Kevin White Officially Ended the Bears Chapter of His NFL Career and Other Bullets
It’s hard to find something green to wear while your friends are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day when your closet is loaded with blue.
Bears GM Ryan Pace has been taking it on the chin from the Twittersphere this week and I don’t see a logical explanation behind it. This isn’t to say that Pace has been perfect because Bears fans know that’s not true. But to write “the Bears have a great team” while also describing the general manager who put that team together as “incompetent” is a real head-scratcher. But don’t let facts get in the way of a good tweet.
ICYMI: Bryce Callahan reportedly agreed to a three-year deal with the Denver Broncos. His new contract will reunite him with Vic Fangio and Ed Donatell, who played a key role in Callahan growing into the player he is today. The deal is reportedly worth as much as $21 million and includes $10 million guaranteed. It’s a bit lighter than what Callahan was expected to get, so I wonder if teams were spooked by the Bears jumping on Skrine early in free agency rather than re-signing Callahan. The injury bug that haunted Callahan certainly played a factor at some point, but at least he was able to come away with a new contract that nearly triples his NFL career earnings in guarantees alone. Good for you, Bryce. You earned it.
On the bright side, at least the Bears are in a position to get a compensatory draft pick!
Kyle Fuller’s contract ranks among cornerbacks, per OverTheCap.com: 11th in total value ($56 million), fifth in annual average value ($14 million), tied-19th in total guarantees ($18 million), 15th in fully guaranteed dollars ($18 million). As free agent prices continue to soar, Fuller’s deal will continue to look like a bargain. And if Fuller plays as well as he has the last two seasons, then watch out!
Because Fuller was in the midst of an All-Pro year and Callahan was going through a career-best season in the final year of his contract, there were times Prince Amukamara was lost in the shuffle last year. Pro Football Focus didn’t lose track of how well Amukamara played, ranking him among the 101 best players in the NFL for his efforts in 2018. That list was loaded with Bears defenders, but it was good to see an underrated player like Amukamara get his moment in the spotlight. It’s a bit trippy to think about, but there was a time where Amukamara couldn’t shake the injury bug during his time with the Giants and Jaguars. The Bears rolled the dice on Amukamara a few years ago with a one-year “prove it” deal, then watched him parlay that into a multi-year contract with the Bears. There are times where risks are worth the reward, so always remember to choose wisely (and boldly).
With Callahan gone and Buster Skrine taking his place on the depth chart, here is a brief look at the Bears’ biggest needs: kicker, punter, long snapper, edge defender/outside linebacker, secondary depth.
Secondary depth? Yep. One reason Bryce Callahan became a thing in the NFL is because the Bears did a good job of creating competition among the depth pieces in the defensive backfield. Callahan and Cre’von LeBlanc emerged from it as more-than-competent NFL players. As it stands, Fuller, Amukamara, Skrine, and Sherrick McManis are joined by Michael Joseph, John Franklin III, Jonathon Mincy, and Kevin Toliver II in the cornerbacks room. That’s a good place to start, but you can never have enough quality defensive backs fighting it out for spots on the roster.
The bigger “depth” need might be at safety, where the only players listed at the position are Eddie Jackson, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (yep, he’s a Bear now!), and Deon Bush. Chicago could stand to add some camp competition there at some point. Even though free agency is front-and-center right now, the draft appears to be the place to go to fill this need.
Kevin White took to Instagram to say his goodbyes to Bears fans:
White’s career in Chicago didn’t go as well as it could have, but there is no reason to have hard feelings about the player. It’s not as if White quit on the team or didn’t put in effort to get back in the lineup. He was the recipient of terrible injury luck … and that happens sometimes. So long as White isn’t playing against the Bears, we hope he tears it up. Bonus points if he shreds the Packers, Lions, or Vikings.
An old friend finds a new place to call home:
No better time than the present to do some offseason shopping of your own: