With some of the most cap space in the league this offseason it seemed like the Bears would be big players in the free agent market and go after some of the top options like A.J. Bouye or Tony Jefferson. The Bears ended up missing out on the top guys but still were far from inactive, signing multiple free agents. Below we’ll take a look at three significant signings the Bears made and grade them based on talent need and fit.
Mike Glennon, Quarterback: 3-years, $45M, $18M guaranteed
It was obvious by season’s end that the Jay Cutler era in Chicago would end and there would be a new face at starting quarterback next year. When free agency opened the Bears moved quickly to sign Mike Glennon to what is essentially a one year deal with options for the next two years. Glennon isn’t a star quarterback but he’s a game manager and can probably win anywhere from 7 to 9 games. The real purpose of signing Glennon is more to get Cutler out and give whomever the Bears draft a chance to learn and develop for a year before thrusting the draftee into the starting role in 2018. Glennon fills the Bears biggest need and should fit just fine even if he won’t wow fans with extreme talent.
Marcus Cooper, Cornerback: 3-years, $16M, $8M guaranteed
The secondary was the Bears biggest weakness last year, with Tracy Porter being the only playmaker. Cooper directly addresses that need and will likely be the new no. 1 corner when camp opens. Cooper started 13 games for the Cardinals last year and had 4 interceptions (which is half of the total number of picks the Bears had last year as a team). Cooper immediately upgrades one of the Bears’ weakest positions and allows others like Tracy Porter to slide down the depth chart into roles they are more suited for.
Quintin Demps, Safety: 3-years, $13.5M, $5M guaranteed
As mentioned above secondary was the Bears biggest weakness and safety might have been the worst position on the whole roster. Demps, like Cooper, is a playmaker who made six interceptions last year and at 32-years-old brings some veteran leadership to an inconsistent and young group of safeties below him. Demps’ age is a bit of a concern and the last veteran safety the Bears signed (Antrel Rolle) didn’t exactly work out too great. However Demps has a lot of upside and has only been a starter for two years so he could theoretically work out much better for the Bears than Rolle ever did. The interceptions are the selling point and Demps finally gives the Bears at least a starting-caliber safety in the secondary.