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 corner back position this off-season:

Darqueze Dennard:

Source: John Grieshop/Getty Images North America

A former Jim Thorpe award recipient ini 2013, Dennard came into the league with a lot of hype when he was a first round pick in the 2014 draft. Although he’s been serviceable while in Cincinnati, he never quite lived up to the lofty expectations set before him. Dennard never became the number one corner in Cincy, or even the number two, but as the third option on the depth chart he played well. He’s recorded over 50 tackles the last two seasons and shows above average awareness. Dennard has good coverage skills, and is physical enough to help out in run support. When he came into the league he was noted as being a team leader and someone with great character. That showed while in Cincinnati where things didn’t go as he probably had planned but never spoke ill of the organization or pouted on the field. Just a kid who went out, did his job and remained a good teammate. That’s a high quality character packaged with a desirable skill set.

Jason Verrett:

Source: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images North America

Here’s a case of a guy who’s a really good player, but he is never on the field. Verrett has played a total of five games in the last three seasons and the injuries aren’t things to scoff at either: torn ACL, torn Achilles and a knee injury that forced him to have surgery. He was a Pro-Bowler in 2015, albeit a replacement player, but he got the nod none-the-less. Going into the nickel position to get his career back on track, even on a one year “prove it” deal, would be well worth the gamble for the Bears and would be a great look for Verrett. He’s got great instincts, footwork, ball skills and isn’t afraid to get scrappy against the run. He is still young enough to come back from his set backs – but considering nobody has really seen him play in three years, as mentioned before – it is a gamble. . .a big one.

Bashaud Breeland:

Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

There was a time, not too long ago that Breeland looked like he might have been on his way to becoming the long-term answer for the Redskins at the corner back position. He was a play-maker who never got lost in those times when he had to go against a team’s number one option. When the Redskins let Breeland go into free agency, he was actually going to sign a three year $24 million dollar contract with the Panthers, but then he failed a physical after hurting himself on a trip to the Dominican Republic, so he remained unsigned. He soon signed with the Packers, started five games, and although he played pretty decently – he never quite got his footing in that system, so here he is again – in free agency. There is a good chance somebody still offers him a pretty decent deal – if they’re willing to look passed his stats from last season. If not, this may work into the Bears’ advantage. Breeland might be better suited for the number two spot, but he’d have to earn that from working out of the nickel. The match-ups he’d see there would be favorable. As a tackler, he tends to over pursue or be overly aggressive to a fault – mostly to overcome his lack of size and strength. Solid player though, who will probably get a look from a lot of teams in the league.

 

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio