It’s been one of those days around here, eh?
Early this morning, we learned that Ben Braunecker would be returning to Chicago, then news surfaced that the Bears, Packers, *and* Lions might all have interest in free agent running back Mark Ingram, THEN news broke that the Bears have “significant interest” in signing Le’Veon Bell – and in addition to that, a Nagy-tied pundit publicly stated that he wants to see it happen, too.
Oh, and all of that was before the Bears signed free agent running back Mike Davis. And as it turns out: that wasn’t even their last signing of the day!
— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) March 11, 2019
Mike Garafolo was the first to report that the Bears are signing former Jets corner back Buster Skrine, and Ian Rapoport followed up with the details: “It’s a 3-year deal worth $16.5M with $8.5M guaranteed.”
Skrine, 29, was a fifth round pick out of Chattanooga back in 2011 and has spent his career with the Browns (2011-2014) and Jets (2015-2018). We’ll certainly take a much deeper dive into his stats and skills later on, but for now, one thing that especially stands out is his durability. Skrine started in all 16 games in each of his first five seasons. Over the last three years, he has missed just five games. So if the Bears are getting anything out of this deal, it’s at least some on-field consistency at the position.
On top of that, Skrine appears to have some positional versatility. That’s always nice to see! Skrine’s Pro Football Reference page notes he has lined up as a cornerback on both sides of the formation, linebacker, free and strong safety. Perhaps that versatility (coupled with his noted durability) will turn out to be a valuable asset for the Bears moving forward. After all, he is taking over for Bryce Callahan, a do-it-all defensive back who had all sorts of tricks up his sleeve when he was on the field. And, yes, I do think that this deal likely means that Bryce Callahan is as good as gone.
We’ll take a more detailed look at Skrine’s skills and fit – as well as how his presence will impact the rest of the roster – once the deal becomes official.
Oh, and one final note: Before today’s insanity, the Bears Salary cap space, according to OverTheCap.com, was right around $19.7M. We’ll have to wait to see how all of these deals are structured before truly understand the change, so stay tuned on that front.