This offseason has seen six members of the 2019 Chicago Bears leaves for free agency. Five were players whose contributions allowed the team to boast depth at key positions. So while the Bears will need to work hard to rebuild that depth, the team announced three re-signings of key reserves on Sunday.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) March 22, 2020
Citing media reports throughout the league, the Bears announced they are re-signing long-snapper Patrick Scales, safety Deon Bush, and pass-rusher Isaiah Irving.
In case you missed it, we discussed the deals for Scales and Bush on Friday.
Scales’ return to Chicago means the three main components of the Bears’ kicking game are back in the fold. Punter Pat O’Donnell and place-kicker Eddy Piñeiro were already under contract for 2020, while Scales tacks on another year. Long-snappers are generally overlooked because of their role on the team, but Scales has been superb throughout his four-year career with the Bears.
Bush comes back on a one-year deal that currently has him positioned to be Chicago’s other starting safety. With Ha Ha Clinton-Dix signing with the Cowboys, the Bears seem intent on creating a competition for the right to start along side Eddie Jackson in 2020. It’s not the worst idea this team has had in recent years. In fact, it is one of the training camp competitions I’m looking forward to obsessively watching this summer.
Irving re-joins the team as a reserve edge defender. As of now, he is a primary backup for Khalil Mack and Robert Quinn. Irving arrived in Chicago as an undrafted free agent from San Jose State, but has claimed the depth chart during his three years with the team. I’m curious to see how else the Bears supplement the pass-rushing department this offseason, because going into camp with Irving, James Vaughers, and Devante Bond backing up Mack and Quinn doesn’t seem ideal.
So, why aren’t the Bears making these signings officially official just yet? Check out the explainer at the end of the post on the team’s official site:
“NFL teams are prohibited from officially announcing that they have signed a free agent until 1) the parties have agreed to terms; and 2) the written contract has been sent to the player and his agent.
Due to concerns about the coronavirus, NFL teams are prohibited from meeting with players at their facilities or other locations.”
Announcing transactions this way is weird, to say the least. But if it’s in the name of safety, I suppose I can cut everyone a little bit of slack for the time being.