Here are five thoughts on the Bears possible approach.
(1) Go get Eric Weddle. Why?
- Antrel Rolle is shot and has been for some time. (Even when he wasn’t shot, he couldn’t cover anybody.)
- Weddle may come with a significant yearly price tag but at thirty-one years old the length of the contract will most likely be tolerable.
- Weddle can bring toughness, versatility and leadership to a secondary desperate for all three.
- Adrian Amos already has the best secondary coach in the NFL. Line up Weddle beside him and you’ll see his development expedited.
(2) The Bears targeted Pernell McPhee quickly a year ago and landed their man. Would they do so again? Yes. Because adding Malik Jackson to their defensive line will turn around their poor rush defense almost immediately. There’s concern, of course, because paying defensive linemen has bitten several clubs in the ass. But you have to spend all that cap space somewhere, don’t you?
(3) The Bears should go into 2016 with Charles Leno and Kyle Long as their starting tackles. Both showed enough a year ago to warrant another season at those positions. But don’t be surprised if they look to free agency for a tough presence in the middle of the line. Is Alex Boone a great guard? No. But he’s got some badass in him. And he shouldn’t be too expensive.
(4) Nobody scares me more than Bruce Irvin and any team paying him like a premier pass rusher is missing one thing: he’s not a premier pass rushers. With the talent assembled all across the Seahawks defense, how does Irvin defend having only 22 sacks in four years?
(5) No player is a better buy low commodity right now than Bills’ linebacker Nigel Bradham. Bradham was one of the most underrated players in the NFL in 2014 under defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz but seemed to be a non-fit for Rex Ryan in 2015. From the Buffalo News:
The analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Bradham 79th out of 94 qualified linebackers in 2015, with an overall grade of minus -15.9, down from a grade of 3.6 in 2014. Bradham had five games with a grade of minus -2.3 or worse and just two at 1.0 or better. He registered just nine total pressures on 87 pass-rush attempts, according to PFF, just five of which came after Week One.
He was also second on the team with nine missed tackles and ranked 25th out of 33 qualified outside linebackers in a 4-3 scheme with a 5.9 run-stop percentage. Bradham had 14 “stops” – which are defined as preventing a successful offensive play, depending on down and the distance needed for a first down – in 237 snaps. Last year, he had 27 such stops in 326 snaps.
Bradham is going be a value for someone in 2016.