A new era of Bears football begins in 2018 with Matt Nagy leading the way as the 16th head coach in franchise history. But for Nagy to succeed, he’ll need an injection of talent at various positions across the field – free agency is one such avenue for that improvement.
So let’s take a look at some of the more promising available free agents, to see if there might be a fit with the Chicago Bears.
Player, Age (in 2018), Position
David Amerson, 27, Cornerback
Season stats: 6 games (6 starts), 4 interceptions, 4 passes defended, 1 fumble recovery, 14 tackles with the Oakland Raiders
Amerson was released by the Raiders on Monday, immediately putting him on the free agent market. He was limited to just 287 snaps in six games this season, because of a foot injury he suffered in Week 7. He was unable to recover from the injury and missed the rest of the season because of it. With that said, Amerson started the season as one of the Raiders’ starting cornerbacks, beating out rookie first-round pick Gareon Conley in training camp to earn the starting role. Even though his playing time was limited, Amerson came up with five turnovers (four interceptions, one fumble recovery) in just six games.
Performance Before 2017
Career stats: 68 games (56 starts), 8 interceptions (2 touchdowns), 64 passes defended, 2 forced fumbles, 1 recovery, 218 tackles with the Washington Redskins (2013-15) and Oakland Raiders (2015-17)
Amerson has started at cornerback for a vast majority of his career, including 33 of the 35 games in which he appeared in a Raiders uniform. His most productive season came in 2015 when he was claimed off waivers by Oakland from Washington. Amerson thrived in his new surroundings, playing in 14 games (12 starts) and comings away with four interceptions, 26 passes defended, and a forced fumble. His career year earned him a spot as Pro Football Focus’ Most Improved Player in 2015.
In The End …
The Bears’ secondary could look drastically different to start the 2018 season, compared to how things lined up at the end of 2017.
Amerson could be part of that change and would be young enough (he doesn’t turn 27 until December) to be considered part of the core. He also comes with a bit of prospect pedigree, having been a second-round pick (51st overall) in 2013 and a first-team All-American and Jack Tatum Trophy (given to college football’s best cornerback) in 2011. Because he was released on Monday, Amerson is eligible to sign with a team before the NFL’s new year starts in March.
Meaning that the Bears’ offseason overhaul could conceivably begin sooner than previously expected.