Eyeing Potential Bears Free Agent Targets: Safety Adrian Amos
GM Ryan Pace and the Chicago Bears are about to embark on a new sort of challenge: rounding out a championship-caliber roster that doesn’t have many glaring needs. But in doing so, they must navigate a tight salary cap situation.
So let’s take a look at some of the more promising available players, to see if there might be a fit with the reigning NFC North champs.
Previous offseason targets: Matt Bryant, Stephen Gostkowski, Bryce Callahan
Player, Age (in 2019), Position
Adrian Amos, 26, safety
Season stats: 16 games (16 starts), 2 interceptions, 9 passes defended, 1 sack, 73 tackles, 2 tackles-for-loss, 1 quarterback hit.
Pro Football Focus grade: 82.7, No. 8 safety
Amos didn’t fill the stat sheet with eye-popping numbers, but it doesn’t take a football savant to see his value. In addition to being a sure-handed tackler, Amos has rounded out his game by improving on his pass-defense skills with his first multi-interception season and a career-best nine passes defended.
Career Stats: 60 games (56 starts), 3 interceptions, 18 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery 2 sacks, 269 tackles, 13 tackles-for-loss, 2 quarterback hits.
Career PFF grades: 69.3 (2015), 90.9 (2016), 77.7 (2017)
Amos was a steady and reliable starter in his first two years before John Fox moved Quintin Demps into his starting role. But when it would have been easy for Amos to sulk, he positioned himself to have his career take off as he took over when Demps went down with an injury. The 2017 season was a magical one for Amos, who was listed as Bleacher Report’s top free safety and made the top-100 lists at PFF and CBS Sports. Amos established himself as a player with a high floor in his first two seasons, then had back-to-back seasons that opened up a window to dream on his upside. And as he enters his age 26 season, there could still be some untapped potential and new heights to be reached.
In The End …
The Bears know what they have in Amos, who could be considered the first draft-weekend success story in the Ryan Pace era. Amos has been as dependable as they come in the secondary and the Bears should want to bring him back to maintain excellence at the position. Because prior to Amos’ arrival, the safety position was a revolving door of disappointment and no one wants to re-visit those dark days.
HOWEVER, there are reasons to allow Amos to go elsewhere in free agency. Amos’ projected market value continues to rise ahead of the start of free agency and there could come a point where his next deal is too rich for the Bears’ tastes. If that happens, Chicago could let Amos take his talents elsewhere and recoup a compensatory draft pick in 2020. From there, the Bears could re-route their available cap space toward retaining nickel corner Bryce Callahan and signing a different safety to a more cap-friendly contract. Pace and the Bears have options, but picking the right one won’t be easy.