When Eric Reid re-signed with the Carolina Panthers a week ago today, it figured to trigger a trickle-down effect resulting in other free agent safeties getting pay hikes of their own. And while deals with new teams can’t get signed until March, it didn’t take long for projected price tags to rise.
I have Mosley around $11.5M. Amos I think between $9 and $10M, James probably $8Mish https://t.co/hFIqhJjOAJ
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) February 16, 2019
OverTheCap.com’s Jason Fitzgerald tweets Bears safety Adrian Amos is expected to get between $9-10 million per year in free agency.
Now, this isn’t to say Amos hasn’t earned it. After all, he is a four-year starter who’s been one of the league’s most consistent, reliable, and dependable defensive backs. It’s just that it’s an up-tick from what Fitzgerald projected a little more than a month ago when we first explored what Amos’ next deal could look like.
They might be in a bit of a cap crunch there. Id guess $8.5-$9M. https://t.co/sOzbf5VJKc
— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) January 5, 2019
OK, so this isn’t a major shift. But it’s not an insignificant one, either – especially with the Bears’ salary cap related restraints.
If Amos were to get a contract that pays between $9-10 million per year, it would put him with some high-end company. On the high end of the spectrum, Earl Thomas’ last deal with the Seahawks paid him $10 million per year. Prior to signing the deal, Thomas was a three-time first-team All-Pro safety, four-time Pro Bowler, Super Bowl champion, and a highly popular member of Seattle’s famed Legion of Boom secondary. And on the other end of the spectrum, a deal would be less than the per-year average the Patriots gave Devin McCourty ($9.5 million), but more than what the Eagles handed Malcolm Jenkins ($8.75 million). No matter how it’s sliced, checking in among the seven highest-paid players at the position is a pretty big deal.
According to OverTheCap.com, the Bears currently sit with just $7,299,741 in available salary cap space. That would make re-signing Amos at his projected per-year price unlikely, but there’s still time for the team to clear space for a re-signing if that’s what it wants to do. As it stands, there are still difficult considerations the Bears have to come to a conclusion on before the new league year begins in March. Is Amos a long-term fit? Are the Bears better off with a short-term internal replacement, such as Deon Bush? Is a more cost-efficient alternative available in free agency? Will a plug-and-play type of safety worth drafting be available in the draft when the Bears are on the clock? So many questions, but no obvious answers.
Amos certainly played well enough to earn the type of pay day he projects to receive. Unfortunately, fitting that type of deal within the constraints of a shrinking budget isn’t as easy as one would hope.