It won’t be official until March 12, but the Chicago Bears have made the move to sign a couple of free agents. Mike Davis, former Seattle Seahawks running back and Buster Skrine, former New York Jets cornerback, were signed on Tuesday, Mar. 11. It’s not out of the question the Bears will make more moves, despite their lack of cap space.
The Bears only had two running backs on their roster last season with Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen shouldering the load. Howard was the go-to back and was used for more short-yardage situations or to aggressively attack the defense. He’s been consistent his first three seasons in Chicago, averaging over 1,000 yards per season. This past year, he fell short of reaching 1,000 yards but still managed to have one of his better seasons, finding the end zone nine times.
Cohen has been referred to as a “human joystick” with his ability to juke out the opposition and use his quick speed to get down the field. He racked up eight total scores, with five coming as a slot receiver, to go along with a combined 1,169 yards as an RB/WR.
Davis is expected to sign a two-year deal for $6 million, but what is Chicago going to get from him? The Seahawks established another dimension to their offense last year when they got their running backs going. While Davis was second in line to Chris Carson, he still ended up with over 700 yards of offense and five scores. He’s proven to be an effective back, averaging 4.6 yards per carry in 2018 which was better than Carson, Howard or Cohen.
This is a good signing, low payout deal for a running back that’s still young in the league. This will also be the last year under Howard’s contract with free agency an option for him in 2020.
.@ChicagoBears signing RB Mike Davis.
— NFL (@NFL) March 11, 2019
Skrine a plug-and-play guy
The Bears snatched up a potential star for their secondary in Skrine. His first eight seasons were split between the Browns and Jets and now he’s headed to Chicago. Skrine has the ability to be one of the better cornerbacks on the squad, even with him being the oldest Bear. He’s put together a couple of strong years in 2013/2014 with the Browns, by intercepting five passes, having 35 passes defended and one sack.
Skrine has stayed healthy for the better part of his career, missing a couple of games in 2016. He hadn’t missed a game in his career until a knee injury sidelined him late in 2016 and missed another due to concussion symptoms. He missed one other game last season with concussion symptoms as well.
Chicago is high on their signing of Skrine because of his ability to be utilized throughout the secondary at multiple positions. He’s a quality addition after the Bears decided to not re-sign Adrian Amos or Bryce Callahan after they entered free agency. Skrine will make things official when he signs a three-year contract for $15 million.
#Bears coach Matt Nagy in October on nickel back Buster Skrine, who is now expected to be signed: "He’s one of the better nickels in this league, if not the best. I mean, he’s good. He’s a good nickel in there."
— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) March 11, 2019
A lot of Bears fans seem to be on board with these additions, especially considering the cost. We’ll see if there’s still more to come as the Bears tinker with their roster.