The Chicago Bears spent $20 million to patch up a leaky secondary during free agency, so go figure the most productive member of the new-look defensive backfield is a player on a one-year “prove it” deal:
These CBs don't give up many receptions pic.twitter.com/zT1bLwjLAf
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) October 30, 2017
Prince Amukamara has an 80.9 grade at Pro Football Focus, which is the best among Bears cornerbacks and 34th best among the site’s 114 qualifiers. His best work has come in coverage, where PFF notes his 21.6 snaps per reception is the third best in the NFL. Being in a top-five with Patrick Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals and Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks is no small task.
And it’s also not bad for a guy who missed the first two weeks with an ankle injury and played on less than 55 percent of the team’s defensive snaps in his first two games since returning to the active roster.
Inserting Amukamara into the lineup has provided a significant upgrade from Tracy Porter, who ranked 107th among the 111 qualifying cornerbacks. What compounded matters for the Bears defense in 2016 was that Porter was playing poorly while seeing the field on a team-leading 944 defensive snaps. That’s quite the double-whammy.
Amukamara’s future with the Bears is unclear. Remember, he signed a one-year deal with $7 million guaranteed. Unless he and the Bears come to an agreement on an extension, Amukamara will re-enter free agency after the season. If he continues playing at this pace and stays healthy, he could be in line for a significant pay raise in terms of a long-term contract.