Chicago Bears: Super Bowl safety still on the market

Chicago Bears, Marqui Christian (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears, Marqui Christian (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images) /

Could the Chicago Bears still be looking for competition at safety?

Earlier this week, the Chicago Bears announced that Jordan Lucas, a safety who they had signed this offseason, had opted out of the 2020 season due to concerns over COVID-19. The former Kansas City Chiefs thumper was likely going to compete for the fourth and final safety position on the roster.

Obviously Eddie Jackson and Tashaun Gipson are locks, and Deon Bush likely has the inside track on the third slot. However, the Bears will probably carry a fourth, as they currently have Sherrick McManis listed as the backup free safety behind Eddie Jackson.

One possibility to fill that role is veteran Bear DeAndre Houston-Carson. However, if the Bears are looking to add some excitement to the competition, they may want to consider Marqui Christian, the former fifth-round pick heading into his fifth year in the league.

Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 207 pounds, Christian offers a lot of versatility to a prospective team. He can play in the box or roaming over the top as a free safety. He can stay on the field regardless of the defensive package and could add significant value on special teams as well.

In 2019 with the Los Angeles Rams, Christian totaled 36 tackles (27 solo tackles) with two passes defended. He also has not missed a single game in each of the past two seasons.

Christian also has some big-game experience, having gone up against the New England Patriots in the 2018 Super Bowl, albeit in a losing effort. However, that type of experience is invaluable to a team looking to get back to the championship game for the first time in over a decade.

With Lucas opting out for the 2020 season, they are free of his salary for the year. Considering they planned on having four players competing for that final safety spot, there is little downside in bringing in another player to take Lucas’ spot and compete for that role.

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The potential upside is they find a 25-year-old versatile safety with a lot of NFL and big game experience to potentially step into the role similar to that of Bush or McManis when their contracts expire after this season.