The Bears didn’t waste much time in making a splash in free agency.
Tre Roberson isn’t your typical free agent signing, but is undoubtedly an intriguing addition to one of the league’s best defenses. And his career arc is quite the journey.
He went from being Indiana’s Mr. Football in 2010 to quarterbacking at Indiana University, then transferred to to Illinois State and took the Redbirds to the FCS championship game. When his college career ended, Roberson transitioned to cornerback, took his talents north of the border to the CFL, and thrived in his two years with the Calgary Stampeders. Now, after reportedly turning down offers from nine other teams (including the Colts, per the Indianapolis Star) and being sought out on the market by half the NFL, Roberson is back stateside as a member of the Bears. Pretty neat.
Chicago’s secondary was a strength, but could stand to get better. The depth in 2019 wasn’t as strong as it had been in 2018, which was probably reason enough for the Bears to extend a two-year offer, which ESPN reported will be the largest for a CFL player jumping to the NFL since Cameron Wake. Where exactly Roberson fits is still to be determined. After all, we’re still very much in the 2019 NFL calendar year. But there is no doubt that some fallout is coming.
With that being said, let’s get to know the new guy a little better.
Player, Age (in 2020), Position
Tre Roberson, 27, cornerback
6-feet, 190 pounds
- 2019 stats: 16 games, 41 tackles, 7 interceptions, 2 pick-sixes
- Career stats: 32 games, 95 tackles, 10 interceptions, 2 pick-sixes, two forced fumbles
Roberson had a solid 2018 season, but his breakout 2019 campaign truly opened eyes. Seven interceptions (two of which were returned for touchdowns), 41 tackles, and being named to the West Division and CFL All-Star teams constitutes as a career year. He also has a championship pedigree, playing a role on Calgary’s Grey Cup championship-winning team. After last year’s disappointing season, the Bears could use some championship mettle.
Maybe Bears special teams will get a boost from Roberson’s addition:
WHAT. A. BLOCK.
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) September 14, 2019
And for good measure, Roberson has quarterbacking experience:
— Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) January 29, 2020
Roberson’s starting experience in Canada, ball skills displayed in Calgary, and athleticism that has shown up since his college days stand out as positives. To be clear, the CFL and NFL are on two different planes of existence, but while being a high-end starting cornerback in a professional league that’s a smidge below the NFL has value somewhere. Hence, half the league scouted Roberson and worked him out, while 10 different teams reportedly offered contracts. Clearly, Roberson was wanted.
And that the Bears landed him with a lucrative deal suggests that he’ll play an integral role upon arrival.