Even though a return to Chicago seems like a priority for the Bears and safety Adrian Amos, we can’t rule out the possibility that he follows Vic Fangio to Denver. In fact, Amos himself brought up that possibility back in February.
But Fangio isn’t the only ex-Bears assistant with eyes on a potentially exiting Bears free agent.
DraftAnalyst.com’s Troy Pauline hears that Bears slot cornerback/free-agent-to-be Bryce Callahan is high on the New York Jets’ free-agent wish list this offseason. The Jets have a pair of cornerbacks heading into free agency and ample cap room ($104,024,882 million, according to OverTheCap.com) under which Callahan can fit comfortably.
Between the need, fit, cap room, and Bears-related connections (Head Coach Adam Gase and Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains have first-hand knowledge of what Callahan can do) there are plenty of reasons to see why the Jets would prioritize a Callahan courtship when the “legal tampering” period that leads up to free agency opens up in 10 days.
Meanwhile, the Bears are up against it salary-cap wise ($15,466,141 in available room, according to OverTheCap.com), while Callahan’s perceived market value was expected to net him a contract that paid him $7 million annually. And while durability concerns could have driven that price down, a growing list of suitors could vault Callahan into a bigger pay raise. To be clear, every dollar Callahan gets will be one that was well-earned. When he’s been on the field and healthy, Callahan has been a starting-caliber corner as the league progresses toward more three-receiver sets that forces opposing defenses to play in a base nickel package more often. Chicago has exclusive negotiation rights to Callahan (and Amos, for that matter) until March 11 and have until then to get a new contract done without having to deal with outsiders who have interest.
Combine buzz isn’t limited to the rising and falling stocks of draft prospects that happen to be tied to a variety of practice drills. Because when coaches and executives for all 32 NFL teams are in the same place at the same time, chatter is destined to extend beyond what’s happening with workout participants. With that in mind, we’re keeping a close eye on Bears-related things that show up on the rumor mill.