The first two days of NFL free agency are awkward when the NFL Network and league’s social media presences can announce moves, but the teams making the transactions have to keep a lid on it until the new league year begins. Eventually, the silence was broken and the Chicago Bears were able to officially introduce their newest players.
It’s officially official. The Bears announced the signings of cornerback Buster Skrine, running back Mike Davis, and wide receiver/running back/kick returner/all-purpose speed demon Cordarrelle Patterson on Wednesday afternoon. And now that the “I’s” have been dotted and “T’s” have been crossed, let’s see what we’re getting out of the new guys.
CB Buster Skrine
Skrine doesn’t grade out as well as Bryce Callahan did on Pro Football Focus’ scale, but he brings some stability and durability to a position where it had been lacking while Callahan was manning the slot. Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy spoke highly of Skrine ahead of the team’s game against the Jets last season, which probably worked in Skrine’s favor once he hit free agency. Skrine was also a vocal supporter of former Jets Head Coach/long-time Nagy pal Todd Bowles before he was let go by the team at season’s end, which likely scored some brownie points.
RB Mike Davis
Davis is expected to provide an upgrade to the RB3 spot once shared by Benny Cunningham and Taquan Mizzell. Rounding out the running backs room with a two-way back who has flashed in spurts (and doing so on a relatively cost-efficient deal) is a good way to go about solving backfield problems without diving into the deep end in free agency.
WR/KR Cordarrelle Patterson
Patterson is the player Bears fans should be most excited about adding to their team. Nagy should have fun with Patterson in his offense, especially once he takes a deep dive into Patterson’s Patriots film. New England deployed Patterson as a wide receiver (inside and out) and as a running back who lined up in the backfield. Most importantly, the Bears have a kick-return threat with speed and experience. Chris Tabor’s gang has no excuses not to get the most out of Patterson in that phase of the game in 2019.
The Bears probably aren’t done using free agency to round out their roster. This group still needs to fill starting positions at kicker, punter, long snapper, and safety, as well as depth spots elsewhere. But for now, this first wave of signings helps things for the time being.