The Chicago Bears have create a cornerback competition this summer worth watching closely.
Don’t get me wrong. I miss Kyle Fuller. And I think the Bears will miss his reliable presence in the defensive backfield. But as is the case with cap casualties, something had to give back in March. Unfortunately, that thing was Fuller in a move that created $11 million in salary cap space.
But just because the Bears signed free agent Desmond Trufant and drafted rookie Thomas Graham Jr., it doesn’t mean the team is done searching for help:
The #Bears are right against the salary cap and have expressed optimism in the competition they've created at cornerback.
But – at minimum – they are window shopping right now when it comes to veteran options on the street, including Bashaud Breeland.https://t.co/dnKyR7Kya0
— Brad Biggs (@BradBiggs) May 25, 2021
Ahhh, nothing like some spring-time window-shopping to get the rumor mill flowing again.
Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune hears the team has shown an interest in free agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland, one of the few corners with starting experience still remaining on the open market. And someone who could fit within the Bears’ tightened budget constraints.
Previously, the Bears were expressing interest in Steven Nelson, another free agent corner with starting experience. However, nothing has transpired since then. But maybe things could be different with Breeland?
Breeland, 29, spent the last two years in Kansas City and was on the Chiefs’ Super Bowl winning team two seasons ago. In other words, Matt Nagy could easily put in a phone call to old friend Andy Reid for a quick scouting report on one of his former corners. Before that, Breeland was with the Packers (2018) and Washington’s football team (2014-17). Altogether, he has 94 games (88 starts) of experience under his belt. That’s worth something. Breeland has 14 interceptions, 81 passes defended, 8 forced fumbles, 6 recoveries, and 3 defensive touchdowns to his name. He also has 12 tackles-for-loss (8 of which came in his first two seasons), too.
And for what it’s worth, Breeland was once seen as a fit for the Bears secondary when he was a free agent in 2018. Seeing that Chicago plans to re-visit some of Vic Fangio’s old schemes under new Defensive Coordinator Sean Desai makes the connection to Breeland all the more interesting to me.
All in all, if the Bears are looking to bring in a corner with more experience, Breeland seems to fit the bill. It’s just that the cost of doing business might be prohibitive. Or maybe Chicago can fit him in with a contract similar to what he had in Kansas City last year? Breeland is coming off a season in which he made $3 million, which included $2.5 million in guarantees at the signing. It would take some more cap magic, but the juice could be worth the squeeze for a starting caliber corner.
Otherwise, we’re looking at Trufant, Graham Jr., Artie Burns, Kindle Vildor, Tre Roberson, and Duke Shelley among those battling to start opposite of Jaylon Johnson.