Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Former Chicago Bears Exec Lists Surprise Name As Free Agent Target


When discussing the Chicago Bears’ list of roster priorities going into this spring, people gravitate to the well-known ones. Quarterback is obvious. Wide receiver, center, and edge rusher follow close behind. Those have been discussed at length already. One that hasn’t gotten enough attention is safety. That will change now that the team has released Eddie Jackson, ending his six-year run with the franchise. GM Ryan Poles has to find somebody to put next to Jaquan Brisker. While the draft is possible, experts don’t feel this is a great year for the position.

That is why former Bears scouting director Greg Gabriel believes the team may go hunting for a veteran option in free agency. While there will be some excellent options like Budda Baker and Antoine Winfield Jr., both will likely be too expensive. The goal for the Bears is finding somebody who can be an improvement over Jackson, even if it’s a minor one. Gabriel had a few names in mind. Perhaps the most shocking is one the Bears have grown quite familiar with over the past few years.

Darnell Savage – Packers

Savage will be 27 when camp begins and is a former first-round pick of Green Bay. In his five seasons with the Pack, he has started 69 games and has recorded nine interceptions. Last year, he missed seven games with a calf injury. Savage is a good player, not a great one, but his overall play is better than Jackson’s as he has similar ball skills and plays the run and tackles better than Jackson.”

Savage would be a calculated risk for the Chicago Bears.

The former 1st round pick looked like a budding start between 2020 and 2021, collecting six interceptions, 21 passes defended, a sack, and 138 tackles. However, he’s encountered some frustrating setbacks over the past two years. Really, his effectiveness began dipping after Joe Barry took over as defensive coordinator. Things reached a low in 2023 as he missed several games with calf and shoulder injuries. Yet that didn’t stop him from delivering the kill shot in Green Bay’s playoff upset of the Dallas Cowboys.

Savage is still only 26 years old. When healthy, he is an effective safety who can play deep coverage and shows a presence around the line of scrimmage. Cap expert Brad Spielberger of Pro Football Focus estimates signing him in free agency will cost around $5 million per year. That is a fraction of what Jackson would’ve cost had the Chicago Bears kept him. Matt Eberflus has shown an ability to put his safeties in the right positions to make plays. If the team is willing to gamble on Savage’s recent health issues, he might be a cost-effective solution to their problem.

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I dug Plank
I dug Plank
Feb 18, 2024 9:51 am

If availability is the best ability this is a big NO for me.

Feb 18, 2024 5:06 am

If he works out, would be good payback for Adrian Amos.

Slip Knotz
Slip Knotz
Feb 17, 2024 10:58 pm

Nah. No more Packers guys. Let’s just stop doing that.

Feb 17, 2024 9:03 pm

I would not be against a 1 year prove it deal and drafting a safety in the middle rounds

Feb 17, 2024 8:29 pm

If it’s to a one or two year deal at a cheap price? This makes a whole lotta sense. The big areas to spend are at CB (JJ tag or extension) and Center, prefer a veteran to a rookie and the IOL can’t be a weakness like it was last season. A big time DE like Hunter or Burns should be bought too if the opportunity is there, but adding a lesser DE like Epenesa is a requirement. WR is a necessity both in FA and the draft, they should go after Ridley. Trade back from 1.9, target Troy Franklin… Read more »

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