One of the NFL’s most valuable and productive players wasn’t even in the starting lineup when the season began.
Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos has been the most valuable player on a cheap contract, according to Pro Football Focus. Brent Rollins examined the league in search of the players who fit the bill of providing value on low-cost deals and found Amos to be the best of the bunch. There are 106 safeties who are paid more than Amos, but it was the third-year Penn State product who entered Week 9 as PFF’s No. 2 safety.
“A quality starter since being drafted (79.7 and 80.6 grades in his first two years, respectively), Amos has taken a leap to elite level of play through the first half of this season. His 3.2 yards per completion in his coverage is tops among all safeties, as he has only allowed 41 yards receiving for a passer rating of 53.8.”
According to OverTheCap.com, Amos has a 2017 cash payout of $615,000, a cap hit of $673,070, and represents less than a half percent of the team’s cap hit (0.38%) and cash spending (0.36%). To have a high-caliber starter on a reasonably priced deal allows the front office to have spending flexibility which could be valuable in building the offense around Mitch Trubisky in the offseason.
Amos was a fifth-round pick in GM Ryan Pace’s first draft class in 2015. And even if PFF’s advanced analytics aren’t your cup of tea, he ranks third on the team in tackles, has three pass break-ups, an interception (which was returned for a touchdown), a forced fumble, and a fumble recovery.
It’s all part of a major step forward for a third-year player who lost his starting job during the preseason, fell behind free agent addition Quintin Demps on the depth chart, and played just one defensive snap in the first two weeks.