For the first time since 2017-18, Eddie Jackson will have the same tag team partner for back-to-back years.
Tashaun Gipson Sr. is on his way back to the Bears:
Per source, safety Tashaun Gipson has agreed to terms on a one-year deal to return to the Chicago Bears.
— Dan Graziano (@DanGrazianoESPN) April 19, 2021
ESPN’s Dan Graziano tweets the Bears and Gipson are in agreement on a one-year deal to keep last year’s safety tandem together. Gipson, 30, started all 16 games last season and played 1,054 defensive snaps on Chicago’s defense in 2020. Or to put it another way, Gipson was on the field for 98.4 percent of the defense’s plays. Only Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson spent more time on the field than Gipson. So, yeah, Gipson was a key piece of last year’s secondary and figures to be that once again in 2021.
Gipson was solid in Chicago last year. He came up with two interceptions, seven passes defended, a fumble recovery, and 66 total tackles. Pro Football Focus graded Gipson as the 18th best safety last year, earning a 72.0 overall grade. Gipson’s grade was better than standout performers such as Micah Hyde, Antoine Winfield Jr., and Tyrann Mathieu. That good company to be ahead of on the grading scale, but also shows that Gipson put in good work on a one-year deal. Not bad for a player on a one-year deal. Heck, that’s tremendous value for a player Chicago brought in *AFTER* the 2020 NFL Draft. Repeating that performance in 2021 won’t be easy. But Gipson being a good player with a long-standing solid rep and good tape in his most recent year should give Chicago hope.
The Bears’ secondary has taken some hits this offseason. They’ve had to cut starting cornerbacks Kyle Fuller and Buster Skrine because of a cap crunch. So they’ll have some work to do in order to bring the 2021 secondary up to that level. But bringing back Gipson helps matters.