One of the most feared defenses in the NFL continues to be the "Monsters of the Midway," the Chicago Bears. Their front seven is as talented as anyone's in the league and will be able to put the pressure on consistently. However, they are a bit lacking in the secondary, especially at free safety.
Most of the big-name free agents are already locked up, but there's still a perfect fit available: Antoine Bethea.
Last season, the Bears were able to sign Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to a one-year deal. He ended up having one of the best years of his career, but he left to the Dallas Cowboys to join his former head coach. Now, Chicago is left with Deon Bush as their starting free safety. In other words, they are in need of a free safety, and there is someone available who would fit.
At this point in free agency, Chicago isn't going to find a long term option for the back end of their defense. Because of this, age should not be an issue. With that in mind, offering Bethea a short-term deal would be perfect.
Bethea turns 36 in July. While there's no doubt that he has lost a step, he can still be productive for Chicago. He has totaled over 100 tackles in back-to-back seasons, showing he still has a nose for the ball. He also is three years removed from a 5-interception season and two years removed from a 3-sack year. Bethea also received a solid 69.4 overall grade from Pro Football Focus in 2019.
His coverage numbers were not good last season, but it looked to be more a product of terrible coverage from the New York Giants cornerbacks than it was him forgetting how to play football. The Giants couldn't stop anyone from passing last season, and the Bears defense around Bethea would be exponentially better, allowing him to have more freedom to make plays.
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