The Chicago Bears have a pair of home-grown studs worthy of contract extensions, but inking both players to deals right now could lead to some salary cap issues. We explored the possibility of what an Eddie Goldman deal could look like, but now find ourselves ready to dive into Adrian Amos’ extension potential.
Amos was a fifth-round draft pick in 2015 and has certainly out-played his draft position. There isn’t much flash in Amos’ game, but it doesn’t mean he hasn’t been productive. Amos has started 30 of the first 31 games in which he’s appeared and has racked up 40 starts throughout his first three years in the NFL. I suppose there is value in steady, dependable production from a player in the secondary when the league is as pass-happy as ever. It’s just that finding a player or contract comp for this particular situation isn’t as clear cut as it could be.
Eric Berry set the market last offseason with an extension from the Chiefs worth up to $78 million that includes $29.8 million guaranteed. Harrison Smith signed a deal with the Vikings worth more than $51 million that featured about $15.3 million in guarantees back in 2016. Smith was notably the only safety to earn a higher grade from Pro Football Focus last season. Amos doesn’t have the track record Berry or Smith have, so those two deals are probably out of the question, but it’s still good to have an idea of what the ceiling of the safety market looks like.
Back in June, Pro Football Focus viewed Amos as being a player on the cusp of being elite. We happened to use that as a jump-off point to explore similar players to take a major jump in their third year as a pro. From there, we stumbled upon a player who could who could represent a baseline for a potential Amos extension.
“Perhaps Kam Chancellor would be a model to follow, especially since he (like Amos) was a fifth-round pick. Chancellor signed a four-year extension worth up to $28 million that included $17 million in April 2013, right before he took off and made three straight trips to the Pro Bowl for Seattle.”
The Chancellor deal came before the start of the 2013 season represented a significant pay raise, kept him as part of a strong secondary in Seattle, and landed him among the second tier of pay for safeties. Seems like that could line up with what the Bears have in mind should they choose to reward one of their best-performing draft picks.
Amos had a breakout year in 2017, which is impressive considering the Penn State product lost his starting role to Eddie Jackson in training camp and was behind Quintin Demps to start the season. An injury to Demps thrust Amos back into action and he did not disappoint upon his return to the starting lineup. Amos earned a spot on Pro Football Focus’ All-Pro Team, was named football’s best free safety by Bleacher Report’s panel of NFL experts, and slid into CBS Sports’ top-100 players list for 2018. These were all well-earned honors as Amos put it all together in 2017, adding improved pass-defense skills to go along with his already run-defense abilities.
Rounding out his game has put Amos in a position to cash in at some point, especially if he can repeat his feats in 2018.