Watching Mitchell Trubisky carve up the Bears secondary should have opened some eyes of talent evaluators at Halas Hall. Not so much in terms of missing what Trubisky could bring to the table, because that ship has sailed. And the clean slate that comes with Justin Fields’ arrival has everyone in better spirits. Well, at least they will be once he fully takes over.
Instead, Trubisky picking apart Bears corners should serve as a sign that Chicago’s secondary could use some help. Perhaps some is on the way before Week 1 kicks off. But as one Bears insider points out, patience is essential if you’re holding out hope for help at the position.
In a recent mailbag, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune writes: “I think this is a position where the Bears will be monitoring the waiver wire. I don’t know how they feel about Duke Shelley as the nickel cornerback, and it’s possible they’re seeking an upgrade — if one is available.”
In other words, Chicago’s front office is likely preparing to dive through the waiver wire. It is always good to stay ready, especially in case a good fit or better player emerges. Otherwise, the Bears will roll with their in-house options because sometimes you just have to dance with the dates you brought to the party.
Unfortunately, none of Duke Shelley, Thomas Graham Jr., and Marqui Christian has stood out for the right reasons. Teez Tabor, a cornerback by trade, is transitioning to the safety position. Meanwhile, the list of receivers opponents can line up against the Bears in the slot is daunting. Sean Desai’s “D” will see the likes of Cooper Kupp, Jarvis Landry, Davante Adams, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Juju Smith-Schuster, Tyler Lockett, and others throughout the season. But it’s not as if these players are just popping up on the Bears’ schedule in late August. It’s almost as if pursuits of Steven Nelson or Bashaud Breeland should’ve been taken to another level.
At least there are still options should the Bears want to dig into the free agent market. With that in mind, here is a list of available cornerbacks, via Spotrac:
• Gareon Conley, 26 — 31 games/26 starts from 2017-19
• Quinton Dunbar, 29 — 64 games/31 starts from 2015-20
• Pierre Desir, 31 — 73 games/44 starts from 2014-20
• Dre Kirkpatrick, 32 — 113 games/78 starts from 2012-20
As of this publishing, those players are among the remaining free agents. And more will hit the wires after the preseason concludes this weekend. So, let’s keep tabs on who is available should push come to shove. Because as long as the Bears’ collection of cornerbacks continues to fill me with concern, I’ll keep eyes on the wire.