The Chicago Bears knew they faced a difficult situation when Adrian Amos left in free agency. It opened a big hole at safety. Filling it would be their biggest challenge of the offseason. Thankfully GM Ryan Pace managed to corral veteran free agent and former Pro Bowler Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Rather fitting they replaced Amos, who signed in Green Bay, with an ex-Packer.
Clinton-Dix has his share of critics. Many believe he’s a step down from Amos due to his inconsistency as a tackler. Something that is important for safeties. Others would argue he’s plenty physical enough and overcomes the drawback by being a far superior ballhawk. Amos has three career interceptions. Clinton-Dix has 14 including three just last season.
It’s also important to note this was a move signed off on by new defensive coordinator Chuck Pagano. He’s long showed a preference for safeties who are good in coverage. People should let him dictate what’s best for his scheme. The only question left is how the Bears convinced to sign on at such an affordable price ($3.5 million).
That too is an interesting story.
Ha Ha Clinton-Dix reveals Mitch Trubisky resonated with him
The obvious selling points for Clinton-Dix were easy. First and foremost, he’d get a chance to play with friend and former Alabama teammate Eddie Jackson. Something they didn’t get a long enough chance to do in college. Then there was the fact the Bears were 12-4 last season and clearly have one of the best rosters in the NFL. They’re equipped to make a run.
However, the safety revealed on 670 AM with Bears All-Access recently that there was another selling point. That was Mitch Trubisky. It seems the QB made a lasting impression back when Clinton-Dix still played for the Packers. One he never forgot.
“He’s one of the leaders of the team,” Clinton-Dix said. “I’ve had the chance to play against him. When you have a quarterback who comes over and tells you how much of a great player you are because he sees us a lot on tape, that just really meant a lot to me and it just shows that my play style doesn’t go unnoticed.”
It just goes to show that there are benefits to being respectful of other players. Trash talk is all well and good. It can make the competition fun. Even so, Trubisky keeps in mind that there are other guys like him out there. Talented players who worked their tails off to be great.
It feels good when something like that gets acknowledged. Clinton-Dix clearly wanted to sign with a team that understood that. Thus it’s a big gain for Chicago.