G.W. Gras

Senior Writer for The Bears Brawl and Lead Host of The Bears Brawl Podcast.


Ryan Pace has done an amazing job since taking over as general manager of the Chicago Bears – that much is obvious.  Even with questionable signings (or flat out mistakes) like Trey Burton and Cody Parkey, Pace has still solidified himself as one of the smarter GM’s in football.  With that being said, nobody knows what the Bears will do with the roster, or how much money will be thrown around. Here are the best options for the Bears if they are trying to penny-pinch in the safety position this off-season:

(Oct. 6, 2018 – Source: Harry How/Getty Images North America)

Adrian Philips:

This is a player who started getting on a roll as the season developed late.  What is key about Phillips is that he found himself on the field during important stretches of games.  Pro-Football Focus ranks him as an above average safety with good coverage skills. He finished the season with 65 solo tackles and 9 passes defensed, which are important numbers considering he only started 7 of the Chargers 16 games this season. In the playoffs he has one interception, three passes defensed  and a fumble recovery. He deserves a starting spot somewhere and he’d come cheaper than the asking price for the top tier free agents in the safety position.

(Dec. 5, 2015 – Source: Sean Gardner/Getty Images North America)

Kenny Vaccaro:

Vaccaro was drafted by the New Orleans Saints with the 15th overall pick in the 2013 draft.  Ryan Pace was a part of the Saints organization at that time. As a matter of fact in 2012 Pace was the “Professional Personnel Scout”  for the Saints and in 2013 he became the team’s “Director of Player Personnel” – so to say he is familiar with Vaccaro is an understatement.  Vaccaro was first team All American in 2012, playing for the Texas Longhorns. He relies on his athleticism maybe a little too much, but you’d expect someone who is 28 years old to know better than that now. . . He has been a disappointment for the most part but at the right price for a one year deal, he may be better than most other options out there.

 

(Oct. 6, 2018 – Source: Robert H. Levey/Getty Images North America)

Tyrann Mathieu:

When healthy, Mathieu is one of the better safeties in football.  Unfortunately for him, he’s been hit with the injury bug (two ACL tears and a shoulder injury) in his short career so people won’t be willing to spend big bucks on the play-making safety.  He played on a one year deal with Houston last season and says he is more concerned with playing for a contender than cashing out. It seems most of his injury woes are behind him as he’s started in 16 games in back to back seasons for the first time in his career.  Last season, with the Texans he finished with 70 solo tackles, two interceptions and three sacks. If Pace doesn’t re-sign Amos and goes cheaper with the more talented Mathieu, the legend of Pace will only become more set in stone after 2019. . .