The Chicago Bears’ secondary is weaker now than when the season ended in early January.
After all, they’ve cut two starting cornerbacks and still have their starting safety hanging out in free agency. Sometime between now and the start of the 2021 season, I expect the Bears to address their needs in the defensive backfield with potential impact players.
In the meantime, they continue to build depth:
The Bears announced they are re-signing cornerback Michael Joseph.
It’s a one-year deal for the Oswego native who played his college ball at Division III Dubuque. Joseph, who entered the offseason as an exclusive-rights free agent, has spent most of his career on the Bears’ practice squad, but was recalled to the active roster for two weeks at the end of the 2019 season. He didn’t get any in-game defensive reps, but getting that elevation to the big squad was nice.
Joseph missed the entire season while on injured reserve, while also spending time on the reserve/COVID-19 list. That’s a double-whammy. But it’s also water under the bridge at this point.
Joseph, 26, now joins a crowded secondary loaded with players who figure to be angling for depth roles. In addition to Joseph, the Bears are essentially auditioning a handful of depth corners for 2021. Desmond Trufant, Artie Burns, Xavier Crawford, Tre Roberson, and Teez Tabor are playing for a role that will be earned this coming spring and summer. Let’s add Duke Shelley or Kindle Vildor to that list, too. Both gained worthwhile playing experience at the end of last year. I imagine that gives them a potential leg up in any competition.
All in all, this will be one of the must-watch position battles to keep tabs on whenever training camp gets underway.