Much of the failures of this season have focused heavily on GM Ryan Pace and several of his former top draft choices. Mitch Trubisky at the top. Adam Shaheen right behind him and Leonard Floyd lingering in the weeds too. Those three have not performed up to their expectations and it’s dragging the entire team down. That said, it’s overshadowed what is proving to be an underrated Chicago Bears 2019 free agent class.

Keep in mind that the Bears came into this past offseason with considerable money restrictions. They already gave a ton to Khalil Mack for his deal the previous year. Cody Whitehair also received his extension. So there wasn’t much cash for Pace to throw around. This was made all the more difficult with key contributors like Adrian Amos and Bryce Callahan leaving for other teams. With no 1st or 2nd round picks to look forward to, this was a considerable challenge.

One that Pace met surprisingly well.

Chicago Bears 2019 free agent class is worth the money

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Has he produced a ton of big plays? No. That said, Clinton-Dix has had himself a good year all things considered. He has 38 tackles with only four missed so far this season. He’s delivered two interceptions with a touchdown. Quarterbacks have only completed 10 of 18 passes in his direction with a 28.2 passer rating. Considering how cheap the Bears got him for? That’s a tremendous return.

Buster Skrine

One of the biggest reasons the Bears said they signed Skrine was his durability. The slot corner has lived up to that reputation, not missing a game yet this season. By contrast, Bryce Callahan has yet to play a snap in 2019. Skrine hasn’t had any big plays, but he’s been steady in all facets. Quarterbacks have completed just 52.6% of their passes in his direction with a 71.1 passer rating. Both are better than what Callahan had in 2018.

Cordarrelle Patterson

People talk about his impact on the offense but let’s be honest. The Bears signed Patterson to improve their kick return game. Has he done that? Absolutely. Through eight games the veteran receiver is averaging a whopping 30.1 yards per kick return including a touchdown. He’s on pace for over 900 return yards this season and 1,000 all-purpose yards. Given how anemic the offense has been, this was money well-spent.

J.P. Holtz

This might be the find of the season for Pace. Nobody knew who Holtz was when the Bears claimed him off waivers from Washington. He became a backup at tight end and a steady contributor on special teams. However, his true value began to show up when the team slid him into a fullback role. With his help, David Montgomery has run for 175 yards and three touchdowns over the past two games. Holtz is showing he brings value beyond the stats.

Cornelius Lucas

The veteran offensive tackle did not have a good preseason showing, but the Bears decided to keep him on the roster anyway. That proved a wise decision. When Bobby Massie went down with vertigo in Week 3 against the Redskins, Lucas stepped in and played a good game on the road. One that helped Mitch Trubisky throw three touchdowns thanks to steady protection on the edges. His contributions haven’t been as big as others, but they’re still noteworthy.

Collectively, those five players cost the Bears $10.67 million in 2019. By contrast, Trey Burton (who has 14 catches in 8 games) is costing them $8.55 million by himself. Safe to say Pace and his front office did a hell of a job getting quality players at reasonable prices for a cash-strapped team.