Ha Ha Clinton-Dix had opportunities to sign elsewhere in free agency before settling on a one-year “prove it” deal with the Chicago Bears this offseason. We figured his relationship with fellow Alabama safety Eddie Jackson helped in the recruiting process, and that proved to be the case. But Jackson wasn’t alone in making a recruiting pitch to sway Clinton-Dix to Chicago.
In an interview with Jeff Joniak on Bears All-Access, Clinton-Dix opened up to what led him to sign with Chicago. And while his bond with Jackson helped, quarterback Mitch Trubisky reaching across the aisle stood out to him, as well.
“When you have a quarterback that comes over and tells you how much of a great player you are because he sees us on tape a lot, that just really meant a lot to me,” Clinton-Dix said. “And it just shows that my play doesn’t go unnoticed.”
Game recognize game. Having seen Clinton-Dix on the Packers defense three times (including twice as a starting quarterback) over the last two seasons, Trubisky has an idea of what the former Pro Bowl safety brings to the table. Players just want to feel the love in free agency, so for Trubisky — who Clinton-Dix made a point to note was a team leader — to speak up and reach out on behalf of the Bears clearly meant a lot. And while money always goes a long way in signing free agents, there is a human element that can always help sway things in your favor if you play your cards right.
Clinton-Dix has plenty of reasons to be excited for the upcoming season. This is a prime opportunity for him to re-establish his market value after being passed over for a long-term deal when a handful of other safeties on the market were getting a decent chunk of change. From Clinton-Dix’s perspective, there might not be a better situation to prove yourself (again) than getting a clean slate with a tip-top defense playing with familiar faces and against divisional foes he has done battle against plenty of times over the years.
Of course, he is not alone.
“We’ve got unfinished business here,” Clinton-Dix said. “Like Coach Nagy says, we’re the hunted now. We got to carry that chip on our shoulder and know that every team is going to be after us and we have to go out there with that same mind set each and every week to get better and come out with the win each and every game.”
Clinton-Dix wasn’t on the Bears last year, but he’s already entrenched enough to use “we” in this situation. I have a feeling he is going to fit in juuuuuuuust fine around here.