season and had just 3.5 last season. While Matthews doesn’t bring much value as a three or four down player, he could still be useful in key situations.
He would also bring with him years of experience practicing against Aaron Rodgers, which would be another reason to bring in him in. Say what you want about what the Packers did over the last few seasons – they have a new head coach and will get Rodgers some weapons this offseason.
Beating the Packers still has to be one of the Bears’ top priorities. While the fit may not be the best, adding Matthews would help the Bears do that.
Bears fans HATE Cobb for two reasons.
The radio broadcast of Randall Cobb’s TD is chilling.. pic.twitter.com/TAClCwUzpb
— Jake (@SeedsofJake) September 11, 2018
Throwback to an absolutely clueless Chris Conte leaving Randall Cobb wide open, costing the Bears a trip to the playoffs in 2013 pic.twitter.com/MkrTvRaQRo
— Crosstown Report (@crosstownreport) September 28, 2017
It looks like Cobb will be able to test the market. Like Matthews, he’s been unable to stay healthy the last three seasons. Cobb hasn’t played a full 16 game season since 2015. Things have gone downhill for Cobb, but he still can be a productive slot receiver in the NFL. He just needs to be on the field to do it.
Here’s a great question proposed by Gregg Rosenthal and Chris Wesseling of NFL.com
That’s a fair question.
Now, the Bears could use another receiver, but would Cobb fit what they’re looking for? Not exactly. Anthony Miller, Taylor Gabriel and Allen Robinson can all play in the slot. If the Bears were going to add any kind of receiver, it would be one that could play primarily on the outside. They are really looking for someone that can stretch a defense…like a DeSean Jackson.
Again, it’s unknown if Cobb can still do that.
If the Bears wanted to extend a camp invite to Cobb I wouldn’t mind. The problem is though another team may be foolish enough to give Cobb a bigger contract than that. Time will tell, but Cobb and Bears don’t seem like a good match at this point in time.
Out of the four players listed, Montgomery seems like the one that makes the most sense for the Bears, especially if they move on from RB Jordan Howard.
Montgomery can do a little bit of everything, but most importantly, he can catch the ball out of the backfield. That’s something that Howard lacks. Montgomery has a burst that makes Howard looks slow coming off the line of scrimmage.
— Big Lambeauski (@BigLambeauski) June 21, 2017
Shoutout to all the fantasy football nerds out there!
Anyway, Montgomery has the balance, speed, and versatility you want to see out of an RB.
— Steve Frederick (@_SteveFrederick) June 11, 2017
11. What separates elite runners from Jordan Howard is balance. How many times this season did Howard miss big runs because he was tripped up right before he had room to run? Happened at least 2 or 3 more times today.
— Bill Zimmerman (@ZimmermanSXM) January 7, 2019
Montgomery doesn’t get tripped up very often.
The problem with Montgomery is the same that every player listed has, except for Clinton-Dix. He cannot stay on the field. The most games Montgomery has played in a season is 15. That was in 2016. Last year he did appear in 13 games for both the Packers and Ravens, which was a step in the right direction.
Adding Montgomery and adding another versatile back in the draft wouldn’t be a bad plan for the Bears. The money has to be right though, which will be the case for every player the Bears attempt to sign this offseason.