The Chicago Bears free agency plan to this point can best be called “measured.” Some might call it cheap but that’s not entirely true. GM Ryan Pace is operating according to the resources he has. He didn’t have a lot of salary cap space when the league year began. In fact, he had to restructure the contract of Khalil Mack just to get more breathing space. So it’s not a surprise the team hasn’t been throwing out big deals.
This doesn’t mean they’ve been doing nothing. Mike Davis was added to improve the depth at running back. Cordarrelle Patterson arrived from New England to instantly upgrade the kick returner spot. Ted Larsen helps the depth at guard and center. So it’s not like they haven’t been doing work to improve the team.
The hard part is finding a way to improve when you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Common football business minds call these bargain deals. Getting a good player at a reasonable rate. Several experts at ESPN were asked which teams got the best bargain of 2019 so far. Two of the eight polled claim it was the Bears with their signing of Ha Ha Clinton-Dix.
Chicago Bears free agency scoop of Clinton-Dix earns top praise
Matt Bowen, a former player and one of the top tape analysts in the business, believe there was nothing to dislike above the move. It helped the Bears quickly replace the loss of Adrian Amos while also giving them a minor upgrade in their pass defense. It could end up paying off huge if the coaches can fix his inconsistent issues tackling and pursuit angles.
“The safety fills a need in Chicago next to Eddie Jackson after Adrian Amos signed with the Packers. And GM Ryan Pace gets it done at a reasonable rate. Clinton-Dix can find the ball, and he has the instincts to make plays in the passing game. While I would like to see the former Pro Bowler take cleaner angles to the ball and finish with more consistency at the point of attack versus the run, the traits are there to fit in Chicago’s system behind one of the NFL’s top front sevens.”
It’s worth noting that Clinton-Dix had three interceptions last season despite being traded midway through the year. Eddie Jackson, his new running mate at safety, had six. The coverage prowess of those two might be the best the Bears have had for a tandem in a long time. Especially if Khalil Mack and that front seven continue to dominate like they did last season.